Workshop: Electric Kazoo

Here's another DIY noisemaker -- a cheap US-made plastic kazoo that's been electrified via a K&K Big Shot pickup. There's a good video about how to make an electric kazoo on the cheap(er), and you can simply buy an electric kazoo for $20, but I'm of the opinion that K&K pickups are simply superior and so that's what I use for any bizarre project as they have the advantages of a hot signal and good transparency.

The clip above is with the instrument plugged into my guitar amp and so it's quite colored, but if you want a "traditional" kazoo sound, this works that way plugged directly into a mixer board or "acoustic" amp. While adding some basic effects gives it a funky tone that could be useful for recording or as a base to edit from in recording programs, imagine the chaos and fun that using something like a bit crusher would yield with this.

Duct tape appears to be a kazoo's best friend. I pried the little sticky-backed holder off of the K&K's stick-on jack, glued the sensor over the "tower" of the submarine with super glue, wrapped the extra cable length around said tower, and then taped the jack to the end of the kazoo with it facing away from your face.

The only trick is drilling some new holes in the "tower" to let air escape. If these are not there, the plugged-up "tower" means that the kazoo's resonator/membrane won't vibrate. I drilled four 1/8" holes and that seemed to be enough.

1 comment:

Brad Smith said...

sounds amazing and that green duct tape is way stylish.