Soup Can Microphone

What’s more fun than eating soup? We’ll let you think on that one.  But lot of things can happen after eating soup.

Click here for full instructions by CuriousInventor on Instructables.

One of them is making a soup can microphone!

We found these instructions for making a real tin can microphone over at one of our favorite websites, Instructables.com. Maker expert CuriousInventor gives you clear explanations of the steps, plus helpful photos along the way to build a microphone that will give you a retro, lo-fi sound perfect for your new garage band or just giving yourself a bigger way to enter a room.

Look Closer: One of the key parts in this simple electronics projects is called a Piezo element. Piezoelectricity is electricity that results from applying pressure on certain materials.  The piezo element that you use for this project is a sensor that, when pushed by sound waves, creates a changing voltage to power your microphone. You can find a piezo element for about $1.50 online or for around $5 at your local RadioShack. It’s a fun example of a very affordable, easy-to-find part that you can use to make all kinds of fun sound-making projects. Read more of this post

MmmTsss: DIY Sound Looping Software

Kid - Makers, do you want to make some noise but don’t know how to play an instrument?

If you answered YES, may we suggest MmmTsss. 

Don’t exactly know how to pronounce it? Just sound it out slowly, MMM - T –  SSS.   Yes, now repeat it a couple of times, MMMTSSS, MMMTSSS, MMMTSSS. Can you go any faster?  You should sound like you are laying down the beat of a hip hop song!

Developed by the MIT Media Lab, MmmTsss, is free software to make sounds loop, or play over and over again.  All you need is a computer and a microphone.  Sure, it will sound silly at first, but you can layer so many different sounds, in an endless repeat.  You’ll be beat boxing in no time!

Check it out.

To share your experience, or to tell us about musical projects you’d like to learn, email us at  info@makeshopshow.com

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Vegetable Instruments

Image: Nils Jorgensen/Rex Features

Kid-makers, you are never going to believe this. There is a whole entire orchestra that performs music on VEGETABLES. Check out this video , showing the musical makers of the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra choosing their veggies at the market, drilling carrots and radishes to build their instruments, then performing live in a concert hall. Did you know that you could just pull a veggie out of the fridge and make a clarinet, drum or kazoo? This is The MAKESHOP™ Show, so of course we’ll show you how!

Below are videos and instructions to make your own vegetable instruments

Read more of this post

Giant Wooden Xylophone

Kid makers, we know you love GIANT stuff! So we know you’ll get excited by this easy-to-build xylophone made from giant 2′x4′s. Click here for instructions. Hang it from a favorite tree or your bedroom door – we even built one into a bench here in the MAKESHOP™.  Special thanks to Chris Bandy of Bandy Woodworks and his co-hosts in this episode, Asher and Eden!

SAFETY NOTE: This project involves basic hand tools for woodworking, like saws. Ask an adult to teach you as you build together and always be very careful when using tools of any kind. 

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

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