Custom Melody Music Box Capacity

Custom Melody Music Box Capacity

In this article, we will discuss the limitations of the 18-Note Windup Type Mechanical Music Box. The one with a winding key, metal drum, and 18 prongs metal comb.

18-Note Windup Type Metal Drum Mechanism

Due to the different Types AND Capacities of music boxes available in the market, a music box arrangement that was made for a different type / capacity won’t sound the same if converted to another; OR it won’t work at all.

Q: What other types of music box are there?
A: 15-Note, 30-Note, Crank type, Crank type with Paper Strip, Digital / Electronic, etc.

Q: Do you have other types of music boxes?
A: While we have different music box models, we only use the 18-Note Windup Type metal drum mechanism.

❗ The 18-Note music box doesn’t have the capacity of a piano or a recorder.

We will need to convert the notes of the requested song, to notes that can be used in the music box. Due to physical limitations, please don’t expect the music box to play the same exact  notes in the song. Or to be exactly the same as the song.

❗ It cannot produce an arrangement made for another type / capacity of music box. We can try to convert to 18-Note, however, it might not sound exactly the same; or it might not work at all. But we’ll certainly try our best!

Q: I saw a music box version on YouTube, since this is in music box format, it will work in your music box, right?
A: If the melody arrangement is for 18-Note windup type, most likely, yes. If it’s for another type of music box, it might not sound exactly the same when converted; Or it might not work at all.

Q: The song that I want is in music box format only. Will this work?
A: If it’s a song that we did previously, we can definitely make it again. If it’s an 18-Note windup type arrangement / melody, then most likely, yes.

But if we haven’t done the song yet, we’ll need to go through the actual conversion process to find out if it works in 18-Note or not.

Since our items are custom made, including the melody, we only start the Conversion process once an order has been placed.

❗ The limitations are physical in nature. These are not rules that are “meant to be broken” nor are they fears that need to be conquered. If we don’t observe these music box limitations, the mechanism will end up broken too.

We appreciate your passion for having your chosen songs transformed into music box melodies. However, we often encounter requests that are not feasible due to the physical limitations of the music boxes. Some customers believe that our reluctance is due to fear of damaging the mechanism or a rigid adherence to rules.

To clarify, this is not about fear of breaking the mechanism or an unwillingness to bend rules. The reality is that certain songs and arrangements simply cannot be adapted to 18-Note music box without risking damage to its delicate mechanism. We strive to fulfill every request, but when a song cannot be converted, it is strictly due to these unavoidable technical constraints.

We understand this can be disappointing and sometimes lead to lengthy discussions, and unfortunately, cancellation. Our goal is always to provide a beautiful, functioning music box, and this means respecting the inherent limitations of these intricate devices. Thank you for your understanding and support. ❤️

Example of songs that doesn't work in 18-note music box

Too many consecutive notes and repeating notes playing

  1. Something Stupid - Frank Sinatra (or other versions)

  2. Sugartime - The McGuire Sisters

Rap, and fast beats

  1. Jumpin’ Jumpin’ - Destiny’s Child

  2. Mocking bird - Eminem

Jazz / jazzy songs, orchestral arrangements, no clear line of base melody, or with overlapping layers of melodies / instruments / vocals / etc.

  1. Max Richter - The New Four Seasons – Vivaldi Recomposed: Spring 1

  2. La Llorona - Beirut

Each song is different. Different arrangements, different notes, etc. There is no quick or exact formula that we can give you to find out if a song will work or not in the music box. What matters is proper spacing and placement of notes (pins) in the metal drum.

Because of this, if we haven’t done the song yet, we’ll need to go through the actual conversion process (Melody Conversion). This is the only way to find out if your song works in the music box or not; and how it will sound like

Q: Can you do the conversion first, then I’ll just pay you if it works?
A: Since our items are custom made, including the melody, we require an order first before starting any of the processes.

Q: Why can’t I just hear the melody sample first, before I decide if I want to order?
A: If it’s a song / melody that we did previously, then we can definitely send you a sample. 

But if we haven’t done the song yet, we won’t have any results to send you unless we convert it. In this case, please place an order so we can try to convert. 😀

Melody conversion is a meticulous process. It takes time, and requires resources and expertise. Hence, the $30 Melody Conversion fee.

Technical Limitations

🎵 The 18-Note windup type mechanism can accommodate 14 - 24 seconds of melody only. The length of melody output varies depending on the amount and type of notes used in the song.

🎵 18 prongs or 18 musical notes are available to play during the course of a melody.

🎵 It can only play up to 18 different notes, within 3 octaves of the song / each other.

🎵 We can't place many consecutive pins (notes) together or too many repeating notes (same note played consecutively), because it will affect sound quality (make loud squeaking, creaking sounds) AND distort / break the mechanism.

🎵 The mechanism can only accommodate a very few amount of long and / or repeating notes; as these require more spaces in between other notes.

🎵 Only 2 notes can play at the same time

🎵 We need the audio file for melody conversion. We won't be able to convert from sheet music.

🎵 Please specify a timeframe on your order. (12 - 24 seconds long only) If unsure, you may send us multiple choices ranked according to preference. That way, if your first choice won't work, we'll try the second one and so on.

🎵 On a full winding, the music box can play 6 - 8 loops of the melody.

🎵 Due to the natural difference between the audio demo (digital) and the actual music box (mechanical), there might be a slight difference on how they sound.

👉 To preview some of our Custom Melody works, please check this page:
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