Wednesday, May 02, 2007

back to the bench, garage, basement?



Have you heard of circuit bending???

I just discovered the term today. I am surprised that this hacking around is so organized and even has a term for it. There was an organized festival on this hobby recently that was featured on rocketboom.

Of course this activity has been around for a long time. I was "circuit bending" I guess when I blew out my first stereo. I was playing around trying to make a light show based on the sound. I didn't know about ground loops or circuit isolation.

People (it does seem to be mostly a guy thing but that will change) have been taking stuff apart since there has been stuff. From what I read so far, most of this is pure playing around without trying to figure out the circuit properties or operation. I agree that is more fun.

Here's what Pete (one of the big names in the hobby ??) wrote on his site:

....making music using a Speak&Spell that he had rewired to create some of the strangest sounds I had ever heard. He told me that he had “no idea what he was doing.” He just randomly soldered points on the circuit board together and it started making weird sounds. I figured I’d give it a shot and was amazed to find that it was really that simple. I didn’t know what I was doing, yet I was getting amazing results. I was hooked.

Luckily (maybe it was fate?) I found an ebay auction for 20 Speak&Spells and I made the investment. About a month later I sold my first Modified Speak&Spell. A few months and a few more sales after that I made a simple website to show off some of my creations and casperelectronics was born.

I worked with the Speak&Spell for about a year and got to a point where I actually DID know what I was doing. I could isolate certain effects and maximize their capabilities but that’s also when I started getting bored. It stopped being about exploration and became more about repetition. I soon found that clients had their own ideas to bring to the table and I started taking great joy in figuring out how to bring their ideas to fruition....




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Well after reading this I might be in the basement taking apart some old toys.

Here's few related links:
instructables
makezine

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where's Gordy?

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