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TOPIC: the Skauglophone, a simple junk instrument

the Skauglophone, a simple junk instrument 2 years 7 months ago #22485

  • mudpeople
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Just a short vid explaining what I call the Skauglophone, which is really just a spring taken from a hair dryer, attached loosely to a metal plate that used to be part of an IDE enclosure, with a contact microphone (also handmade) attached, and the whole mess run through the filter of my Microbrute (which just happens to be the only hardware filter I own, any filter/disto/overdrive/etc will do, hard or soft).

vimeo.com/97407923

I made this track entirely with audio created via the Skauglophone (with some post-processing): soundcloud.com/mudpeople/skaug-1

The idea started when I stuck a tiny spring between my teeth and flicked it, and it made this very pleasing twangy-bangy-metallic sound, which was only audible through my teeth and jaw. The Skauglophone is basically a percussion instrument, with the option of plain percussive sound, or with a bit of stretching of the spring, it can be chromatic. Mostly its a proof-of-concept, something I plan to put more time and care into in the future, maybe even make into a nice-looking, stage-usable instrument.

Anyone with a bit of proficiency with a soldering iron and the necessary materials can make their own contact microphone; its just a piezotransducer, attached to some kind of audio cable (I used 1/4" TRS), housed in something that conducts vibration while also protecting and somewhat insulating the piezo (I used a Stella bottle cap, and covered the piezo backing with hot glue). Mine does get a bit of noise, but nothing too major that will overpower the incoming audio; a noise gate on the recordings deals with it just fine. Various plans can be found by googling "DIY contact microphone", or you could also spend actual money on an actual purpose-built pro contact mic ;)
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