The Spook-a-Phones

spook-hamburg-biancaThere’s something inherently tempting about a proper challenge. Besides obviously wanting to do something there is the excitement of wondering how you can manage it which turns into a gentle worry when you are half way through.

The Spook-a-Phones of course was a truly trying project. And not as simple as first hoped. I (Keith) had originally thought of it some time ago as I was always a massive fan of DM’s metal bashing era. Its when they stood out the most and of course the pont at which they gained a lot of credibility for looking to the real world for sounds rather than going to well used sound libraries that their counterparts did.

Set 1

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Set 2

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We considered all sorts of ideas on this including insulation board and hinged/collapsible ones that would fit in flight cases. Regardless the problems remained.

  • how to ensure when you hit one pole that it doesn’t trigger the others
  • how to make sure they don’t slip
  • how to mount the transducers
  • how to mount it on a stand and
  • how to get the sample from the computers to fire when you hit the pole.

The spook-a-phones we constructed over three weekends and 2 days from 40mm poles sprayed white, custom acrylic discs and a series of plastic supports. Numerous weekends and trips to Maplins and RS components later and bags of female jack sockets, wires and transducers. ….. and we had working spook-a-phones.

To take them live the three needed to be re-assessed and the transducers re-mounted inside the tubes. This plan even involved drilling the poles only 2 hours before stage time.

Rock ‘n Roll.