This summer has been an absolute whirlwind of creative tinkerings - both in the studio and out in the field - for a whole range of new interactive sound and music projects that I have had the tremendous pleasure of working on. What for? Well... some of you may recall my previous announcement of a new longterm project series for The Compendium of Somethings - my journal of prototype inventions exploring lateral platforms for interactive sound and music...
...well! A whole bunch of experimental tech builds for some of the projects documented in that journal are now well underway, and following in the wake of this - a whole bunch of Youtube and TikTok content will soon follow that documents all the madcap inventive sound madness that's has begun to unfold on this journey. I honestly cannot wait to share more with you all soon. However, there's still a little more work to do on the video front for the first few vlogs in The Compendium of Somethings series (terabytes of work in fact...) so in the meantime, I thought I'd share a 'fun-little-something-else' in the interim, of which is very much in the same spirit...
...a how-to tutorial on how to build your very own Tin Can Microphone!
I made my first tin can microphone a couple of years ago, and have gifted plenty to fellow music producers over the years. With the upcycled low-cost nature aside they actually make for quirky yet useful little recording devices. I've used mine a fair few times over the years on a number of sound and music productions. They are great for when you want to record audio with a little more lo-fi antique character at the source level.
So if you fancy building one for yourself, then here's the entire how-to tutorial videos I've put together, followed by links to a list of the ingredients I introduce at the start of the video:
List of Ingredients:
An empty tin can.
Something you can use as a knob for your volume dial e.g. manufactured potentiometer knobs, or upcycle something else yourself.
The links I've included above are there to simply point you in the direction of the specs for each ingredient listed - so do feel free to shop around for alternatives and/or the best price! (for example - the wire strippers shown in the link above are top of the line... much cheaper options are very much available! Likewise with the multicore wire - it is possible to buy MUCH less than a 100m spool, if you're only looking to buy some for this build only) ...or better yet, reclaim whatever you can from old unloved objects! For instance - some old landline telephones can be a great source for piezos, and potentiometers can be found in a wide range of old electronics hardware. So have at it! ...and if you have any questions you can always hit me up in the comments section of my tutorial video over on TikTok. Happy building frems!