“The chaos is the music, the seed of all new music”: Say hello to the gadget that can ‘play’ any electrical device

Eternal Research Demon Box
(Image credit: Eternal Research)

It sounds like a musician’s dream: a new device that turns electronic magnetic fields (EMFs) into weird, freaky, demonic sounds.

It’s called the Eternal Research Demon Box and it uses a proprietary system of inductors to translate those EMFs into sound. Stick any electrical device near enough to it and the Demon Box ‘plays’ it. 

A simple tuning fork sounds like a theremin, an electric drill imitates the Aphex Twin. The mere proximity of a smartphone is enough to usher forth the sort of sounds the BBC Radiophonic Workshop once slaved for months over.

A Hidden World Awaits – Eternal Research – Demon Box – Teaser Demonstration Video – Spring 2024 - YouTube A Hidden World Awaits – Eternal Research – Demon Box – Teaser Demonstration Video – Spring 2024 - YouTube
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So what’s the science behind it?

Well, those inductors are placed in a triangular field that translates the electromagnetic resonances of objects into three channels, which allow you to apply panning, phasing and effects layering.

“Stereo is limited, but we can expand on stereo with more than two channels, making a more synaesthetic triphonic feeling sound,” explains one of the project’s engineers, Bryn Nieboer. “Each of the three channels can be modified with one dedicated aux in, with controls that allow the music maker to mix aux in and inductors independently for each channel.”

The Demon Box is compatible with existing audio setups, and features three mono outs plus a MIDI out. It also comes with a USB-C port for audio output and power, and a stereo output that can be used for headphones.

The sky really is the limit. And electronic producers in particular are likely to make a beeline for this gadget.

“Our instruments are for people trying to experience new things,” engineer Alexandra Fierra explains. “The Demon Box is an open palette, and I didn’t want my design decisions to limit people’s view. I wanted to keep the complexity and noise in plain view, so that they can experience these phenomena and realise that the noise can be a good thing. The chaos is the music, or the seed of all new music.”

Eternal Research is an interesting music start-up in that its USP is analogue tech. “The idea that new instruments have to be digital isn’t correct,” argues Fierra. “The analogue world is not maxed out. It’s still unexplored in many areas.”

Electromagnetic fields have long been a source of fascination for the New York-based inventor. “I love learning about the deepest physical properties of things and in things, as a way to embrace the true nature of the world. EMF is all around us. It fluctuates based on temperature. It’s a living thing as well, everything is connected with it. The music is already there, and you can hear it when you put a Demon Box next to fluorescent lighting or a TV or even a traditional synth. This instrument lets us listen in new ways.”

The Demon Box launches this autumn. For more information visit Eternal Research.

Will Simpson
News and features writer

Will Simpson is a freelance music expert whose work has appeared in Classic Rock, Classic Pop, Guitarist and Total Guitar magazine. He is the author of 'Freedom Through Football: Inside Britain's Most Intrepid Sports Club' and his second book 'An American Cricket Odyssey' is due out in 2025