From the Archives – Originally posted on April 26, 2007
A few months back I was out with the family wasting time and money at a local department store when I discovered the Superstar Mic — Amazing Voice Amplifier. “What is that?” you may wonder.. well it’s a plastic tube shaped like a microphone that contains a spring, stretched taut in an echo chamber. When you speak or sing into the open end of the mic you get this sublime spring reverb sound.
Being me, my first thought was “Spring reverb!” and since they were only $1.99 each, I bought six of them. I finally had the chance to finish my first unit today. Since the entire thing was built using stuff I had laying around in the workroom it only ended up costing me the $1.99 that I paid for the mic. Not bad for a spring reverb… even if its not perfect.
I ended up using a standard Dell computer speaker to drive the sound input to the reverb.
After trying a variety of different options, I ended up placing another speaker on the other end to capture the vibrations.
I also placed an old telephone mic behind the input speaker to capture some of the original sound.
The telephone mic and output speaker are wired to the same output jack and there’s a pot on the telephone mic to control how much of that semi-dry signal is mixed into the output.
Next I had to find something in which the whole unit could be housed. I finally settled on a tin that had come with a bottle of Tanqueray.
Of course I neglected to actually check if the tin was large enough before I started mangling it with the drill. And of course the tin was not large enough. Luckily, I had some ductwork around from which I fashioned an extension collar.
And voila! My very own spring reverb. After getting all the hardware mounted I packed every square centimeter with newspaper to dampen the sound (not that it did much, mind you).
Not bad for a first try. Next time I’m definitely going to build an amp for the output because this method requires that I run the output through my compression pedal to crank up the volume, and then that brings the noise floor up to nearly unmanageable levels. But, you live and learn.
Here’s a shot of the Space Synth through the Spring & Juice Verb.
Until next time…