The Microphonic Soundbox 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 mono out 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 we are looking forward to see what people will do with it.
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 now, 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.
We only distribute within the EU but DIY kits will be available in the US via Modular Addict.
The Microphonic Soundbox is available as a DIY kit or ready built version. All parts and wood glue are included, you will need some additional tools. We recommend to additionally buy the 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 video. The assembly manual and videos guide you through the building process of the DIY kit.
DIY level: medium. You have to assemble some electronics, as well as wood parts and mechanical parts. It is not complicated but every step has to be planned and thought through, if you are not sure that you can make it, please buy the ready built one. You will find the assembly manual here on our support page.