The Microphonic Soundbox mk2 is an acoustic wooden experimental instrument, which perfectly integrates in any audio setup to create interesting and otherworldly soundscapes. It comes prepared with metal springs, metal rods, sand paper and a Kalimba made from carbon strips, but it can easily be extended with any other found materials. It can be played in many ways by scratching, bowing, etc., to create totally unique sounds. It's the perfect sound design tool - be creative!
The Jazz musician and master of experimentation Bugge Wesseltoft told us „Microphonic Soundbox was my favorite at Superbooth synth exhibition"!
Technical info: It features 2 internal contact microphones and 2 battery powered low noise pre-amps (~100x Gain), both signals can be mixed together and sent to the outputs as a line level. Inserting an external signal to the input will switch off the first internal mic and use the external signal instead, what also makes it a platform for amplifying and mixing external Hi-Z signals. It's standing on soft rubber feet, which guarantee a good grip on most surfaces, and also do some acoustic decoupling.
How to use: Standalone it's already fun, but its whole potential is unveiled when it's being processed in realtime by livesampling, loopers and effects like in our video. Please note that in the end of the video there are lots of effects on it, the pure sound can be heard in the beginning. For getting you started, we provide a Live-Set for Ableton as a free download, but of course you can use it with any other DAW or mixing desk. You can also interact with modular gear and use it as a trigger or create sound spectrums to use with modules like Clouds or extract gates from its sounds. Possibilities are endless and already many sound designers and musicians use it in their work.
Soundbox History: Manuel from LeafAudio created this instrument in the late nineties and used it on lots of his Xabec albums, in live shows and sound design work. Before we made it public 2017, it had a 20 year long and very personal history.
Soundbox Community: We created a facebook usergroup for you to share your experiences, pictures, music & videos. Feel free to join our community if you use a Soundbox.
Building Instructions mk1 was available as a DIY kit and here was the official support page. mk2 is sonly available as an assembled unit or in the workshops we offer a well prepared DIY version where you only have to add some bigger components and do a bit of assembly.
Availability: Besides our workshops, Microphonic Soundbox is available via our online shop Exploding Shed.
We recommend to additionally get a violin bow and rosin for being able to play it properly. You can download a Live-Set for Ableton 9 here to get started with performing with the box. It's exactly the Live-Set we used in the 2017 video. A new video featuring the mk2 will follow later.
Add-On modules for using the audio input with alternative sound generations are planned for 2019! At the moment we are developing professional and fully shielded and housed contact-microphone-cables, which will show up via Exploding Shed in spring 2019.
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