EDM.com Spotlight

EDM.com Spotlight

The Most Terrifying Instrument or One of the Most Innovative?


It is being dubbed the most horrific instrument of all time and surely the name it’s been given makes you well aware of this fact. The Apprehension Engine, engineered by Canadian guitar maker, Tony Duggan-Smith, could be called a thing of nightmares but if you look closely at what is truly going on in this contraption, it’s a mad work of art.

Created by Duggan-Smith for film score composer Mark Korven, who scored the film, “The Witch,” the Apprehension Engine may be setting a new standard in horror films. While instruments such as the theremin have long had a history in the genre, innovations such as these are prime examples of the continuous discovery of sounds in strange places, especially beyond the more contemporary digital synthesis that more and more musicians these days have made themselves accustomed to.


The build itself seems simple, but the mechanism as a whole works together to get some truly eerie results. The instrument consists of four metal rulers of different lengths in the front, which can be plucked or bowed as demonstrated in the video, a very fascinating crank on the side that turns a wheel that rubs against two tightened strings that when pressure is applied to the strings it yields some sonically fascinating results (this is where you’ll see the influence of guitars,) two rods up top which slap against the wood frame, next to this there seems to be a magnet that is dragged around that manipulates whatever may be inside, and many other musical capabilities that come together in unison with truly emanating reverberation.


It’s a brilliantly fascinating idea and if released to the public someday, could yield even more creative results as this is an instrument that could be applied to any musical endeavor to add a completely different layer of mysticism and suspense. Be sure to watch the demonstration below!

H/T & Coverphoto: Electronic Beats