Marble machine maker shares bouncing bass build secrets
Last year, artist and musician Martin Molin of the Swedish band Wintergatan shared the results of his mechanical labor of love with the online community – the Musical Marble Machine. A captivating combination of cogs, wheels, pulleys and wood, the hand-cranked music maker quickly became a viral video hit. Now Molin is working on a new version of the machine with a view to taking it on stage, and has shared a video documenting the design and build of the upgraded bass guitar component.
The original Musical Marble Machine featured a Hofner-like electric bass set at an angle to the right, with steel marbles released from above the strings and bouncing off at set intervals to give the tune some low end punch. Birch ply wedge shapes helped guide the falling marbles toward the strings, while Molin fretted the desired notes on the neck.
For the Musical Marble Machine X, Molin is replacing the ply guides with 3D-printed versions and has also determined that the ideal angle for the bass is 25 percent, which he says will help to improve strike accuracy. This is important because the X setup will double the strike channels, meaning that each string could have two balls dropping onto it at the same time or in super quick succession.
Next up for the tour-ready version X are 3D-printed kick and snare drum components. Meanwhile, you can watch the bass module design video below.