The megaphone, or "conical" shape, used to be the crux of the the recording business. Early recording devices used "horns", as they called them, to capture and project sound. The size, shape, and material of the horns determined the frequency response and volume of record and playback. If you have a megaphone, or a suitable substitute, you can use it to great effect in this non-horn-needing age.

Megaphone As Projector

  1. Sing into this end.
  2. Play kazoo, harmonica, and other instruments with narrow or highly localized sound-emitting areas. The more narrow the area, the less bleed around the outside of the megaphone.
  3. Place a tiny speaker right up to the mouth — headphones will work.


Try a few different microphones at different distances and angles.

Microphone Note:

If you use an omni-directional or figure-eight pattern on your microphone, try placing it between the megaphone and a highly reflective surface. This will double the "funk".


Try lining the inside of your megaphone with different materials. You can use aluminum foil, ceramic tile, wood paneling, etc.

Megaphone as Funnel

  1. Sing into this end.
  2. Play multiple instruments. 
  3. Play instruments with wide sound-emitting areas.

An Aside:

Copy your favorite song onto your recorder off a CD, LP, whatever. Then, with the original as a guide, start reproducing all of the instruments and vocals that make up the original. Try to emulate the tone and feel exactly. It's hard to do, but you'll learn a lot.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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