I needed to record some trampoline jumps for the Cirque film and one of the sound effects editors went & got some great material from a big trampoline, but I also wanted to isolate the spring sounds, so we have control over them as a seperate element in the final mix. So I went next door and borrowed this small trampoline from Tom at FUSE Circus…

Trampoline FX recording

Of course I should have realised this beforehand, but after recording spring hits, creaks, bounces etc with my Sanken mic for a bit, I had a little moment of realisation: this thing is basically a complex spring reverb… Being addicted to dub I own a few spring reverbs: an AKG BX5 (with sweepable EQ!) a Vermona Retroverb, Fostex 3180 and the Doepfer A199 Module… Most spring reverbs have two or three springs, but this trampoline has 24! Although they are not soft stretchy springs such as used in a spring reverb it did get me thinking: what if you lay a loud speaker face down on the trampoline and used it as an FX send/return? Hmmmmm…. switches to EBay: searches for small trampolines…
“Honey, why is there a trampoline in the lounge?”

Anyway heres some sounds I recorded, after recording with the Sanken I switched to using a contact mic and Oktava – the sub is phenomenal!!

Trampoline springs by timprebble

When I was recording I got a bit discouraged as my headphones kept rattling & distorting, but it was just bottom end overloading my headphones, not the recording!

There are some sounds amongst the recordings that I just know will make very interesting impulse responses!

13 thoughts on “Springs!

    1. tim Post author

      these bits are excerpts from about 25min of recording… would really love to torture those springs a lot more, but people dont appreciate you returning props broken 😉

    1. tim Post author

      hah! I didnt quite get the old school spring crash sound out of it, but it reminded me of it a few times (love how the Vermona Retroverb has a dedicated crash button!)

  1. Jon Clark

    I did this about 15 years ago with a small trampoline that had been sitting in the weather for a couple of years. I bowed the springs with all manner of bow from a metal file to a real violin bow. Awesome stuff!

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  3. digimonk

    I’ve been looking for this way of recording for a long time. it’s great!
    Do you have any opinion about the contact mic? the modules and brand and experience?

    Thanks a lot! You are brilliant!

    1. tim Post author

      A good contact mic is worth investing in, but a matched preamp is also critical…. I’ve posted here about this before so I wont repeat myself…


      and this:

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