Circuit Bending

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  ?