Reed Ghazala and Circuit Sound Artists in Videos, as NYC’s Bent Festival Gets Underway Circuit bending has a reputation as involving far-out, unstructured experimental noise, of real violence and distortion done to instruments. And there’s probably a place for that. But Reed Ghazala, circuit bending’s spiritual father and electronic practitioner, takes a more organic, evolutionary approach. Reed recently told me about his favorite application of his iPad, apart from exploring new experimental soundscapes with tools like the brilliant granular app Curtis. He brings it with him into the forest, using GPS for location, and tracking plants and animals, identifying the sounds of bird and beasts. In our electronic ecosystem, fowl and beast are finding their own electro-diversity. For a sense of how broad that notion spans — both in Reed’s own head and at Brooklyn’s festival — our friend Kaley at VICE points us to their Motherboard.tv series on Reed, and his 1967 breakthrough of circuit bending, as well as their coverage of last year’s Bent. Bent Festival 2011
circuit bending / osc?com circuit_bending.definition( ) Term coined by q.r. ghazala to describe modifications made to electronic toys and cheap electronic instruments by connecting various points of their circuits in ways that were not meant to be in order to modify the existing sounds and to create unexpected effects or unpredictable noises. circuit_bending.info( ) This kind of modifications have been made by various people since the early 70’s (and before on less ‘popular’ devices) but have only recently gained popularity, because of articles in papers like ‘experimental musical instruments‘ or on various websites. Circuit bending is in fact just one recent instance of a century-old tradition of messing up technology to create artistic devices. And circuit bending is also a way to (more or less) easily make new (more or less) original electronic musical instruments that don’t cost lots of money, which is always a good thing for most musicians :).
Nonfinite Electronics - Your Source For Everything Game Boy Related! circuit-bending YOU can circuit-bend. The following discussion will start new benders on the right path. Also see the Anti-Theory Workshop section, the various instrument galleries and the PSF interview with Reed for additional insights into the process. If you learn to solder and can drill a small hole to mount a switch in, you can circuit-bend. Everything else is a process of non-technical, routine experimentation in which various short-circuits are created in an attempt to alter the target device's audio behavior. Audio toys not only are easy to circuit-bend, but also are capable of sonic eccentricities beyond belief. Also important, audio toys are low-voltage devices.
CDM + Handmade Music Lounge at Solid Sound: Meet These Sonic Builders, in 11 Noisey Videos The Swarmatron, made infamous by The Social Network, is just one of the crazy sonic creations we’ll be seeing this weekend. Photo credit: Joshua Sarner. This weekend in North Adams, Massachusetts at MASS MoCA, the band Wilco is gathering their very own music and arts festival, Solid Sound. Handmade Music Lounge is presented by Moog Music, who themselves build their instruments by hand in North Carolina, carrying on the legacy of Bob Moog. Here’s the lineup — and plenty of video inspiration to get you familiar with the broad spectrum of what people are doing in electronic instrument making and invention today! Latest tracks by casperelectronics Peter Edwards, casperelectronicA brand new analog sound and light super synth from a master of circuit building and bending. casperelectronics. Todd Bailey, Where’s the Party At 2The debut of a new open source, 8-bit sampler, in the spirit of lo-fi samplers employed in early hip hop.
LED sequencer : DIGITAL INTEGRATED CIRCUITS 4017 decade counter/divider (Radio Shack catalog # 276-2417)555 timer IC (Radio Shack catalog # 276-1723)Ten-segment bargraph LED (Radio Shack catalog # 276-081)One SPST switchOne 6 volt battery10 kΩ resistor1 MΩ resistor0.1 µF capacitor (Radio Shack catalog # 272-135 or equivalent)Coupling capacitor, 0.047 to 0.001 µFTen 470 Ω resistorsAudio detector with headphones Caution! The 4017 IC is CMOS, and therefore sensitive to static electricity! Any single-pole, single-throw switch is adequate. The audio detector will be used to assess signal frequency. Lessons In Electric Circuits, Volume 4, chapter 3: "Logic Gates" Lessons In Electric Circuits, Volume 4, chapter 4: "Switches" Lessons In Electric Circuits, Volume 4, chapter 11: "Counters" The model 4017 integrated circuit is a CMOS counter with ten output terminals. Two terminals on the 4017 chip, "Reset" and "Clock Enable," are maintained in a "low" state by means of a connection to the negative side of the battery (ground). Related Links
Tim Kaiser Circuit bending Probing for "bend" using a jeweler's screwdriver and alligator clips Circuit bending is the creative, chance-based customization of the circuits within electronic devices such as low voltage, battery-powered guitar effects, children's toys and digital synthesizers to create new musical or visual instruments and sound generators. Emphasizing spontaneity and randomness, the techniques of circuit bending have been commonly associated with noise music, though many more conventional contemporary musicians and musical groups have been known to experiment with "bent" instruments. Experimental process A 1989 Kawasaki toy guitar used in a circuit bending project The circuit bending process has been developed largely by individuals with next to no formalised training in electronic theory and circuit design, experimenting with second-hand electronics in a DIY fashion, either with inexpensive keyboards or drum machines, or with electronic children's toys not associated with musical production.
How to make DIY noise with feedback loops. DIY Noise With Feedback Loops You're interested in noise. Noise as an experimental music genre (if we can loosely call it that). The whole deal is that everything's open. With experimental music, time limits, radio edits, record company agendas, and expectations are not a factor. It's more important to try new things. Or nothing except effects to feed the effects, as in a "no input" source where a mixer's AUX sends are used to create a feedback loop with effects processing the loop. WARNING: This stuff gets loud so be careful or you'll blow your speakers or destroy your (or someone elses) ears! A simple feedback loop like the one above will give you an almost instant "screeching" sound. EQ's are good for bringing up feedback frequencies outside of the original "screech" range. Distortions will sustain the feedback and further mold it depending on the response of the pedal. Phasers, Flangers, and Chorus pedals will "smear" the sound to varying degrees. This is a very basic example.