My Springything has become a staple instrument wherever I go and whatever event it is I am at. The range and variety of noises and textures I’ve figured out how to conjure from this instrument always amaze me considering how simple an instrument it actually is.
It works using one of the most basic and fundamental principles of physics. If you’ve ever heard me talk about my instruments at any event I will have mentioned it: Faradays law of Electromagnetic Induction.
All you need for induction to occur is a coil of wire, a magnetic field and vibration.
On a guitar you have the vibration of a string, interacting with the magnetic field of the pickup, which induces an electeical current in the coil the exact same shape/frequency as the vibrating string.
On the springything, I have small magnets on the springs close to the coil. When the spring vibrates the magnet vibrates and that induces an electrical current the same shape as the vibration.
In both cases the small electrical current is sent to an amplifier which makes that small current much stronger and sends it to a speaker cone. Which, incidently, uses the same law of induction to turn the current back into physical vibrations on the speaker cone.
It’s all very clever but also surprisingly simple.
So, to build your own springything, you’ll need a coil, a magnet and a spring. The exact configuration of the build is up to you and whatever you can find to build it. The coil would have 2 ends of wire in it, they simply get attached to the two pins of a mono jack socket. Then, using bits of wood/metal/whatever you have to hand, get the springs and magnets vibrating near the coil and plug it all into an amp!