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The key to a perfect sound

By Gwen Carroll Nov. 10, 2022

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), videos focusing on satisfying sounds, has been rising in popularity on the internet. There are a plethora of genres to choose from, ranging from chewing to rain. Johnson Huynh, Science Department, enjoys typing ASMR, a fondness that bloomed into building mechanical keyboards of his own.

Huynh’s interest in mechanical keyboards sparked three years ago when he bought his first one. Having expected excellent sound feedback, Huynh was disappointed to find the keyboard did not meet his expectations. As he looked into options to make it sound better, he realized that keyboards were extremely customizable. This led him to discover what specific sounds he liked and how he could recreate these sounds using his self-made keyboards, expanding his hobby from buying different materials to include experimenting with assembly techniques.

Building keyboards is time consuming, but Huynh manages to fit it into his schedule. Some keyboards have up to 108 keys that must be individually opened and lubricated. He spends four or more hours just lubricating parts around every other month, though Huynh finds the process soothing rather than boring.

Huynh found a way to work keyboard building into his relationships with others as well. He regularly lets his students try them out and enjoys sharing his hobby with them. Furthermore, he has bonded with his partner over building a mechanical keyboard with them.

“The act of making a mechanical keyboard for someone close to me takes a lot of thought. Keyboard building is something I love to do and I enjoy sharing this hobby with friends. I also give them suggestions on keyboard building. Everyone wants a different sound, so I like helping my friends achieve the sound they want,” Huynh said.

In the process of cultivating his hobby, Huynh discovered an engaged and welcoming community. He is grateful that the environment is experimental and full of love for learning. He also appreciates the options available for experimentation.

“There are as many combinations of keyboard bases, switches and key caps as there are grains of sand on a beach. One of the most interesting parts of building keyboards is that there is always something cool and new to find,” Huynh said.

Especially over the course of the pandemic, people have been searching for ways to ward off the monotony of daily life. Despite the clamor of the world, Huynh makes sure to find time to partake in a soothing hobby to clear his mind.


About the Contributor

Genevieve Carroll

staff writer

Gwen Carroll is a sophomore at Leland High School. She enjoys writing, both as a hobby and academically, and in her free time, likes to cook and study psychology.

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