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Get bent...
January 28, 2004 12:04 PM   Subscribe

"Circuit bending is the electronic art of the implementation of the creative audio short-circuit. This renegade path of electrons represents a catalytic force capable of exploding new experimental musical forms forward at a velocity previously unknown. Anyone at all can do it; no prior knowledge of electronics is needed." - Reed Ghazala. More proselytizing from Ghazala, and a LiveJournal for up-to-the-minute advice, feedback and opinions.
posted by jon_kill (20 comments total)

 
Still cool.
posted by ae4rv at 12:15 PM on January 28, 2004


Aw, damn.
posted by jon_kill at 12:19 PM on January 28, 2004


Interesting though, that that was 2 years ago, and only 6 people commented, most of whom are no long regulars.

I'm not defending my double post... it just seems that maybe the new 10000+ members could discuss it now.
posted by jon_kill at 12:21 PM on January 28, 2004


Oooh...

I'm always tempted to try this, but haven't had the money lately.

More here.
posted by drezdn at 12:48 PM on January 28, 2004


cool, inspiring stuff! the livejounal is particularly interesting.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:50 PM on January 28, 2004


Fun but it can be potentially fatal, especially with older equipment which is run at higher voltages and doesn't have the same build quality as modern stuff. The guy in the first link appears to have circuit-bent a classic vintage synth for example - don't do that.

The toys are the best way forward.
posted by Spacelegoman at 1:07 PM on January 28, 2004


Cool. I love this stuff. And thanks for the tablehooters link, drezdn.
posted by carter at 1:15 PM on January 28, 2004


Fun but it can be potentially fatal, especially with older equipment which is run at higher voltages and doesn't have the same build quality as modern stuff.

Which is why most benders and articles about bending say never do it to anything that's not battery powered.

I slightly bent a Kawasaki toy keyboard, the results can be found here (yeah, self-link, blah blah). Someday when I have free time (hah!) I might finish the project.

Thanks for the LJ link though :)
posted by Foosnark at 2:54 PM on January 28, 2004


Em411.com also has a forum category dedicated to circuit-bending.

Anyone ever buy a circuit-bent machine from the defunct Tablebeast site (a guy named Jesse from NC)? He doesn't do them anymore, but before he quit experimenting I bought an old Casio SK-1 from him with a 12-hole patchbay which produced some of the sickest, non-synthy sounds ever. Then it died :(
posted by dhoyt at 3:18 PM on January 28, 2004


I've only dabbled in circuit bending, but the practice fascinates me. A friend of mine runs Sonic Unorthodoxy, and has some definitely interesting pieces of equipment.

Oh, and let's not forget Dave Wright's Carrion Sound and his music, Not Breathing.
posted by angry modem at 3:19 PM on January 28, 2004


There's also the yahoo group. Though you have to become a member (free) before you can read the archives.
posted by O9scar at 3:35 PM on January 28, 2004


(yeah, self-link, blah blah)

Self-links are usually ok within threads.
posted by drezdn at 3:40 PM on January 28, 2004


try this lj group instead, its much more active.

as for the thing about only messing with battery powered toys, FEH! voltage is important, not the source of power. don't muck with anything more than 12v, and you'll be fine. you can get this info from the wallwart.

for those interested in getting into this hobby, i wrote a brief and stoned howto for one of the kids on the previously mentioned lj group. i did it in about 20 minutes, haven't spellchecked it, or done any grammatical work since, nor do i plan to. it'll help get you started though.
posted by onedarkride at 6:22 PM on January 28, 2004


Huhuh, "feedback..."
posted by NortonDC at 7:51 PM on January 28, 2004


While circuit-bending sounds cool in principle, it usually lacks in practice. Random noise != art OR craft.
posted by starkeffect at 8:24 PM on January 28, 2004


voltage is important, not the source of power. don't muck with anything more than 12v, and you'll be fine.

No, the current is what's important. A car battery can easily kill you, and it's only 12V.
posted by kindall at 8:46 PM on January 28, 2004


starkeffect: go listen to not breathing. go listen to meat beat manifesto. i do this primarily to get new samples. a lot of the stuff that comes out of these isn't exactly reproducible, as you're basically short-circuiting everything. random shit happens. funny noises come out. you record them and reuse them.

and anyone who has ever sat with a soldering iron for 6 or 7 hours working on an sk-1, such as myself, is likely to smack the shit out of you if you say that to your face. its not exactly a random process, despite the anti-theory bullshit. you do have to have some fundamental electronics experience.

kindall: i know, but for the sake of what to try to circuit bend, 12v will not harm you at all.
posted by onedarkride at 9:30 AM on January 29, 2004


onedarkride, your statement is just wrong. Amperage kills, not voltage.
posted by NortonDC at 6:55 PM on January 29, 2004


onedarkride, your statement is just wrong. Amperage kills, not voltage.

I think from reading the statement above, he means that most 12v or lower instruments won't have enough current going through them to do much harm.
posted by drezdn at 7:31 PM on January 29, 2004


I knew someone who did live "underground" performances of some really trippy electronic music in the New England area (goes by Obis Cygma if anyone recognizes the name)... he had a few circuit-bent Speak & Spell and Speak & Math units he'd use in his music. Got some interesting results out of them. Unfortunately it seems that all the sites that he had MP3s on are down.
posted by CrayDrygu at 1:02 AM on January 30, 2004


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