Squeal & Scrape was put together as a workshop project that had a low number of parts that could be expanded with ease and could also be used to supplement to other creations.
The circuit is a remake of the ‘smokey amp‘ (advertised in guitar magazines during the 1990s). A very small battery powered amplifier. The circuits were packaged in cigarette boxes.
This version of the circuit creates a usable (albeit distorted) amplifier which when paired with a piezo disc at eh input can become an enjoyable toy for exploring surface textures in the environment, it can also serve as a tool for investigating vibrations transmitted through materials; showing how sound changes when it travels through solids and liquids in comparison to gasses (the ‘sound in air’ which we are most familiar with).
The instrument is very useful in demonstrating the concepts of signal, feedback and noise which are useful in understanding general system behaviour.
Because of it’s simplicity it can be built and used quickly. This can be satisfying for novices as a large number of novel results can be produced with ease. The musical potential of this device is also of use to more experienced players who can use prior knowledge to produce more or less stable and controllable sound output.