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Posts by Ricardo Webbens
Four drum pads ready to go.
All made of old material found in the Alt/Lab installations, and a very special big thankxxx for Mónica who brought the casings (we are going back to that in a moment) for the drum pads.
So the idea was to make drum pads that we could hook up to a sound card(or whatever) and them make sweet music, this is a very nice combination between piezoelectric components and a few layers of some absorbent sound material like rubber or cork foil (that’s what we use because there was nothing more) and a piece of aluminum foil for a greater drum area .
We use an old can (20l) of paint, four piezoelectric found in electronic junk like old modems and old telephones, wire for connecting the piezos, cork foil for insulation the drum pad area and Mónica supply the casings (square rubber cd´s stands), and glue for putting everything nice and tight .
First we cut a piece of the can (circular about 10cm radius)and we glued the piezo into it, then we drilled one hole into the rubber casing for the wires to came out, them we cut two square cork foil parts (the first in the bottom of the casing and the other for the top) a bit of glue and that’s it drum pads ready to rock.
Now we got some audio coming out of the pads but thats just boring because its always the same and we want to go further like transforming audio into midi messages, and we found the right tool for it, its called “KTDrumTrigger” and he transforms the audio signal into midi notes, we can use this midi notes inside a sequencer program to control any kind of instrument (either VSTI or some other stuff), in our case we use the drum pads to control “Battery” and thats it instant fun.
There are some other links and some other ideas for drum pads. This “one“uses ardunio as a source for the imput signal.
Hello “intrenets” people(s)
This post today reflects a little about what circuit bending and diy are.
I have many friends and colleagues asking me “-So what is circuit bending?”, well here goes the awser and a bit of the history behind circuit bending.
Seems that a guy called Reed Ghazala, was making experiments with some synthesizers, trying to get some more sounds out of the electronic instruments, so he decided to open one and poke the guts of the beast .
He soon finds out that the core of an electronic instrument its a lot of fun and this could be exciting discover.
Now…have you ever heard of the Savant syndrome ? a person who as Savant Syndrome have the ability of mixing emotions, like seeing numbers in a wide variety of colors or the alphabet in shapes and forms, the cause of this, its simply the brain and some short fuses in some areas, and this its exactly what Circuit bending is.
So, when Reed decided to explore the possibility of the short circuit he open a big door for experimental music and a new form of seeing electronic devices, the idea its simply brilliant, lets open some toys, synths, pedals (whatever) and lets start to take some really cool sounds out of it, and the brilliant part is : you don’t need to know about electronics or be a geek who spent all day in the garage (myself included), because circuit bending its like a a brain in short fuse.
What you need to circuit bending some stuff ? This is another question and an important one. Hummm lets see:
First, you will need some kind of device that produces sound, like a toy, a distortion pedal, an old synth just to name a few.
Second, this is the important part DON’T USE ANYTHING THAT CONNECTS DIRECTLY TO THE AC/DC POWER, this means DEATH, instead use batteries, all kinds of batteries and even transformers as long you don’t touch that evil 220 V you are in business .
Third, open your device and choose your method of operation, this could be done in a variety of ways, you could use your fingers with a little of saliva (ughhh), or two screw drivers connected by an alligator clip.
Four, explore and see if the device reacts to your touch poking some circuits, i often get some great results poking the chips legs and connecting them together, finding the cool points its fun so don’t give up if you don’t find something in the first 5 minutes.
Five, ohh the “intrenets” yes there’s a lot in here just search a bit and you will find yourself in a brand new world, of course the circuit bending community its open minded and friendly, so don’t be shy and ask questions (most of us don’t know what are doing so join the club).
Now you know were Beck, Madonna, Mike Patton and many others are getting they inspiration (yeah that’s right Madonna), the musical possibility are immense, just think is you, who are discovering your own sounds and making it at the same time (not like a patch in a synthesizer ) something really new and fresh made entirely by you.
So, what is Circuit Bending ?
A couple of years ago i found out on the “internets” that you don’t really need a protoboard or a circuit board to make your circuits come to life, the idea was to fold a piece of paper with the circuit design in it (component side and circuit diagram side) and then inserting a piece of cardboard in the middle.
The main idea was the eco, recycled “thingy” since circuit boards are not so eco friendly and take a bunch of time to get recycled by our mother earth, also the economic side (paper and cardboard are almost free), instead circuit boarding takes a long time and it’s hazardous for the environment.
So here’s what i do :
1- print the schematic you want (be sure to include on the sheet of paper both sides of the schematic (component side and schematic)
2-fold it (the idea is to fold where the component side meets the schematic)
3-cut a piece of cardboard and insert it in the middle of the sheet of paper
4-glue both sides on to the cardboard (now you must have a beautifull circuit board made of cardboard)
5-with a needle pierce (component side) all drilling holes into schematic side
6-insert the components (resistors, ic, capacitator etc..)
7-turn it back (schematic side) and start to solder (be sure to folow the traces on the paper), the best way to do this is to simply bend the leads of the components and solder them together, if you have a large area were the lead is not long enough just use a wire or something similar.