The Apprehension Engine is quite possibly the scariest instrument out there

There are just 127 days until season 2 of Stranger Things hits the ‘flix - that’ll be on Halloween. But if you can’t wait until then to get your scare on, we suggest you sit in a dark room and watch this video - volume on full-blast!

The Apprehension Engine was commissioned by composer Mark Korven, whose work includes scoring for such films as Cube and the award-winning The Witch.

Tired of the same old overused horror sample sets, Korven wanted something a little more bespoke. He commissioned Canadian luthier and friend Tony Duggan-Smith to create a complete one-off electro-acoustic instrument that could scare the pants off people. 

OK, so it’s not exactly chilling to look at, but the Apprehension Engine is fully equipped with some spine-tingling sonic agitation. Four different length steel rulers are attached to the box, which acts as the sound-body, and are amplified with some piezo microphones. 

It also wields two necks, one of which is a two-stringed Hurdy Gurdy affair, while the second features three strings and what looks like a Seymour Duncan single coil Hot Rails pickup which can then be fed into effects such as distortion, as shown here.

The instrument wouldn’t be complete without a spring reverb tank and more metallic objects, including magnets and coiled springs, that all add up to an impressive array of tools to add tension to a score.

While the bowed screeches and twangs of the various metallic objects are all familiar fare in the horror genre, the Apprehension Engine can really throw out some diverse tones, especially when the Ebow is deployed directly on the spring tank - very spooky indeed.

[via Synthtopia]

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