The Roland TR-707 is a member of the infamous Roland TR line which included the dance classics such at the 808 and 909 which were pioneered through disco and dance music. The 707 however lack some of the depth and bass of the previously mentioned drum machines, however, because it is less precious I was far more apt to get in there and modify it. The sounds it is capable of in its modified state are truly astounding.

tr707, circuit bent, music, electronic

tr707, circuit bent, music, electronic

gakken sx 150

gaken sx 150

My wife bought be a really fun toy for xmas. I’m always on the prowl for hand held intuitive noise makers and the Gakken SX-150 is definitely that. It has a really simple range of capability which is great for learning about synths (which is the devices orginal intention), and it has remarkably rich analog sound. Beware the audio file attached it starts out loud and doesn’t let up.

This machine consists of two barbie karaoke cassette players severely modified and cross bent into one another. The end product is a effects pedal of sorts capable of whirling into rolling static, endless holding decays, and ring modulation type sounds. Many of the bends I added were thanks to casper electronics who’s work is always inspiring.

Audio Samples Coming Soon.

barbie karaoke machine

The 4×4 is a home made midi controller unit. I developed it partly as a way to better understand some micro controller basic and partly cause I wanted to knobs for live performances. Originally there was going to be 64 knobs (one for each pad on the monome 40h) but I quickly found that not only were potentiometers too expensive for my taste that but also the arduino system I was using would be too heavily taxed by that much input.

The “brain” of the system is an arduino which is then linked into a multiplexing unit designed byme with much help from folks on the arduino forums. All input is converted into midi through a small max/msp patch I wrote based on Arduino2Max. My wife found the little brief case that I built it into.

In 2007 I purchased a Monome 40h kit from the good folks at monome. Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cane are friends of mine and I actually took a max/msp programming class taught by Brian some years ago. I was excited to make this device and I’m happy to say it was a huge success (as are all their products).

The enclosure for my device was made with much help from a friend’s father who is a carpenter. He has really great tools and a ton of know how. My case is made of finished zebrawood and it feel really nice all around. The 40h has become a central aspect of my work flow when making music now. I love it.

The Speak & Creak is formerly a Speak & Spell with a storm-trooper-white paint job. It has some pretty standard circuit bent modifications but all in all its a blast to play. Currently it resides at the home of Allan Watke and Cameron Frasier who use it on recordings for the band No Little Kindness.

Speak & Creak Sample

This is a small guitar pedal kit i assembled.  I failed to make a recording of it before I gave it away, but the gist of it is that it warms up your signal before going out to an amp. It also can overdrive the signal a bit for grittier guitar tones. I had as much fun painting the case as anything else.