A Marvelous Hand-Cranked Conveyor Belt That Uses Marbles in Groups of Eight to Create a Steady Beat

In 2016, we wrote about an amazing hand-cranked instrument that uses 2,000 marbles to make music, which was created by Martin Molin of the band Wintergatan. Since that time, Molin and a team of experts have created a number of instruments, including a marvelous hand-cranked marble conveyor belt known as “Marble Machine X”. This percussive instrument releases eight marbles per crank that are driven by ratchets and pistons that organize and create a steady beat.

The pistons are connected to the crankshaft with a 2:1 gear reduction which means that the conveyor belt goes in time with the music and in half time. I can even use the mechanical sounds from the ratchets and the marbles climbing the fish stair to create parts of the beats.

Marble Conveyor Belt

Molin kept fans up to date with the instrument’s progress with an incredible series of 78 videos, from start to finish. Here are just a few.

via Mike Shouts

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.