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Category Archives: toys

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here is a little jam to test the possibilities of my recently finished step sequencer…this little gadget is so much fun, and opens up my head of possibilities…i have to write a proper post with circuit and instructions on how to build it i will just say for now that is made with a single 4017 that can trigger 4 different channels on each of the 10 possible steps.

here comes the sound…

…on the video I’m playing the sequencer and the SP-404 sampler trying to match tempo…and the sp404 is also filtering the sequenced sounds at times…and the drum pattern at others….the step sequencer is triggering the sounds of a toy circuit which i modified adding also pitch and distortion controls….plus the jacks connect the 4 channels of the sequencer to the desired sound bank on the toy…

UPDATE:

this are some images of the process of building the 4017 step sequencer and a little circuit diagram…the construction was not difficult but  tedious….

9volts 2009

seqmech_002_ftitulo1

let’s start with a video:

(thanx again for the recording to LucySombra):

I made this project a year ago, using the mechanics of  (his master’s voice) old Victrola, found on the streets of Barcelona, by jan (thanx again man) and brought to me to salvage it’s still usable parts, the poor thing had ended it’s life as a record player on the trash, needle and arm missing, cone sound missing, etc… BUT the only one thing remaining, and the most important to me was the cranked  spring engine, with it’s old school system to keep speed regular…

seqenciador mechanico

The result is a very interesting cranked beat sequencer,  it has four radial channels, with 24 steps each, each step is one hole on the plate, where small plastic pieces (from “mastermind” game, also trashed out from bcn) can be placed to trigger a sound. Each channel is aligned with a momentary switch which when contacting one of the plastic pieces triggers the sound assigned to that channel.

seqmech_006-spining

seqmech_004-front

There is two different circuits that can be used interactively with each other. On one side a simple drum toy with four drum sounds, some basic bending like pitch control (for all the sounds at the same time), and body contacts for distortion mode 1 and 2, and in the other side a simple pitch controllable oscillator circuit for each channel, (made with just one  4093).

seqmech_003_switches

it’s is an open sequencer because any source can be triggered by plugging it’s push button trigger poles  to one of the rca connectors on the back, that is how the drum toy circuit encased in the box is triggered. that also means than the sounds triggered by each channel can be easily swapped on the fly by others by just plugging the desired source on the desired channel.

schematic

seqmech_007-schematic

on the other hand both circuit’s have independent volume control to be able to tune the mix levels, some times oscillators can be loud… the yellow buttons also trigger each channel for longer manually operated notes.

seqmech_005-front

hackingbynight_2009_ninevolts

click to enlarge

this circuit comes from a teddy bear, which had 8 a spanish voice sounds. and i modified the circuit with usual basic bends like pitch resistor replacement for a pot and body contacts….after a little more investigation, found some interesting glitching distortions, adding capacitors of different values… also added the looped sound trigger mode…

everything was then recased into a beautiful old electronic vintage chess game from my grandfather…

what does what on the chaos

and of course i had to add the reglamentary audio out, because the sound quality of this circuit improves dramatically when connected to an external amplifyer…

back view of the chaos champion

and finally here is a video of the champ of chaosssssssfrgegrfg…..

another bend from 9volts

this is just a recasing project, i just moved the circuit and knobs from a toy karaoke amplifier, to a much nicer case, changing the mike input for a couple line inputs, one of them is pre-amplified and the oter not…

click to see bigger

the nice lo-fi echo filter is adjustable in lenght and number of repetitions, wich gives enough control, never tried to bend the circuit because i’m happy with it like it is, enough for enchancing the sound of some of my mini synth designs….

recased by 9volts

This is an easy bend of a simple circuit from a mcmeal mini furbie

bent minifurbie

The original circuit has two sounds that play randomly when triggered, either a mumbling furbie-like sound, or a stupid song…

bendings:

basic simple pitch resistor replacement with a potentiometer to have control over pitch and speed.

SPCO switch : to change from off position to 3 or 1.5 volts. powering the circuit on normal mode or . low voltage mode

SPDT switch between two modes of triggering

mini trigger button (from the mouse)

and mini jack audio out plug

All of this recased in the thight internal space of an old mouse…

recased on a mouse

and not to forget the crappy paint job

and here is a video of the beast groaning:

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