Adventures in creating and destroying sounds
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  • 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!!