June 18, 2012
by Chris Randall
After several trips to various light industrial zones, wherein pieces of metal and pressure tanks filled with noble (and not-so-noble) gasses were procured, on Saturday I busted out my shiny new MIG welder, and proceeded to go to town.
Emerging some hours later from an enveloping cloud of plasma and argon (the noblest of gasses) with my first Experiment, I stuck this Planar 4000 contact mic to it, and smote it in various ways, with various implements. The first thing I discovered was that this Barcus Berry piano transducer is fucking sensitive. I'm reminded of that section in Cryptonomicon where dude is doing some safe-cracking and builds his own transducer with a piece of carbon and two razor blades. Seriously, I could hear drug mules crossing the border with duffle bags full of Mexican brown-pack 200 miles away.
So, dialing back on the gain a smidge, I determined that the difference between these transducers and the normal little piezo-soldered-to-a-quarter-inch-cable method is quite vast. I was able to easily fill a couple Maschine groups in about 10 minutes time just by gently tapping my contraption (twss) with various pieces of kipple lying about my office (viz. Dr. Pepper bottle tops, paper clips, the little wooden Q-tips you clean tape heads with) with hardly any smiting actually necessary. Which no doubt pleased my long-suffering wife.
In any event, my next Contraption will be a MATG (Mini Anti-Tank Guitar) which I hope to accomplish the minute my back porch doesn't strongly resemble the surface of the Sun. (twss)