Adventures in creating and destroying sounds
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  • Circuit bending a Mix Me DJ

    Posted on February 20th, 2009 Bob 5 comments

    1209_audibledisease_mixmedjThe “Mix Me DJ” was another great find! It was not that difficult to bend and the results were great. I basically added a pitch control which can be toggled between being controlled by a knob or by a theremin-like photo eye (a CdS photocell). Also added 1/4 inch jacks for input and output and gave it a nifty paint job making the plain old boring scratch wheel into a super-satanic-scratch wheel! I also added a volume control as this thing was just way too loud and there was no way to control that.

    When the internal clock speed goes too fast, the circuit really starts glitching and making all sorts of mean noises. When first playing around with the device, I was sort of avoiding the sounds generated by the pop-out keyboard but as it turned out, the little keyboard produced some of the sickest sounds!

    There were two fake knobs above the scratch wheel on either side. I cut off the tops of the faux knobs with a hack saw just leaving a ring to mount the real pots into. Nice.

    Probably the hardest thing about modifying this beast was putting everything back in it’s place after the bends were made. If you want to bend one of these, it might be a good idea to jot down some notes on where all the screws, springs, etc. go. You might want to put sets of screws and stuff in their own baggie or envelope or something.

    Watch this neat video:

    Here is a very large image with the bends annotated on the image.
    mixmedj_gutz_withnotes

    Enjoy!!

  • Circuit Bending a Talk ‘N Learn Alphabet

    Posted on February 11th, 2009 Bob 1 comment

    talknlearnalphabet_frontI picked up a Talk ‘N Learn Alphabet at my local rubbish store. After opening it up and prodding around for a bit, I found 2 really good bends. I also added a 1/4 inch output jack to plug directly into other effects, an amp, etc.

    One of the bends is a pitch control. I used a 250k pot with a 470k resistor inline. I also decided to put an inline switch to defeat the bend if the user so chooses. The second bend really glitches and distorts the output sound. This was obtained with a 1M pot with a 220k resistor inline. I also added a DPDT switch which gives the user the ability to route the output to a 1/4 inch jack as opposed to the internal speaker. I had to put a 10 ohm resistor across the output jack leads to dampen the otherwise hot output.

    These two bends alone are worth hours of fun. The vocal sounds sound as if there is a high pitched voice and a lower voice layered on top of each other. With the knob nearest the speaker, you can make the voices really sputter and cough. In “music” mode, the bends make the “songs” just pump out what sounds like random notes.

    Yeah! here’s a video of the Talk ‘N Learn Alphabet in action:

    And here is a BIG photo of the guts with the bends explained:
    talknlearnalphabet_bend_wnotes

    Have fun!!