Our digital world tends to accumulate layers of detritus, much of it banal remains – orphaned cords and power adapters. And then there are cheap computer speakers, which you might think have achieved some sort of means of asexual reproduction. They’re everywhere: on shelves, in closets, given away, left on the street.

It’s time to look at them another way. Grab that cord dangling from the back, and plug it into the front. Result: instant feedback loop, a zero-input sound system. Okay, yes, a simple idea – but that’s the beauty of sound, making noise with simple ideas.

Moscow-based Alexander Lakein sends us the quick video he made to inspire his studios. I love all the glitchy rhythms. Enough careful listening and twisting of that volume knob, and even this basic feedback can yield entire tracks.

Now, in the video, we wind up at a store buying a speaker, but see the opening sentence — this is a perfect chance to instead rescue some refuse.

And, of course, this idea can lead you to plenty of others. And to think, we keep spending all this money on computers… hmmm…

Ce n'est pas un haut-parleur. It's a synth. Photo (CC-BY-SA) LividFiction.

Ce n’est pas un haut-parleur. It’s a synth. Photo (CC-BY-SA) LividFiction.

  • Jérôme LeBel

    You should check Chipcrusher:

  • nayseven

    Ha ha, love it , specially the end. Invite some friends, go to the store and create the first noise store party ! ( you can also have fun with a Universal TV remote : oops, all TV down… 😉

  • a

    this is also why (cheap) old samplers are still fun!

  • Zach Mahalo Collins

    This seriously warrants an article?

    • Chad Eby

      Nope. Playfully warrants one.

  • bre

    it’s called no-input music

  • Foosnark

    No-input chains of effects in VST hosts are fun too. DAWs don’t generally allow it, but the Senderella plugin lets you get away with it. Put one instance in receive mode, some other effects, and one instance in send mode.

    The “some other effects” should include a limiter or clipper, and something noisy enough to provide an impulse.

    At least in FL Studio, it behaves completely differently (and generally better) in live preview than attempting to render it offline.

  • steve

    This won’t work with my logitech speakers. It’s just a matter of pluggin the speakers cord into the headphone jack, right? what could I be doing wrong…

    • steve

      Yeah I have tried this with a couple of different speakers and none of them work> I assume that there is a circuit meant to protect the speaker from this kind of feedback. I’ve been too lazy to actually take them apart and see.