Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Funnel Mic

This is the year that I have decided to go back to working with a few electronics in my instruments. After learning as much as I have in the ongoing process of recording an album in the studio I have now decided to turn my attention to live performance. A few months ago I was contacted by some friends who asked me if I would like to be part of a new project. At this time I don’t want to go into the details of this project mainly because none of us are sure what exactly those details are. All I can tell you is that it involves the turn of the last century, some thespians, an animator, and my instruments.

I am experimenting with a few different microphone configurations using all the old mics I have picked up over the years. None of them are exceptional great so tearing them apart isn’t really a big deal for me. Some have been taken out of telephones, kid’s toys, or crappy musical instruments made of plastic that have all but died under my curious tampering.

I built the funnel Mic using parts from a few old brass horns I had scattered about, and some hand made aluminum swirls. The microphone is mounted fairly close to the mouth of the horn and I am hoping it will be good for picking up stringed instruments. Testing has yet to be done on any large scale. One of the side effects was the way the mic inside picked up the sound of the swirls. It is jammed into the horn as far as it will go, touching the metal a full 360 degrees. It now seems to be acting much like a contact mic would. My only fear is that it may feedback easily at very low levels.

Some time after the Funnel Mic was finished I got the idea of building a similar piece, but this time placing a much smaller microphone at the other end of the horn in the hopes of creating a more tinny sound. Perhaps they could be used in conjunction with one another.

When I build it I will let you know.


Monday, March 03, 2008

The Return of the Alien Bell Monster

I am still very much on a percussive kick lately. I keep going through the spaceroom finding all these different metal bowls, cups, and bells that I have been collecting from my travels throughout Canada and the United States. I am trying to use them all up do to the fact that they are somewhat bulky and difficult to store. Real estate in the spaceroom is hard to come by on a good day, so I figured it best that I get these things out of the room and out of my head.

I built this instrument as part of an ongoing project I have been working

on with my good friends the Fembots. For those of you that don’t know, we have been working on an album now for quite

some time. Over this period of time I have learn many things about the construction of Junkstruments, and the convenience of transporting these instruments.

Some of the materials in this instrument include a kettle straight from our stove top, candle holders, metal lids, serving bowls, drink coasters, disk breaks, and of coarse a had to throw in a few salad bowls.