I’ll confess to being a raving fan of producer/engineer Sylvia Massy, who comes up with clever and frequently wacky techniques to get something new in a recording. She created the “potato filter” – a potato wired in series with the speaker leads of an instrument amplifier – to create an unusual sound effect. I tried it and made some measurements in the shop to try to figure out what it does and what it might be good for. Read my somewhat technical and somewhat whimsical lab notes here.
Try it yourself if you dare, and drop me a note and tell me what you think.
One caution – if you’re using a tube amplifier (try it first on a solid state amplifier if you have one) – start off with the volume control, or master volume if the amplifier has one set to minimum and turn it up very carefully. You won’t blow a speaker, but I won’t be responsible if you blow an output tube or, worse, transformer.