August 14, 2007

Making Your Own Cardboard Synthesizer / Using Recycled Materials

We've had quite alot of interest in our simple saw theremin! That makes me very happy because it is so simple and anyone can do it.

We often think of things to create for fun and it makes use of things lying around the flat which is another philosophy (for lack of a better word) we live by.

Another similar project is the ‘Your First Synth’ shown here via Music From Outer Space that John found for me in March. This is the perfect weekend project and not very expensive to make. Below is what I've written about previously on my other blogs.

"A wonderful little project that John and I did while both sick. It took us only a few evenings, a couple bottles of wine and lots of eye squinting soldering.

The total price is only (approx.) 30 Euros to make. We used recycled cardboard for the case, a makeup compact mirror, paint, glue and leftover foam to mount the proto board securely. The case is secured by Velcro strips in case I want anything changed or want to re-use any parts."

We then had to test for sound. For such a simple build, it sounded pretty good.

"The sound is fantastic and very solid, versatile. Once we hooked up some of John’s other pedals and micro synthesizer, we could make really intense and varied beats and rhythms."

We fortified the panel with a spray vinyl normally used for acrylic and oil paints, this seems to work fine with wood surfaces too. This finish is semi-glossy , whereas you have matte, glossy and grainy textures you can add. This all can be found in any art store.

"Added a final paint job under the mirror with some collage and scratches to finish the synth. John added an LED light for the power on/off for me and fixed the left side switches because they were placed in reverse." I also found a very tasteful nude which I embedded on the front panel, using the compact mirror to obscure the naked bits. ;-)

I think cardboard is a wonderful material to work with and still want to make another more complicated version in cardboard casing. It's cheap, versatile and easy to store or transport. We're big fans of cardboard furniture or anything using recycled materials. Here are some additional photos of design projects using recycled materials, that I took at a design biennale, so you can see for yourself.

Related Links:
'Your First Synth' via Music From Outer Space
More Photos of Our Cardboard Synth
Our Simple Saw Theremin
Building With Cardboard via BuzzFeed


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