2017 Wildwood Spring Rumbler #1

Well, I didn't know what else to call it as that's what it does. It's built for bizarre percussive or "experimental" effects and is equipped with two surplus humbucker guitar pickups that sense five springs of different sizes as their "strings." Because the springs are body sensitive in a microphonic way, one can "play it" like a drum and use all of its sides for different effects. What you use on it changes the tone, too, and in the clip above I didn't really use enough implements to show the range of "percussive" sounds because I didn't want to drag a bunch of nonsense over to my recording desk. You get a sense of the body uses, however, and the cool "atomic bomb" sound of strumming the springs on the inside

One can plug it into a mixer and run it direct and it will sound like a strangely-treated mic with piano wire wrapped around it -- or one can plug it into a guitar amp and really use it. It loves overdrive and lots of gain to get a weird, cantankerous, murderous, oil barrel tone. You can then, of course, play with feedback to your heart's content.

The body, of course, is that metal Bell 1x4 cabinet that's been kicking around forever. The speaker was shot in it so I felt no qualms with turning it into something weird.

500k volume pot... and Switchcraft jack.

Here are the springs and the two humbuckers. These are hot at about 12k or so.

The "ventilation" slats are perfect for guiro effects. The whole body is quite sensitive but you get the most response around where the spring-ends are anchored on the sides. A good, round, "bass drum" effect can be pulled-off by thumping the bottom of the unit with the palm, too.

It was kind of the VT road crews to leave me a photo backdrop, wasn't it?


Christopher Billiau said...

To say, "you're onto something" is an understatement. That is the most interesting instrument I have seen in years. I truly believe there'd be a market for that on Reverb.

Ambrose said...

Sort of. I use one of these, uses piezo instead of humbuckers and certainly doesnt look as cool but more or less the same instrument":

Jake Wildwood said...

Yeah, I'm sure there's tons of weird experimental instruments in the same vein. I always wanted to make this with mag pickups, though, so it could be 100% passive. I'm pretty happy with it!