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:



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

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  1. Kontakt


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