Tuesday, 20 May 2008

My first keyboard!

After one of the best weekends of my life at All Tomorrow's Parties (descriptions of which don't really belong here), I returned to the following treat waiting on my doorstop:

It looks something like this.

It's a Casio ML-1, which not only lights up when you play the keys, but also has a wide range of demo tunes, from Frere Jacques to Ode To Joy. Nice.

Now, however, after a short session with my brother's screwdriver set and me prodding around in it, it looks more like this:

I've already managed to create some really interested noises and glitches by using a make-shift set up including a piece of solder attaching two precision screwdrivers and some wire clippers weighing down a troublesome slide switch. The switch is the part that will take the most thinking about as it requires constant pressure from the top down for two metal runners to activate strips on the circuit board. I'm toying with chopping the case in half to sort this so I can fiddle with the guts of the machine while it is turned on. Sounds like some sort of sexy operation.

I haven't really had time to head Maplin way just yet, but I'm hoping to pick up some wire, a battery pack, potentiometer and other bits and pieces to have a real play with it before the weekend. It's all pretty exciting, I'll try to get some sounds up soon, as well as some pictures of my first attempts at soldering wires and components in place. Wish me luck!

Monday, 12 May 2008

So today I 'won' my first keyboard on eBay...

and it felt good.

I'm hoping for delivery on Wednesday - by then I should have bought my first lot of components and will have hopefully read some more about the whole circuit bending process.

Let me describe myself as concisely and as relevantly as possible. I'm a 25-year-old inhabitant of Leeds who's never had a real hobby outside of the ever-loosely defined pastime of 'music'. I don't remember the first time I heard about circuit bending but I've probably been aware of it for a good few years at least. I'm primarily into music that involves guitars but my record collection contains (amongst other things) a fair amount of electronically-driven stuff. Most of it, regardless of genre, is designed to be played at high volume.

So that's where this blog comes in - as a document of my forays into this new hobby of mine. I'll probably break at least tens of pounds of electronic equipment and gain a few new scars from soldering iron burns. But it'll all be documented on here along with (hopefully) some samples of what a novice like me can do with a mostly-forgotten GSCE-level grasp of electronics, a genuine interest in music and some tools stolen from his brother.

More news to follow....