Steampunk Aural Enhancer.




About: I recycle trash into something wonderful.

Found in an antique shop, this was used to change the mood of people around you. Certain sounds when played by this device will make people break out on song and dance.
During WWI the allies used these devices to pacify their enemy.

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Step 1: Download Vintage Recordings, and Get a Portable Speaker System.

The width of the speakers will determine where you need to drill the holes for your speaker horns.
I found this speaker system at a dollar store, the speakers are just under two inches apart.

I wanted to play sounds from the first era of recordings. I downloaded a bunch of recordings from the cylinder preservation project, Songs from the right era add to the effect I wanted.

Your software and audio player will vary, and you'll know how to download music to your player.

Step 2: Foamy Goodness.

I placed foam inside the wine box, to hold the iPod and speakers. When the lid is down, the silicone hugs the speakers. The sound does come out the horns, and the sound that leaks inside gives a warm tone to the "tinny" horns.

I recommend you all run out and start scavenging parts. I'd love to see what the rest of you come up with.

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    21 Discussions


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Great looking device. There was one at Seattle's Steampunk University last year that played 19th century music via wifi.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Neato. Though mine hardly competes with that. ha ha

    I am working on another right now using bicycle horns. I'll have to post that one too once its done.


    10 years ago on Step 2

    i would do that with an old plastic car horn i have, but paint them silver or something

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    I listened to some of the old recording from the site you recommended. I found them quite interesting. They seem to have quite an effect on my mood as you discribed in the intro. I found an Instructable on here last week concerning a brainwave generator. The link is to the download. It has made me wonder what they may be doing to the music of today, as this generator can produce waves that which are carried on audio frequencies below our hearing range. Very few recording of music from present day have been able to stir the emotion of those old recording.

    Thank you for the tunes.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    so for now it's just an instructable on how to put an mp3 player into a box?? im tired of the steampunk thing, but i like the way your design came out, and the concept is cool. i love old warbly scratchy music. You may have inspired me to take my 9 dollar childs acoustic gtar, distress it, add an mp3 full of old delta blues, and put an old looking speaker (or horn like you) in the soundhole. Just to be cute, ya know?

    1 reply

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Steampunk is a culture extension like any other. Personally I love it. The instructable has a nice look to it, but it could use a little fleshing out. You would get better sound transfer if you were to use flexible cones inside that fit over each speaker and attached to the bottom of the horns. Overall, its not a bad project but could have used some extra attention to detail. Steampunk is all about the era of "brass, wood, leather and glass, when things were powered with water as a gas and while all of this look meets tech out the a..hem." Mauthen Rheust, A Steampunk Revolution Keep at it, the original series, "Wild wild west" which the will smith movie was based off of had a lot of steampunkish feel to it. I wonder if anyone has thought of rebuilding an I-Pod into an old English pewter snuff tin with brass accents? Fuzzy

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the sound transfer tip! I've got a long cold winter ahead, and can now spend more time fleshing it out.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    If I remember correctly, there was an episode of the Twilight Zone centered around just such an aural enhancer, used to affect people's moods and "remove their mask." Nice design!

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    That looks really good. Can you control the ipod with the box closed?