A Speaker From a Starbucks Cup?

Part of what we at the Science of Music love about DIY electronics is the tinkering aspect of it. It’s the idea that you can take an everyday object and just…flip the script a little bit to create something new entirely. That’s the spirit with which we present this video project.

We looked at a Starbucks cup and, with just some magnets, a coil of wire, some tape we saw how you could “flip the script” to create a working speaker. Plus, it’s a good excuse to get yourself a frappuccino*.

(*Note: not an action we recommend in January. Unless you’re close to or within the Southern Hemisphere. In which case: Hi, can we come visit?)

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The Science of Music’s Secret Origin Story

The truth is, the Science of Music wasn’t always a blog. Or a YouTube channel. And it definitely didn’t start out as a Twitter or Facebook page.

I’ll give you a moment to stifle your gasps.

This project actually began in 2010 as an after school program.┬áThe four-part workshop was presented by NYU MARL’s Science of Music team at the Institute for Collaborative Education (ICE). We had then, as we do now, the same goals of spreading the joys of music and technology far across the land. That will never change.

And now you know our secret origin story. Things will never be the same.

Photos by Eric Humphrey and Pia Blumenthal.

Credits:

  • Editing and Music by Langdon Crawford
  • Produced with support from The National Science Foundation

DIY: Build Your Own Microphone!

This how-to video explains the process of building a dynamic microphone (which, incidentally, can also be used as a loud speaker) from a cup! This rudimentary audio transducer could be used as a quick project for a physics class exploring electromagnetism or an audio technology class exploring transduction. Or you could do it just for kicks.

The fidelity of the completed project is not studio quality (if it was our lives would be a whole lot cheaper), but it’s cool. And on the upside you don’t have to have an EE degree to build it.

Credits:

  • Written and Directed by Travis Kaufman and Nick Dooley
  • Produced with support from The National Science Foundation