I’ve been thinking of ways that Windhaven could bring more percussion without getting into personnel additions. I’d already bought a stomp box to use as extra percussion, but then it occurred to me that I could use it to trigger my Alesis D4 drum machine. I could use it, for example, to play a bass drum with my foot, adding a much needed extra dimension to our sound. But I started thinking that I want a snare, too. At first I thought maybe Victoria could play the snare to my bass drum. But that seems like it’d be distracting for her. We need her on percussion such as shakers and tambourines. So… clearly, I need another stomp box.
Unfortunately, after the gear we’ve recently purchased, we can’t justify the cost of another stomp box. So I started thinking of building my own (again, to use as a trigger for the drum machine). That led me to a $2 piezo transducer from Radio Shack. Couple that with a $3 1/4″ guitar jack, house it all in a slab of wood taken from the wood pile behind the house, and we’re in business. Not only that, but if it turns out well enough, I might start selling the damned things on eBay.
I’ve also thought of another use for one of these transducers. I’ve never much liked the sound of the pickups on my 12-string electric bass and certainly can’t afford to buy new pickups. The sound I do like is what I hear when I put my ear to the body of the bass while I’m playing it. So what might I hear if I stuck a piezo transducer onto it and amplified it (at least in the studio)? Or, maybe, if I blend that sound with ambience I get while recording the 12-string bass with our Zoom H2 (if it’s loud enough).
If nothing else, it’ll be fun to play mad scientist for a bit. Hey… if it keeps me off of the streets, that’s a good thing, right? At least I won’t be chasing cars for awhile.