Parabolic Microphone

Reporting from Vancouver today with something I’ve never seen before – a 5 gallon bucket parabolic microphone!

I stared awestruck at this proud recording equipment today, cursing myself for not bringing a camera. This would have been the first bucket parabolic microphone on the internet.

What is a Parabolic Microphone?

A parabolic microphone looks like a satellite dish. It’s primarily used to collect and amplify ambient noise, such as the stadium noise being collected here.


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In the well-known science fiction novel Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the Earth is blown apart to make way for a space freeway. When the space demolition team notified the earthlings of their upcoming doom, they use an advanced sound amplifying technology that turned every flat surface on earth into a sounding board, allowing them to broadcast to every human simultaneously.

rock-it-speakerOften, our actual technology catches up quickly with our science fiction technology. This sound reproduction technology first published by Douglas Adams is the latest scifi dream become reality.

This is the OrigAudio Universal Vibration SpeakerIt claims to “turn ANY object into a speaker.” Here’s Five Gallon Correspondent Jeremy Cook testing it out on a 5 gallon bucket. Continue reading

Bass Guitar

Everyone whose hit the bottom of a five gallon bucket has probably noticed that they make pretty good drums, due to their excellent resonanating qualities. With a little bit of creativity, you can use these qualities to your advantage in the creation of a functional musical instrument!

A variation on the “washtub bass,” the five gallon bucket bass uses common hardware to turn a five gallon bucket into a stringed musical instrument!

For full instructions on building your own, visit the Washtub Bass site.

And finally, here’s a guy who built an electric guitar out of a five gallon jerry can – he’s pretty talented with it too!