Tag Archives: instrument

The Apprehension Engine – an instrument for generating sounds for horror movies, designed by composer Mark Korven (who was tired of digital sampling and wanted something more experimental and acoustic) and constructed by guitar maker Tony Duggan Smith. Korven sez:

A normal instrument, you are playing it and expecting it to have a sound that is pleasing but with an instrument like this, the goal is to produce sounds, that in this case, are disturbing.

Here’s the full effect…



Artisan/engineer Jon Jones’ WheelHarp is a full-scale chromatic instrument inspired by the hurdy-gurdy.

Pressing on the keys moves one of 61 strings toward a rosined wheel. The right pedal controls the speed of the motor turning the wheel. The left is a damper. There are electromagnetic and a piezoelectric pickups to control amplification.

It’s quite the orchestral thing of beauty. It makes lovely sounds.

And for ten grand, you can have the entry-level version.



Waterphones – invented and patented by Richard A. Waters (what are the chances?) are more than mere musical instruments. They’re:

‘…stainless steel and bronze monolithic, one-of-a-kind, acoustic, tonal-friction instruments that utilize water in the interior of their resonators to bend tones and create water echos. In the world family of musical instruments, the Waterphone is between a Tibetian Water Drum, an African Kalimba (thumb piano) and a 16th century Peg or Nail Violin.’

Made-to-order originals cost between $1000 and $2100.

Ownership does not guarantee a career in horror movie SFX and/or popularity at hipster gatherings.