This is basically a giant spring reverb made from 10 Slinkys. I have tried to make the best sounding spring reverb possible. I think I have achieved this but it is probably the most inconvenient effects unit ever made. The reverb time is so long that the springs need damping and I found that the best material for doing this is a slice of cucumber wedged under the end of each spring, other materials like foam or rubber tend to kill all the treble.
Each spring has its own input and output volume control. The springs are powered by 10 separate 10w amps. They are driven by moving magnets, the magnets are tiny 2mm neodymium types, stuck to the springs, the drive coils can be seen on the right of each spring. The pickups are a similar design but in reverse. The outputs of alternate springs are sent to left and right outputs, the stereo effect is quite amazing. The longer springs need to be suspended in the middle with threads, this actually improves the quality of the sound by blocking the low frequencies.
I originally made the pickups without a magnet stuck to the springs. This was so I could rotate the pickup around the springs to vary the tone, the same principle as on an electric guitar, the closer the pickup is to the anchor point (bridge) the brighter the tone. It made a really interesting phasing sound as the pickup was moved, but the output was very low so now I usually use a static pickup with a magnet stuck to the springs.
I used the golden ratio to work out the lengths of the springs, this was to prevent resonances occurring at the same frequencies and at harmonically related frequencies. The quality of the reverb is excellent, as good as a plate but with a different character
Although it is very inconvenient as a reverb, it is very good for making horror sound effects by playing it with a violin bow. This is the only type of sound recordings on this page, I don't have any examples of it being used as a proper reverb.
Please Leave a comment
Date Posted: 22:54, 14 01 2015
Message: Loving these sounds Nick! Just started to dip into your site after Becca showed it to me today. I can tell there's a whole world to be explored in here. I'm also enjoying reading your explanations of how you create this fascinating sound world. Thank you for making it all available for everyone to beome immersed in.
Name: Mattia Giustetto
Date Posted: 21:17, 04 06 2014
Message: what the fuck! i haven't seen something like that in my life! i have an experimental electronic band, and your inventions sound so great! i love your job!
Date Posted: 07:25, 14 03 2014
Message: fantastik website. your work is amazing. im a fan..
Name: Ronan Bellec
Date Posted: 19:26, 10 12 2013
you are crazy .....
Fortunately, humanity has poets like you.
The world suffers from a form of the dictatorship of consensus. The standard is there a good for the world?
continue to produce these wonderful machines ......
(NICK vous êtes complètement fou.....
Heureusement que l'humanité possède des poètes comme vous.
Le monde souffre d'une forme de dictature du consensus,
Le standard est t'il un bien pour le monde ?
continuez de produire ces merveilleuses machines......)
Name: Vincent Bakker
Date Posted: 02:59, 03 11 2012
Message: Great work! This kind of stuff has interested me since my childhood, and the slinky reverb is simply geniuous! Maybe you are interested in looking into convolution reverbs and put some stuff up for other soundfreaks to use your unique reverb's sounds!
Date Posted: 15:37, 14 09 2012
Message: Using cucumber as a damping material is inspired genius. You are a legend.
Fantastic website - keep on journeying through the sonic realm.
Date Posted: 09:36, 15 06 2012
Message: he crazylegsnick of course you´re NOT mad, this is a totally reasonable work in a world of madness and also a brilliant work, like most of your other stuff!
this is so passionate and inspiring to me, thanks!
life seems to be so short, it´s just mad to waste it with doing, what you´re expected to by people...
and after some time, if it is "safe to", people are usually loving this ahh...art? i´m too! (:
Name: Judy Smith
Date Posted: 02:59, 13 03 2012
Message: Hey Nick,
It's John's mom. I was just asking John the other day if he had heard from you. Nice to see you are keeping busy.
Name: Bloody Martyr
Date Posted: 23:21, 18 01 2012
Message: Cucumber eh? Well who'd have thought of that? You're as mad as a toothbrush and brilliant! :~}
Name: Holy Roller
Date Posted: 23:39, 02 01 2012
Message: Hello. I noticed you said that you used the golden ratio to create the condition of which resonances would not produce the same frequencies and or at harmonically related frequencies. Let me suggest that you come up with a mechanism to to make it so that will happen. So you can play reverb at one frequency and then play another slinky with the violin bow. Or just add another slinky to it of the same length.
Anyhow here is me check out my page, come back when I got something more interesting.
Name: jester mclarpet
Date Posted: 01:45, 19 09 2010
Message: Truly amazing sound effects !
It would be so good with Nightmare on Elm Street or Hellraiser.
Date Posted: 11:33, 11 08 2010
Message: This is amazing !
Date Posted: 18:34, 24 07 2010
Message: I think you are mad but this looks amazing and I would love to own it.
Date Posted: 11:35, 08 12 2009
Message: That is an amazing instrument. Something I would definately never think of building purely because of the difficulty involved haha.
Date Posted: 03:21, 27 02 2009
Message: Thats..the most wonderful sounds ive EVER..heard...
Date Posted: 23:43, 24 10 2008
Message: Maybe you could use yarn woven between the springs(like a clavinet) to dampen the reverb?
Date Posted: 01:17, 15 06 2008
Message: That my freind sounds like the devils organ, literaly the weirdest thing ive ever heard. but still fascinating.