Circuit Bending.

Because I haven’t.

what is it?

Adding extra wires and control surfaces to toys and other battery-operated noisemakers in order to make them make weird sounds.

I bought a bunch of stuff to get started with it about year ago but I lost my workspace I had set up to work on it.

oooohhhhhhhh, sounds like fun.
Is it possible to alter an electrical signal by passing the signal through different mediums? e.g >> putting one end of a guitar lead into a guitar, dropping one end into a fishtank, get another lead, drop that in too, but connect the other end (of the 2nd lead) up to an amp. I know it sounds like im just trying to blow everyone up, but im actualy being serious. Maybe it just acts like a filter, and lowers the voltage or something.???

You could try it and find out. I suspect that the amount of current you’d get through the water would not be powerful enough to drive the amp, but who knows.

Make sure you only use a battery-operated amp. Never ever use wall voltage when experimenting with electricity.

damn…too late. I stuck my knob in the guitar amp to see what it would sound like.Sounds like pain.

Thats going on my next album :lol:

Thats pretty much what I was thinking.

I suspect going to carboot sales and finding broken synths and such would be a fun addition to circuit bending?

Typically, “circuit bending” consists of taking a gadget that already works and getting it to fuck up by randomly fucking around with the circuit board and then locking in the weird noises you find by soldering on a wire. Usually you get the best results by depriving a timing circuit of its expected voltage, making the thing start stuttering and playing its sounds out of sync and at different pitches.

The problem with finding a broken synth and “bending” it (really it would fall more under the category of “hardware hacking”) is that you have to understand how to fix a synth in order for that plan to work. Circuit bending as it is usually understood produces a lot of dead toys and a couple that are now making cool sounds. It’s an intuitive process, not an analytical one. A synth that doesn’t make a sound can’t be bent easily.

i have few things lying around, i wonder what i can come up with.

Yes I have circuitbent many old keyboards and children’s toys. Basically you open up an old casio or random keyboard or noise-making children’s toy and make random connections on the circuit board until you find ones that produce interesting glitchy results. You then mark these connections on the board until you have a few that you want to keep. You then solder wires for these connections on the board and run them to either switches or potentiometers or etc. that you then mount in the casing of the device. This allows you then to basically switch on and off the “glitch” to control when you want the noise to change. You can run these “bends” as they’re called to other things as well including other circuit boards, for example the one in a nintendo or atari controller, or patch bays like on old modular synthesizers, or solar cells for controlling the bend with your hand’s shadow like a potentiometer, or even “body contacts” which are literally just metal objects that allow the circuit’s current to run through your body which acts as a human resistor. Never circuit bend with wall powered devices; use only battery powered devices! It is dangerous if you do not follow this rule! It is also highly suggested to install a kill switch between the battery pack and the rest of the circuit board. This allows you to quickly cut the current going into the board in the case of the board overloading and possibly permanently frying. Popular devices that are commonly circuit bent are old casios especially the SK series, Texas Instrument Speak and Spells/Speak and Reads/Speak and Maths, V-Tech keyboards and toys, and FisherPrice toys. For the best info on this subject I would suggest It has in depth info on all aspects of circuit bending.

Yes, but you would really want to split the lead and use two fishtanks so as not just to make a short circuit. Oh and if you’re using gold plated plugs you should use goldfish.

circuit bending is fun. unfortunately, most modern toys circuits are hidden in a tiny chip under a black blob. meaning you can’t get at the fun stuff as easily as you could with say, a speak and spell. i have two bent speak and spells, (one with midi retrofit) and to be honest, i’m quite bored of their sounds. …i wonder how much i could sell them for?

most toys can at least have the clock resistor replaced with a pot to speed/slow them.

here’s a cheap “all in one video game” thing that i bent with an audio input driving the glitch. excuse the crap video/commentary.


now that is trippy.Deadly

hey slippy, irish renoise bod eh? i’m in dublin…

out in the shtix, galway. Im a halfbreed. My ol fella’s a rebel. My mother is a black n tan. ;) Renoise makes me horny.

This is amazing! Really love this track! And the video… get the rebel songs out boys!