Circuit Bending PresentationIn this workshop:- Introduction- What is circuit bending?- Who discovered circuit bending?- Circuit bending safety- Tools- The best items to circuit bend- Laying of hands technique- Probe technique- Marking and choosing modifications- Kill Switches- Line out- Clocking items- Circuit diagrams / online resources- Recommended resources- Jamming (if we have enough time)- Contact details www.f7sound.com
IntroductionMy name is Dan Wilson.Electronics and laser systems technician.Masters in Environmental Sustainability and GreenTechnology from Keele.Circuit bending for over 10 years.Grew up as a new age traveller.Interested in sustainability, recycling and selfsufficiency, as well as most forms of music.
What is Circuit Bending?Circuit bending is the art (or Randomness) of reusingelectronic products to produce an output that it wasn’tdesigned for.Circuit bending in its simplistic form is shorting out partsof the internal circuits to produce interestingresults, often drastically reducing the lifetime of thedevice in the process.Circuit modifying is the introduction of improvements tothe original circuit design, utilising circuit diagrams andoscilloscopes.www.technabob.com www.laptopnoise.com
Who Discovered Circuit Bending?Reed Ghazala termed the coin in the 60’s.However, many people have experimented with circuitbending before this period.Including Serge Tcherepnin.www.anti-theory.com
Circuit Bending SafetyNever circuit bend equipment that connects directly tothe mains.Be careful of large capacitors, as they can hold largevoltages and they can recharge even when the circuit isdisconnected from the mains.If you are unsure measure voltages with a volt meter.Always connect your circuit bent item through a mixerand if available a limiter.
Tools and Components- Multi-meter- Screwdrivers- Miniature screw drivers- Soldering iron- Wire cutters- Wire strippers- Drill and bits- Loads of batteries, wires and things to solder onto the circuitwww.escapepod.org cdn.ubergizmo.com
The Best Items to Circuit Bend- Battery powered- Cheap- Expendable- Older the better- Something that you have seen that has been circuit bent.- Items with large amounts of room on the casing, to attach components. Burnkit2600.com Makezineblog.files.wordpress.com
Laying of HandsThe simplistic technique, with the lowest chance ofdamaging the circuit.Your body is used to produce shorts across parts of thecircuit.Your body acts as a variable resistor. Try wetting yourfingers, or licking the circuit board.Alternatively push the circuit board harder. This reducesresistance, increasing the current flowing through yourbody.If the circuit crashes, turn off the item, or remove thebatteries. Turn on after a couple of seconds.Melodypanosian.info Thewire.co.uk
Probe TechniqueA much higher risk of irreparable damage to the circuit.As there is zero resistance through the wire, resulting inmaximum voltage achievable.Take a piece of wire and strip back 10mm of insulation ateach end.Using the wire, short out parts of the circuit.If it crashes, remove batteries and reset.
Marking and ModificationsWhen you have identified the areas you want to circuitbend.Label the circuit board and write down the effect/sound.Move on and complete the entire circuit.
Choosing Components to Install- Body contacts- Toggle switches (spst, dpdt)- Momentary switches- Variable resistors (potentiometers)- Light dependent resistors (theremin effect)- Patch baysUltimately it comes down to available time and funds.
Kill SwitchesMany items do not have a hard power switch, they rely onelectronic components.Crashing these items for long periods of time can destroythe integrated circuits.A simple toggle switch can be installed between thebattery and the circuit by cutting the positive wire fromthe batteries.
Line OutMost electronic toys were not designed to be pluggedinto headphones or mixers.A jack socket can be mounted onto the chassis andsolder onto the back of the speaker.Some sockets, will automatically cut-out the speakerwhen a jack is plugged in, well worth the extra 5p.
Clocking ItemsThe majority of electrical items have a master clock.This keeps the entire circuit in synchronisation. A simpleoscillator can be built to replace the master clock.Allowing the user to speed up or slow down the circuit.Producing interesting crashes and drones.
Circuit Modding• Modifying equipment to improve performance or flexibility.• Usually carried out on more expensive sound equipment.• Keeps original settings and sounds.• Uses a little more skill, as knowledge of circuit diagrams is a necessity.• TB-303 Bass Line – Devil Fish Modifications• Korg Poly 800 – Moog Slayer Modifications
Circuit Diagrams and Online Resources • Online guides can provide invaluable advice on safely circuit bending a device. • Be careful when relying on online resources, as the items can look the same. • However, there can be different versions of circuit boards, much like software versions. Circuit diagrams are very useful as they can give information on processes taking place, especially useful when combined with an oscilloscope.
Building Circuits and Synthesizers• From circuit bending to modifying circuits, it’s only a small step until you are building your own circuits and synthesizers.
CollaborationsThis section describes the various collaborationsand commissions I have undertaken recently.
• Educational hands on electronics that make noise.• Commissioned to build equipment and installations.• Demonstrations and exhibitions at festivals and science events.
Recommended ReadingHandmade Electronic Music: TheArt of Hardware Hacking. NicolasCollinshttp://www.anti-theory.com/ ReedGhazala the founder of circuitbendinghttp://circuitbending.com/http://www.gearwire.com/circuit-bending-101.html
My Online Presencehttp://www.slideshare.net/circitfied - tutorials and circuitdiagramshttp://www.youtube.com/user/circitfied - videos of workpieceshttp://soundcloud.com/circitfied - audio compositionsusing my own equipmenthttp://www.noisytoys.org – interactive sound installations