Beautiful app-controlled mechanical music box extends the range
Back in mid-2020, a project out of Taiwan launched on Indiegogo to produce a gorgeous little mechanical music box that could play tunes loaded in using a smartphone app. Now its makers are aiming for double the fun with the Muro Box N40.
The mains-powered original featured a patented cylinder that could be tweaked using an app so that ridges hit the teeth of a tuned comb to tinkle a selected melody within the confines of a 20-note diatonic range.
As the name suggests, the latest version doubles that range to 40 notes by essentially plonking two units in one box. This means that the Standard model runs to nearly four octaves of whole tones and semitones (though some notes have been excluded).
The N40 comes pre-loaded with 30 complimentary melodies in an editable offline playlist and, as before, the free iOS/Android app can be used to load in songs from the global user community, preview tunes or compose new melodies.
The mechanical music box rocks a zinc-alloy base with maple housing, and now sports a removable lid. The inclusion of 5-pin DIN and USB-C ports allows for direct connection to MIDI hardware for custom song creation, and there's also a 6.5-mm audio output jack connected to a transducer for recording opportunities.
A Sublime version has also been developed, which sports four tuned combs – two on each side of the cylinder so that each note "is played simultaneously by 2 combs (vibration plates) differing by 14 cents." This flagship model features a brass base and is enclosed in a thermally modified acacia box.
Kickstarter pledge levels for the Muro Box N40 currently start at US$972. The usual crowdfunding cautions apply, but if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start from April 2024.
The creators have also developed a battery-powered version of the original Muro Box called the N20 Lite Battery, which won't be added to the campaign as a pledge option until a combined base figure of $660,000 is reached from this Kickstarter and Wabay (in Taiwan).
Source: Muro Box Global