“Silent shamisen” test


#1

Hello

Here the video of my “silent shamisen” in action:
Silent shamisen test

Don’t shoot the player, a piece still quite raw…

Still experimenting with pickup to get the best sound.
So, On this video it is just the shamisen sound, no amplification.


#2

There’s a pickup in/behind the dou?


#3

Yes, round black thing on the photo.
Need good preamp for proper sound.
But on the video there is no amplification. Just the strings and the mesh sound.


#4

How did I miss that? :woman_facepalming:t2:

It sounds quieter than “normal” to me however that’s based on video playback through a speaker. How does it sound to you?


#5

I would say 20% of normal sound level


#6

Maybe even less. Need to check with acoustic pressure level meter.


#7

Just checked with the sound meter.
Normal shamisen: 100db!
Kyle was not joking about ear plugs.
Silent shamisen: 88db

12 decibel difference is an equivalent of 4 times reduction of the sound level.
So, 75% reduction of SPL it is.


#8

Here is my “silent shamisen”. I saw your post so thought I’d take a video and share it with you.

Its a skin that was on a broken snare drum I got from Hard Off for ten bucks. I don’t know how to measure dB, but essentially when recording my normal shamisen at -18Db, this one will sit around -30dB. Its very quite but sounds awful lol.


#9

Sound is not that bad actually. How did you get it tensioned and what glue you used?


#10

I just tuned the snare as tight as I could (with my hands, may be if i used a drill I could have tuned more but I don’t know if that would break it) then glued the dou directly onto the snare drum. After that I just cut it out with a pen knife. The glue is an epoxy because the snare skin is mylar. I’m afraid of the pain in the ass that’s going to be come time to remove it…


#11

You can do the same with the skin I suppose.


#12

I was actually considering it… if i use a thick skin like fiberskyn it might actually work out OK, except its literally impossible to tune the head so I wouldn’t want to do it on a shamisen I care about the sound on.


#13

I see. I am in the process of building an “adult” version of the stretching machine with ability to fully pre-stretch the skin before lifting the dou up. Full metal, toggle clamps, individual adjustments for each clamp and etc. Same like pro shops using currently. So I should be able to deal with any kind of skin by the end of the year.
I am quite interested to try Fiberskyn 3 Drum head as the skin replacement as well as ballistic nylon (I suspect this is the closest material to Fibersen if not the same).


#14

Very excited to see your build when its done!