Leaf Audio presented this year at Superbooth the Microphonic Soundbox, a new experimental wooden instrument that invite musicians to create soundscapes. It’s not a traditional electronic music making device but an acoustic instrument with different elements. It includes metal springs, metal rods, sand paper and a Kalimba made from carbon strips. Playable is this instrument in many different ways. Per example, you can use a bow to create new sounds with it.
To record the sounds from the Microphonic Soundbox, this instrument features 2 internal contact microphones and two battery powered low noise-pre-amps (~100x Gain). For a price of 149€ (DIY) or 199€ (already built), musicians receive here a complete different and affordable experimental instrument. This new release is not the perfect instrument for experimental musicians but also a fantastic sound design playground for every music maker. In my opinion, a very interesting new instrument that can convince me completely
The Microphonic Soundbox is an acoustic wooden experimental instrument, which perfectly integrates in any audio setup to create interesting and otherworldly soundscapes. It comes prepared with metal springs, metal rods, sand paper and a Kalimba made from carbon strips, but it can easily be extended with any other found materials. It can be played in many ways by scratching, bowing etc. to create totally unique sounds. It’s the perfect sound design tool – be creative!
It features 2 internal contact microphones and 2 battery powered low noise pre-amps (~100x Gain), both signals can be mixed together and sent to the mono out as a line level. Inserting an external signal to the input will switch off the first internal mic and use the external signal instead, what also makes it a platform for amplifying and mixing external Hi-Z signals. It’s standing on soft rubber feet, which guarantee a good grip on most surfaces, and also do some acoustic decoupling.
Standalone it’s already fun, but it’s whole potential is unveiled when it’s being processed in realtime by livesampling, loopers and effects like in our video. For getting you started, we provide a Live-Set for Ableton as a free download. You can also interact with modular gear and use it as a trigger or create sound spectrums to use with modules like Clouds. Possibilities are endless and we are looking forward to see what people will do with it.
The Microphonic Soundbox is available as a DIY kit or ready built version. All parts and wood glue are included, you will need some additional tools. We recommend to additionally buy the violin bow and rosin for being able to play it properly. You can download a Live-Set for Ableton 9 here to get started with performing with the box. It’s exactly the Live-Set we used in the video. The assembly manual will be available soon, we’re still working on that. DIY level: medium. You have to assemble some electronics, as well as wood parts and mechanical parts. It is not complicated but every step has to be planned and thought through, if you are not sure that you can make it, please buy the ready built one.
If you want to know more about the Leaf Audio developers, check out this amazing german documentary about both guys.
The Leaf Audio Microphonic Soundbox is now for 149€ (DIY Kit) and 199€ (Ready Build)
More informations here: LEAF Audio Microphonic Soundbox