Help in constructing a metallic resonance thing

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Maneville
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Help in constructing a metallic resonance thing

Post by Maneville » Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:27 am

I know, worst title ever.

Also, if this isn't quite the right forum, sorry Mods, please me me along.

Right.

This all began when, after looking at things like the EF110 Blackfly Swarm generator, I got to wondering, could I make something for myself?

The idea is to get a metal box, fit some bolts and springs of different sizes, stick a contact microphone on the side, then bow and bash the box, the output going into a recorder or my modular for further manipulation.

As I'm really not at all handy with such things, is it as simple a thing as I described? Any tips on things to avoid or ideas to implement?

Thanks for the advice, Gurus

ClausF
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Post by ClausF » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:17 am

Box with Contact mics is enough, I do that but with a wooden box. You can add a preamp if you want, like here: https://www.exploding-shed.com/microphonic-soundbox/

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BananaPlug
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Post by BananaPlug » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:37 am

Wow, that exploding-shed.com is very cool.
You probably should take look at http://www.cranksturgeon.com/PIEZOCRANK.html

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Addam
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Post by Addam » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:29 am

Please post back if your project comes alive. Some additional insights/ideas here, too.

viewtopic.php?t=162867&sid=8d3766f1d5a7 ... 7a4185ecd6

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Maneville
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Post by Maneville » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:15 pm

Well for now the idea is to make something to create those long scary drones like you used to hear in old sf and horror movies. Use some contact microphones to 'grab' the sounds/vibrations, and then feed it into the modular to granularise, or the DAW to otherwise process.

At the moment I'm thinking in terms of a metal box, with a spring, and possible some narrow-gauge metal rods, all for twanging and bowing.

I've got microphones and a box on order, and should be looking at box candidates this week.

If it ever makes something worth hearing, I'll report back to share.

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Post by Jarno » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:13 pm

Image

Thinking of using a small power amp, drive a plate , and then have several piezo pickups.

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sleepgardens
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Post by sleepgardens » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:58 pm

I am thinking about making some kind of some Luminist Garden clone.

My idea was to use a Cigar Box (also called Humidor) since I would like it to be tabletop. There are some cheap unfinished ones on Amazon.

The idea was to cut some guitar strings (or bass strings) to different lenghts and stick them through holes in the top of the box, maybe 4/5 different strings cut in different lengths in each hole. I would also add some springs and various different metal objects.
Two or more piezos underneath and you're done. Of course piezos have a really low gain so you will need a preamp, if you don't have one in your sistem I would suggest to put one in the box, there are various schematic/striboards around to make one. Also I was thinking about putting some kind off effect directly in the box. A Delay/Reverb would be nice, maybe both. Still looking about these online but it looks to me that there are a lot of nice delay and reverb projects around.

Of course those are only suggestions since I didn't pull the trigger on this yet. You can also find more suggestion about piezo stuff in this thread.

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D_Robot
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Post by D_Robot » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:41 pm

I built myself something similar with loads of springs and tuneable guitar strings formed around a metal box. It's a work in progress but it is so much fun to use as it is I'm too distracted to add more to it at the mo.

Two very useful bits of advice I followed are, first get as big a piezo mic as you can find. They're dirt cheap anyway so the bigger the better the response. Oh and use an epoxy resin glue to stick it or them in place.

Second, get a preamp. Without one it'll still work but it is basically like sticking a highpass filter in front of it. It'll only let high frequencies through making it sound very tinny and thin.

I used these guys:
http://www.stompville.co.uk/shop/29-unb ... reamp.html

Great service and you can buy balanced or unbalanced, pre-built or as kits.

If not already watch this guy on youtube:
[video][/video]

It is incredibly easy to do with only the most basic diy and soldering skills and it is very satisfying building your own unique instrument.

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Re: Help in constructing a metallic resonance thing

Post by Slothrop » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:34 am

I'm looking at making something similar to what's described in this thread - basically, acquire a bit of copper sheet and a bunch of nuts and bolts and springs, then drill holes in the copper and use the nuts and bolts to attach springs across it. Maybe glue on some rough surfaces to scrape at, too. Piezo mic, pre-amp (or in my case, guitar pedal with high input impedance), effects, noise.

My question is whether there's anything to look out for with the acoustic transmission from springs or whatever through the copper to the pickup. I don't want the copper to be so thin that it just bends all the time, but is it possible to go too thick and have it dampen the sounds too much? Or to attach so much crap that you end up muffling it that way?

Thanks!

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Re: Help in constructing a metallic resonance thing

Post by jorg » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:40 am

Slothrop wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:34 am
I'm looking at making something similar to what's described in this thread - basically, acquire a bit of copper sheet ...I don't want the copper to be so thin that it just bends all the time, but is it possible to go too thick and have it dampen the sounds too much?...
I suspect steel is a better choice than copper. Copper is relatively soft, and as you suggest, it might bend too much or dampen the sound too much.

Slothrop
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Re: Help in constructing a metallic resonance thing

Post by Slothrop » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:14 pm

Quick answer to my own question on this for the benefit of anyone who finds the same thread with a similar question - I used a 100x200mm rectangle of 2mm copper sheet and it seems to have worked alright. I've got four extension springs mounted between pairs of 4mm bolts, two compression springs each anchored at one end, and a bit of surgical tape for scratching noises and muted tapping. It sounds good so far!

Overall it was a fairly doable project - I've got access to a decent DeWalt cordless drill with titanium bits but no previous experience at this sort of thing, and I generally didn't fuck it up. Total cost of materials was about twenty quid plus the contact mic - I've gone with a gucci pre-assembled one from Jez Riley French but I'm sure there are cheaper options.

One other thing with the benefit of hindsight is that I might have got a project box to build this around if I'd known that "project box" was the right thing to google...

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emmaker
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Re: Help in constructing a metallic resonance thing

Post by emmaker » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:40 pm

jorg wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:40 am
Slothrop wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:34 am
I'm looking at making something similar to what's described in this thread - basically, acquire a bit of copper sheet ...I don't want the copper to be so thin that it just bends all the time, but is it possible to go too thick and have it dampen the sounds too much?...
I suspect steel is a better choice than copper. Copper is relatively soft, and as you suggest, it might bend too much or dampen the sound too much.
Different materials are going to have different characteristics. Really it depends on what you want.

One thing about ferrous metals (like steel, iron) you have to be careful around magnetic fields like transformers, inductors, CRTs... Depends on the sensor but they can pick up the hum from them both physically and possibly from being influenced magnetically themselves.

Jay S.

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