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Thread: Now what?

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Now what?

    OK, so what is this, why did it show up, and what is it for? Just more feature creep? A place to do mods instead of where they are now?

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    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Oh, itīs just me.
    I am a great Bender, circuits or anything else..

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Oh, itīs just me.
    I am a great Bender, circuits or anything else..
    Why did I know we would be seeing the famous Futurama robot?

    FWIW my high school German teacher was Frau Bender, maybe a relative?

    And a member of one of my college bands, a terrific guitarist Peter Bent from Vermont. He's heard all the jokes already... maybe he had an encounter with one of the Benders.

    Looks like the party's off to a good start, what's supposed to happen here anyway?

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    I just looked it up.
    Circuit bending is to electronic design as spin painting is to art.
    Or as cigar box guitar building is to luthiery.
    Or something like that.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_bending


    -rb

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    Old Timer nosaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    I just looked it up.
    Circuit bending is to electronic design as spin painting is to art.
    Or as cigar box guitar building is to luthiery.
    Or something like that.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circuit_bending


    -rb
    That guy has an interesting Ebook intro to circuit bending. It taking devices that make noise and using jumper wires to make noises they weren't intended to make.

    http://zhagun.ru/Circuit_Bending_Bui...nstruments.pdf
    nosaj

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nosaj View Post
    That guy has an interesting Ebook intro to circuit bending. It taking devices that make noise and using jumper wires to make noises they weren't intended to make.
    Sounds like one of our local amp goo-roos back in the early 80's. He charged a fortune to slap parts he'd liberated from junkyard TV's into perfectly good Fender amps. One day I got to tag along with one of his acolytes who ran a stereo & guitar amp repair service. While mister acolyte stepped out for a smoke, the goo-roo turned to me and said, "honestly I don't have any idea what I'm doing. I figure if nobody gets a shock, and smoke doesn't come out of the amp, then everything's OK."

    My career took a jump for the better when people started bringing me their amps that goo-roo had wrecked, and begged me to put them back to stock. There was one exception, a guitar teacher who had his Twin goo-roo modified, and claimed it was the best sounding amp he'd ever played through. So I asked teacher to let me see, he got a bit bent out of shape himself. (Ah there's the bender at work already!) "Oh no I can't do that, goo-roo is worried you're gonna reverse engineer his mods, steal his ideas, and install them in amps, he doesn't like that." I calmly explained I'd already seen goo-roo's mods and undone them dozens of times, and there's no chance I'd steal his lousy ideas and install them in anybody's amps at any price. I was merely curious to hear a working model of one of the goo-roo amps played by someone who liked the mods. Not a single screw would be touched by a screwdriver - I did not need to see inside. Teacher: well I suppose, OK then. But I don't have the amp now. It's back at goo-roo's shop. For a new output transformer. For the second time. I've been waiting half a year for him to replace it. Hm, so this thing wrecks Twin Reverb OT's one after the other, but it sounds terrific. And cost you only $1800 so far. And it will be another $300 for the next new OT he says. Oh, great! - - - I never did get to hear teacher play that amp. Can only wonder what became of it.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Oh, Iīm SICK of junk, crap and garbage being called "Art".

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Ha!
    I love how someone tries to slide in a change to the forum, and it really brings out the old bastard in the old bastards.
    Enzo and Fahey were the first ones here welcoming would-be circuit benders by spraying them with the hose for walking on their lawn.

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    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    The first time I heard of circuit-bending, it was from folks 'bending' the speak-and-spell toys. You know the ones where you press a button and the cow goes "moo" and so on. The lucky bender might slap something in that affects the clock speed and results in a slowed-down other otherwise 'bent' sound. That was pretty much the beginning and end of it as far as I was concerned.

    As long as the bender works on circuits powered by a few AA batteries, I say "Why not?"

    It's certainly safer than the witless noobs who wander in here and want to work on HV circuits. And yes, I'm pointing a finger at myself

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    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas

  10. #10
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    My first introduction to circuit bending was the Casiotone M-10 keyboard I bought in 1981 or so. Robin Whittle, in Australia, produced a pamphlet outlining all the mods that could be done to it. A big part of the impetus for that was Casio's tendency to use the same core tone-generator chips for their product line, and tap a few more functions out of the same chips for another fancier higher-priced model. This prompted an urge in many to explore what else might lie inside cheaper keyboards that wasn't being exploited. In some cases, it was just weird novel noises, while in other cases it might be a useful function that the manufacturer deemed insufficiently marketable, or appealing, or simply easy-to-exlain, to include. In a great many cases, it simply involved jumpering cotrol pins that hadn't been jumpered. At least part of what kept it alive was the perverse delight some took in producing disturbing and dissonant sounds from digital children's toys. In more recent years, things like the miniature synths that Korg has produced have been subject to both mods and bending. I will distinguish those two on the basis of the counter-intuitiveness of their outcomes. If I want something to be linked to VCF corner frequency, that's a mod. If I don't know what the hell it's going to do, that's bending.

    Bending is probably not in keeping with a great deal of what goes on in this forum (repairs, mods, design analysis), and more likely consonant with stuff at the electro-music forum. But what the hey, sometimes you stumble onto interesting stuff, right? Serendipity is your friend.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulFetish View Post
    Ha!
    I love how someone tries to slide in a change to the forum, and it really brings out the old bastard in the old bastards.
    Enzo and Fahey were the first ones here welcoming would-be circuit benders by spraying them with the hose for walking on their lawn.
    So now somebody who randomly short circuits different points in a PCB, 1% of the time making it squeal, mute or buzz and 99% burning something, from a transistor to making the house catch fire is a "designer"?

    Now that you mention it, yes, often the hose is necessary ..... to put the fire down.

    Please be consistent with your idea, next time somebody posts "fuck!!!! , I had already repaired the amp, the meter tip slipped and I burnt 6 EXPENSIVE transistors !!!!!!" (plus assorted components, maybe half the supply and a few tracks to make it "interesting") you answer him: "Congratulations!!!!!! You are now a CIRCUIT BENDER!!!!!"

    Suggest next time you try to repair speakers, AGAIN do it the "Circuit Bender Way"
    Very creative



    As a side note, I LOVED the "is that on fire?" question .... very circuitbenderish

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    Bending is probably not in keeping with a great deal of what goes on in this forum (repairs, mods, design analysis), and more likely consonant with stuff at the electro-music forum. But what the hey, sometimes you stumble onto interesting stuff, right? Serendipity is your friend.
    I s'pose I've done a little of that then. It was a long time ago. One customer brought in the first cheap/affordable Yamaha digital reverb, an R1000. Four buttons on the panel allowed a selection of four reverb types. Customer heard there was a mod where one could select four "hidden" reverb programs and wanted me to mount a toggle switch on the back so he could access them. I figured out what's what and did it. Then I did the same to my own R1000. It's all lost in the dust of time, since than much more powerful and better sounding digital reverbs appeared on the market, and now built into every digital mixer.

    As far as blindly snipping parts out & slapping parts & wires in, I guess some people want to find their inner Jackson Pollock. Or Marcel Duchamp. Heck my friends and I in second grade used to get a lot of amusement drawing mustaches on the portraits on dollar bills, stamps, magazines and in our history textbooks. Hey, that's ART! Don't knock it!


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    I used to watch a stranger who regularly took the same bus to work. I found her to be mysterious and erotic. One day I gave her a gift - a sculpture I made of her from my own faeces and some teeth I got from round the back of a dental clinic. She freaked out and I never saw her again. It just goes to show some people don't appreciate art in any form whatsoever.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Perhaps is you had used HER feces...


    One of my "familiars" at the old shop was always taking apart toys and trying to figure how to get the sound parts into a pedal or something. I helped him many times on this. I got no beef with screwing around with the parts from a Speak and Spell or whatever. I just don;t see why we need a whole new subsection for it. We already have Music Electronics section.


    I had a microwave in my kitchen erupt in smoke the other day. We all have home appliances that occasionally need work, should we have a home appliance repair section too? MAybe split the repair section into separate sections for each brand: Fender, Marshall, Peavey, Randall, etc... CAr stereo?

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    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    Since we're talking about what's new, has anyone but me lost the 'like' button?

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    If it still won't get loud enough, it's probably broken. - Steve Conner
    If the thing works, stop fixing it. - Enzo
    We need more chaos in music, in art... I'm here to make it. - Justin Thomas

  16. #16
    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschertron View Post
    Since we're talking about what's new, has anyone but me lost the 'like' button?
    I just noticed that too. Sorry for breaking it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    But, I did learn something. There are protons, neutrons, electrons, ............ and morons.

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    Despite my snarky-sounding earlier post, I wouldn't dismiss circuit bending just because it's not my thing. Although I've no numbers to confirm this, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that more prominent rock musicians have gone to art school than to music (or engineering) school.

    Isn't pop music filled with examples of "misusing" equipment to obtain interesting sounds? Are guitar amps typically designed in full compliance with tube manufacturers' specs? Who discovered that acoustic feedback can be music instead of unwanted noise?

    Some other examples (some may be rumored and/or mis-remembered):
    - Beatles cascading mixing board preamps to get the fuzz tone in "Revolution".
    - Dave Davies slashing speaker cones to get "that" sound.
    - David Lindley recording lapsteel through equipment on the verge of meltdown.
    - In the first episode of TV miniseries Sonic Highways, Dave Grohl and a recording engineer scurry on their knees, punching foot switches and twiddling stomp box knobs while I-forget-who solos. As the last chord slowly decays, DG repeatedly dis-engages and re-engages a signal cable to impart crackling intermittent dropout. Guitarist says something like "That was great, but how am I gonna reproduce it in concert?"

    -rb

    PS - Who was it, I think in the 60's, who used to hold a vibrator over his guitar pickups?
    PPS - Almost forgot to ask, did someone request this new category? Hope they weren't scared off by the old water hose bastards.

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    Last edited by rjb; 06-08-2018 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Deleted gratuitous vulgarity
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    Old Timer
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    Quote Originally Posted by eschertron View Post
    Since we're talking about what's new, has anyone but me lost the 'like' button?
    I noticed that too. Although we generally use the 'like' button to show appreciation for actionable information or a good wisecrack, I think its real purpose is to help GoogleSpy determine what products to advertise. Maybe they gave up parsing how to sell "Thanks, Enzo."

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    That was my question, where did it come from? I don't recall any discussion at all or suggestions to create it. I have nothing at all against creativity or experimenting.

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    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    I just noticed that too. Sorry for breaking it.
    "like"

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    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
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    well its not from the 60s but...


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    Old Timer
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    In this vid, he mentions having played guitar with a vibrator but doesn't elaborate....


    Here's a tutorial on playing guitar with a hand drill...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oi4NPhyvQyo

    I guess neither of these are "circuit bending", but kinda fun nonetheless.
    Reminds me of the High Zero festival in Baltimore. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Zero

    -rb

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    I agree, no need to dismiss this topic even though it's not particularly something of my own interest (although I pretty much started out this whole electronics hobby by something one could consider "circuit bending"). Anyway, this topic could bring out some interesting ideas and discussion regardless. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't some great innovations created by accident?

    On the field of electronics things like X-rays, pacemakers and microwave ovens were all innovations born out of an accident and "circuit bending". Think about it.

    ..And isn't it kinda "circuit bending" to turn a digital CMOS inverter into a "linear" amplifier, convert vacuum fluorescent displays into tube audio amplifiers, discover a "phaser" effect by manually slowing down a tape echo, make a groundbreaking reverberation device out of a thing that originally emulated time delays of long-distance telephone lines, or basically anything of that sort?

    Lighten up guys. If circuit bending disturbs you then just do not visit this subsection. Problem solved. Myself, I'm interested to see where this develops.

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  24. #24
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Wow. I started this thread to ask the question: Why do we need a new separate section for this? And somehow that is interpreted to mean I hate the topic.


    I agree, it is clever when someone used a CMOS logic IC as a preamp stage, but is that much different from Fahey suggesting a VCA be replaced with some JFETs? Also a clever solution.


    Disclaimer: I am in general opposed to adding special sections. To me it is just more rigmarole to wade through to get to content.

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    If anyone knew why this section is here it would be Tboy.

    Greg

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