Hecktate’s Shouty Box

The shouty box for Hecktate’s vocalist and good friend Jon is my first attempt to create a microphone from scratch.

The contact mic is attached to a metal plate which is in turn connected to the resonant chamber and base with springs. This is in order to help pick up the vibrations and transfer them to the contact mic better.

You can check Hecktate out here: http://www.myspace.com/hecktate1

Will hopefully get some video of it in action soon!

The Bendjo

I knocked this one out in a few hours, i’m very much a pick something up, measure it once problem-solve later kind of person, so this is the result of having a spare chocolate tin lying about!

I’ve made the bridge on the tin close to the ‘fretboard’ and much higher than it should be, this results in a very odd way to play indeed… The pitch of the wire is determined by how hard you press down on it, not by where on the fretboard you press.

So the strings bend rather than change length.


might knock up some simple pickups as i think it’s going to be too noisy for contact mic’s.


This latest thingymajig was inspired very much by the ridiculous and amazing Daxophone.

the idea for the Clampophone is simple, sandwich a contact mic between some wood, clamp bits onto said wood, pick up the vibrations of said clamped item and make them loud with the resonating box + the contact mic.

This would really be more of a microphone than an actual instrument, and then experiments galore to come with what to clamp to it! ideas are already in swing to make a mbira style attachment, as well as Toungue drum style carved wooden bits.

The Steel Rod Box

For reasons unclear, my father has a few boxes of unused spinal surgery equipment and tools in the garage. including a whole heap load of stainless steel rods that are threaded the entire length.

Something had to be done.

So i’ve come up with the Steel Rod Box, rods of varying width screwed in on both ends into a basic wooden box. I’ve included a simple contact mic from a piezo transducer to pick up the vibrations for amplification.

I had no idea how it would sound, so after some playing and experimenting i found it sounds best played with some chopsticks (wagamama ones are good) with a felt coating to soften the blow.

the rods can be easily tuned by playing with the lengths…


Pringle Tubes

Pringle tubes have fantastic resonance! pick up an empty one and play it like a bongo, it doesn’t sound too shabby does it? taking this one step further i decided to make a few little alterations, and hey-presto! i give you the 2 string Pringle harp and the Pringle tube Ektara!



The harp is pretty limited, but the Ektara sounds pretty fantastic. I know of 3 different ways of playing a proper Ektara and you can only manage one of them on the Pringle Tube version, but even so it’s not a bad mimic of the sound/style.