Nathan Gallardo

Sound Design || Music || Audio DIY || Game Dev


Solder a long spring onto the bottom of a tin can. I found a bunch of these springs inside a broken electric radiator.

My first attempt involved poking a tiny hole in the can and threading the spring through. Doing it this way just let the spring rattle about, which produced an interesting sound but not what I was after.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

I then tried poking it through and securing it with solder. This almost worked, but the spring still rattled about.

The best way is to just solder the spring directly onto the bottom of the can. Sand the tin down to remove the anti-corrosive coating so you get to bare tin and wipe it clean of all the dust or the solder won’t take, use a solvent if you’ve got any handy. Make a little loop in the end of the spring wire. Melt a decent sized bit of solder onto the tin, then soften it up again and insert the wire loop. I couldn’t get the solder to actually take to the wire, but doing it this way holds it nice and tight.

Uploaded from the Photobucket Android App

Wiggle it about and make sounds like this:

Note that all I’ve done to that recording is a low-pass filter at around 18k and a slight dip at 500Hz as it really resonates there. No other processing whatsoever.

I’m going to try the same thing with different sized containers and different materials for the main vibrating membrane, ie. the bottom of the tin in this case.

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