Video game composers have to be crafty, because CD-R spindle loaded with unwanted discs into the
every project is a new world with new rules. George basin’s bottom provided a solid base and allowed
“the Fat Man” Sanger, who’s been at the top of the the cups to clear the tone arm.
craft since the Mattel Intellivision ruled the Earth, is By increasing the diameter of the rotor, the cups
crafty indeed. His homemade Leslie speaker — which also heighten the Doppler effect, because the out-he first built out of a punctured paint can and record put ports travel faster. Sanger found that one foot is
player — taps a polyethylene drainage device to get the optimal diameter at standard turntable speeds.
a sound he describes as “one of the most organic, The amp he used is a Vox Brian May Special (about
spacious, and beautiful there is.” $149 new), which has a big sound and a sealed
Invented by Don Leslie (1911–2004), the Leslie back, making it very directional. Its controls are on
rotating speaker defined the sound of the Hammond the top rear, which puts them in perfect operating
organ, becoming a staple of rock, jazz, gospel, coun- position when the amp is face down.
try, and pop music. It’s frequently used on guitars as Next up: Sanger is currently plotting how to make
well. As the speaker spins toward and away from the a Leslie speaker out of a ceiling fan.
listener, the Doppler effect alters the sound’s pitch —David Battino
and timbre, producing a rich vibrato. And the way the
projected sound sweeps around the room? “Man, >> The Fat Man: fatman.com
that is good medicine for the soul,” says Sanger.
To make his desktop Leslie, Sanger used a garage- Hear audio examples at
sale turntable ($5), a 4x1-foot wire shelf ($4), and a
double-outlet catch basin ($7). He then added plastic cups to extend and focus the sound. Inserting a
Photograph by George Sanger