Swarming Music Box

Swarming Music Box


A few years ago, I bought this music box in a museum shop. You can make your own music by punching holes in paper strips, but it is also ideal, for sampling this instrument. I built a resonating body, a wooden box, and added a piezo transducer on the inside just below the music box. I sampled the 15 notes of the music box and the associated mechanical noises (transport sound of the paper strip, sound of the paper strip dropping out of the music box) using a Rode NT-2A microphone and the build-in piezo.

Since some time, I am experimenting with artificial Impulse Responses for use in the Kontakt and Ableton’s Convolution Reverb modules to create swarms and pulse decays. A perfect impulse contains all frequencies from 0-20Khz. When you use this impulse in the convolution reverb you get an exact copy of the original signal. By filtering the impulses the convoluted signal is also filtered.
I generated 21 swarms and exponential decays of impulses using Ableton’s sampler and the Max for Live Granulator II for use in this instrument (“Poor Man’s Swarm”)

You can download the swarm/decay IR files separately from my website.

Walkthrough video:



Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

Incredibly accomplished instrument!

5.0 rating
July 27, 2020

As a dabbler in sampling, this instrument is almost depressingly good! I look forward to using it.

Jeffrey Boult


5.0 rating
June 7, 2020

Incredible programming, GUI, and sampling. Absolutely a keeper!

Jon Manness

Where did that come from?

5.0 rating
June 6, 2020

Love it, very empathic to certain feels, you get the feeling it will lead somewhere quite innocent and then into a diminished mode – the scary thing arrives. If I were scoring something paranormal this would be one of my go to sounds.

Mark Doney-Macleod


A music box as you’ve never heard it before!

5.0 rating
5 out of 5 stars (based on 3 reviews)
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