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Circuitbenders Forum => Circuitbending discussion => Topic started by: Circuitbenders on August 21, 2006, 08:28:35 PM

Title: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Circuitbenders on August 21, 2006, 08:28:35 PM
I'm sure we'd all appreciate a list of machines that people have found to be unbendable, or if they are bendable are fairly useless. Make your nominations in this thread and add a little bit of detail if you wish although i wouldn't trust this list 100%. Just because someone hasn't managed to bend something doesn't mean its not possible. I'll edit this thread down to a couple of posts every now and then if this topic works out.

UNBENDABLE MACHINES:

Yamaha VSS-100: The sampling side can't be bent with any real success unless you just want a shitload of noise. Never tried the synth side. (circuitbenders)
Korg DDM220 / DDM110: Very difficult without much reward. (circuitbenders)
Speak&Music: Never found anything worthwhile on the UK version although the US and french versions may be different. (circuitbenders)
Casiotone mt-55: isn't particularly great either. There's bits there, but nothing outstanding. (Signal;Noise)
Yamaha PSS16: one chip wonder. (catweazle)
Bontempi Electronic Mini Keyboard B20(catweazle)
Yamaha PSS-12:  A few bends which alter the voices somewhat but nothing spectacular.  I have heard better reports for PSS-6 although I believe that is just a mono version of the PSS-12. (iqoruvuc)
Super Speak&Spell 1991  and  Super Speak&Math 1991:  both are nearly unbendable. (catweazle)
Yamaha RX-11 / RX-15: apart from a couple of weak distortions theres just a whole lot of connnections that lock up, reset and crash the machine. Major pain in the ass. (circuitbenders)
Yamaha PSS-30: One of the most unbendable chips ever (someone on this forum)
yamaha pss-50/pss-9 - these models are exactly the same with slightly different markings and model numbers. they solidly withstand any attempts to bend. gits... yamaha, what were you thinking? (andy wheels)
bontempi '666' range - evil italian unbendableness and easy to fry too. ugh. (andy wheels)
Cheetah MD8 - The most Volatile Non-Volatile memory you'll ever encounter. You have to load the sounds in from tape which never works and its so prone to crashing it even has a factory installed hard reset button!  (circuitbenders)
Yamaha PSS-50 - Only one chip so no seperate fm chip to cut datalines from!  Nothing interesting.  Real dissappointment!(iqoruvuc)
Yamaha PSS-80 - totally dissapointed with what I got from it. Probably the worst bend I have done so far!(creature)
Pre-school Musini - That wasn't much fun.  The normal version has a lot more potential appearantly, but I didn't know any difference when I bought this one.(iqoruvuc)
Bontempi 4400 - not interesting, doesn't smell nice inside either(nochtanseenspecht)
Finger Beats Finger Mixer  - This one is constructed to well, i had no luck with bending this what so ever. (davinyljunky)
Mekie 373D37 Key Kids Keyboard  - This is cheap china manufacturing at it's worst. Don't even waste your time on this one, it's cheap and nasty. (davinyljunky)
Machines Badged as Leapfrog - Probably doesn't apply to all of them but i've had a few machines made by Leapfrog and mysteriously none of them were bendable (circuitbenders)
TI MAths Marvel - i cant find any bends what so ever (matt the modulator) Same here (circuitbenders)
Fisher Price "Tune In TV" , Sesame Street version - It's got some kind of automatic reset that I can't bypass and pretty much ignores any bending attempts (egr)
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: AttDestroyers on April 27, 2007, 07:22:33 AM
"Yamaha PSS-30: One of the most unbendable chips ever (someone on this forum)"

Well I'm just here to say that I'm the proud owner of 3 of these baby's and I will be doing some serious in depth bending on this series when I get home from school next week. My goal is to seriously ruin this keyboards evening. So I'll probably post what I'm able to find/not find sometime in the next 3 weeks or so.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: bendboy on June 01, 2007, 07:06:41 AM
The PSS-480 is a real pain in the ass....it has tons of chips and data lines, but ANY messing with them does a silent crash. The beats can be messed with, and the clock speed changed, but really, that seems to be it!!

PSS-6 keyboards can be bent to some effect (once crashed they can make some cool sounds) but there is not too much else there.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: englar on August 03, 2007, 05:47:22 PM
I would add the italian DOTTO CONTA-PARLA >:( it have made me crazy...nothing interesting....

only one chip and few components.It is not like the other TI toys.It doesn't have the pitch control.its pitch is controlled by a hateful blue crystal.
 just a glitch and a a connection(it doesn't always work) that makes it to say random numbers.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: kingsteven on September 24, 2007, 08:55:36 PM
"Yamaha PSS-80 - totally dissapointed with what I got from it. Probably the worst bend I have done so far!(creature)"

Yes, but still one of my favourite keyboards! :-D
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: catweazle on September 24, 2007, 11:06:13 PM
How about a extra Html page outside the forum with the "unbendable machine list" ?
I think this will be very usefull to see whats worse a buy.
(print out the list for the next flee market / hunt for bendables - trip)

Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Circuitbenders on November 26, 2007, 08:20:04 PM
I'd completely forgotten about this, i'll whip up an html page asap
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: davinyljunky on April 25, 2008, 03:08:16 PM
Finger Beats Finger Mixer - This one is constructed to well, i had no luck with bending this what so ever.
Casio SA-40 - Looks like so much potential and yes ok i have seen that this one has been bent before, but ultimately it's got nothing really going for it, very limited bends.
Mekie 373D37 Key Kids Keyboard (bad bad bad manufacturing) - This is cheap china manufacturing at it's worst. Don't even waste your time on this one, it's cheap and nasty.
Texas Instruments Touch & Discover - Unique it is (well at least 4 us Aussies) and not so much unbendable, it's just not worth bending as the sounds are not what you call usefull and it is difficult just to set up for testing the circuits.  I'm going to keep at it, but think i am wasting more time than what it is worth.

Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Circuitbenders on April 28, 2008, 02:20:41 PM
I got loads of good loops and glitches out of the Touch & Discover i bent a few years back. I don't think it is unique to australia, in that i have 3 more in my cupboard. Its a shame i lost the notes for it or i might try opening one up again.

If i recall correctly the SA40 does so great voltage drop crashes and theres a whole extra bank of sound effects in there somewhere.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: computer at sea on May 02, 2008, 04:06:02 PM
Quote
I have heard better reports for PSS-6 although I believe that is just a mono version of the PSS-12

There certainly isn't a great wealth of bends to be found in the PSS-6, but there are some nice sounds that come from the few present.  As I recall, the harmonica sound does some great looping things.  The voltage drop crash works, to a degree, and produces a harsh blast rather than the aleotoric sort of blips that can be coaxed out of an SA-1.

Just shy of a one trick pony, the PSS-6 would be a great thrift shop/car boot sale find but not a reasonable eBay prospect.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: davinyljunky on May 03, 2008, 04:53:27 PM
I got loads of good loops and glitches out of the Touch & Discover i bent a few years back. I don't think it is unique to australia, in that i have 3 more in my cupboard. Its a shame i lost the notes for it or i might try opening one up again.

If i recall correctly the SA40 does so great voltage drop crashes and theres a whole extra bank of sound effects in there somewhere.

I've got to be honest i have never seen a Touch & Discover before i got one to have a muck around with.... I'd be interested in any info you had on them, i just got sick of hearing "Hello Gangm Mickey Mouse Here, it's time to......." haha.  Like said the SA-40 is bendable, but it's not a wow factor machine.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Circuitbenders on May 03, 2008, 05:37:23 PM
i just got sick of hearing "Hello Gangm Mickey Mouse Here, it's time to......." haha. 

Oh great, i'd managed to successfully block that nightmare from my mind but now its back with a vengence. The way he says 'grrrrrrrreeeen' and 'bllllluuuue' is also infuriating
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: S-CAT on May 21, 2008, 04:30:30 AM
 
 There is a good example of a circuit bent Korg DDM on you tube, no points for guessing who did it. It is a very awkward unit to work with and I found a crazy method to get the results. Basically I poked around until each percussion sound dissapeared and the with some more fumbling managed to get each sound back by jumping wires to each of the chips and resistors, I then noticed that the sound was only coming from one channel and decided to bridge the stero signal into mono on the board, the next strange thing that happened is that the hi-hat level started to generate bass tones when it was turned up fully. And when a 1/4" jack was placed into the headphone socket the machine reacted differently again. I've got another one here that I am working on but it's a slow process.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Gordonjcp on May 21, 2008, 09:40:58 AM

 There is a good example of a circuit bent Korg DDM on you tube, no points for guessing who did it. It is a very awkward unit to work with and I found a crazy method to get the results.

Funny, the Korg DDM110 was the first drum machine I ever circuit bent.  They're almost trivially simple inside, with quite a few cool bends.  I sold mine after restoring it to its "normal" condition a few years ago.  Be careful, because there are relatively high voltages around the analogue section that will zap the logic chips - the "poke and hope" method is not your friend.

Basically I poked around until each percussion sound dissapeared and the with some more fumbling managed to get each sound back by jumping wires to each of the chips and resistors, I then noticed that the sound was only coming from one channel and decided to bridge the stero signal into mono on the board, the next strange thing that happened is that the hi-hat level started to generate bass tones when it was turned up fully. And when a 1/4" jack was placed into the headphone socket the machine reacted differently again. I've got another one here that I am working on but it's a slow process.

You really can't just poke randomly at it.  Get hold of the data sheets for the chips and work out the circuit before you start randomly stabbing things.  These DDMs are getting rare, and are a bit fragile electronically.  Maybe it's best to leave it to people who know what they're doing.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Matt the Modulator on May 22, 2008, 08:12:06 PM
texas instruments maths marvel i cant find any bends what so ever and speak and music also i only found one glitch but that only works when you have abused the circuit for a while mmm i mite try AND  marry them together mmm
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: egr on July 21, 2008, 05:03:59 PM
Fisher Price "Tune In TV" , Sesame Street version:  It's got some kind of automatic reset that I can't bypass and pretty much ignores any bending attempts (by me at least)

Too bad 'cause it's got a simple remote control that I was really excited about.   :(
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: breakbeatnazi on September 22, 2008, 03:18:18 PM
Leapfrog learning drum... black blob chip without pitch bend and BARELY a distortion by poking things on the speaker wire.  Still a fun little toy though  :P
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: shimshon on November 04, 2008, 03:25:21 AM
"Music Learning Module" produced by Wurlitzer. a decent looking keyboard from the outside, but not much going on inside. there are a bunch (six or so) chips inside, which gets one's hopes up upon opening it, but the chips only output one specific note from each pin, meaning it's all sample based and there's no way to alter the sound. i don't think there's even a filter section, i think it goes straight from the chip to the output. it sounds sort of square wave-ish, but a bit warmer.

the one nice thing about the keyboard is infinite polyphony. the samples interact in a weird way though. when you play intervals that aren't perfect, you can hear where the waves cross paths and almost creates a rhythm of its own.

a neat electric organ for $15 at goodwill, but not a bender's toy.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Gordonjcp on December 21, 2008, 01:01:32 PM
"Music Learning Module" produced by Wurlitzer. a decent looking keyboard from the outside, but not much going on inside. there are a bunch (six or so) chips inside, which gets one's hopes up upon opening it, but the chips only output one specific note from each pin, meaning it's all sample based and there's no way to alter the sound.

Can you get a note of which chips are used?  It's probably not sample-based but divider-based, if it's quite old.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: reign16 on January 24, 2009, 02:01:54 PM
Oh thank you for listing the unbendable machines, how about the YAMAHA PSR-700 what is you can say about that, cause i am planning to buy an YAMAHA PSR-700 maybe this coming March or April,, So i am asking some advice to you guys, Thank you for your advice in advance...



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Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: SineHacker on March 05, 2009, 09:02:20 PM
I opened up a 'Blue Man Experience' keyboard today, first of all it was an absolute nightmare to open because of this useless pipe framing it has - I then proceeded to mess around with the circuit board for a couple of hours with only minor results (the board as a crystal on it I think and I managed to get it to glitch out like a really lame voltage crash after trying to calibrate it for hours) if anyone has had any better results let me know!!
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: S-CAT on March 24, 2009, 12:17:55 PM

 There is a good example of a circuit bent Korg DDM on you tube, no points for guessing who did it. It is a very awkward unit to work with and I found a crazy method to get the results.

Funny, the Korg DDM110 was the first drum machine I ever circuit bent.  They're almost trivially simple inside, with quite a few cool bends.  I sold mine after restoring it to its "normal" condition a few years ago.  Be careful, because there are relatively high voltages around the analogue section that will zap the logic chips - the "poke and hope" method is not your friend.

Basically I poked around until each percussion sound dissapeared and the with some more fumbling managed to get each sound back by jumping wires to each of the chips and resistors, I then noticed that the sound was only coming from one channel and decided to bridge the stero signal into mono on the board, the next strange thing that happened is that the hi-hat level started to generate bass tones when it was turned up fully. And when a 1/4" jack was placed into the headphone socket the machine reacted differently again. I've got another one here that I am working on but it's a slow process.

You really can't just poke randomly at it.  Get hold of the data sheets for the chips and work out the circuit before you start randomly stabbing things.  These DDMs are getting rare, and are a bit fragile electronically.  Maybe it's best to leave it to people who know what they're doing.

I have now got the plans for this, so you could sy that next time I do it that I would know what I was doing. Haveyou managed to modify one of these units?
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: sk-1 on December 31, 2009, 08:27:53 AM
I disagree now about the Bontempi 666 range being unbendable.  I've had mine for a week and although I'm yet to bend it, I'm already experiencing random glitches happening with the sound selector buttons and the on/off buttons.  The Bontempi BT-605 has some major bugs in it and it is very easy to mess up the sounds and operation of the entire keyboard just by switching it on, then off multiple times in combination with pressing buttons and starting the demo, rhythms, etc.

So far, just by randomly pressing the buttons on the Bontempi, I have managed to get the keyboard to glitch and malfunction with around 9 different and repeatable bends.  Also, there are some unpredictable glitches that occur with the power on and off buttons and sometimes you get a loud scream from the speaker or a long, continuous and full volume organ sound when switching it on.  On one occasion I managed to get a low-volume sound that was like a continuous matrix scan, or random arpeggiator noise that was very, very fast and partially musical.  It reminded me of the bug on the Hing Hon when you press down multiple instrument buttons and it cycles through them all in like a super-fast arpeggio.

If the Bontempi can glitch and malfunction just by pressing its buttons alone, I can imagine just what could be achieved once I get in there and really have a good go at it.

*edit: I'm thinking that some of the bends in a Bontempi might also need to be wired up at a button level... because with these strange button combinations, it might be possible to attach pots and components to control whatever it is that is happening here.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Jayman9er on January 12, 2010, 06:23:41 AM
I recently got a good deal on a leap frog leap pad. that was before i new about this site i read the unbendable posts, and seen the leap frog  in the list. I have got some good glitch sounds out of it but limited, when i get a sound i like it shuts itself off. Should i toss it or am i doing something wrong. Any advice would help thanks.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Circuitbenders on January 14, 2010, 12:04:27 AM
you could try sticking some low value resistor in line with your glitch bends, or possibly a diode, but i doubt it will help much. Leapfrogs are just a pain.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Jayman9er on January 17, 2010, 08:58:19 AM
thanks for the advice i will give it a try, sorry about the anoying question. I am still a rookie and will try not to be to annoying with dumb questions. I appreciate the response 8)
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: freeform delusion on April 13, 2010, 10:33:31 PM
The Bontempi B30 is a really bad keyboard. I don't like the way you unscrew it and then you have to slide out the insides, it does look interesting & better that way, a kind of skeleton keyboard.
Didn't last long with me, it is also disguised as a Barbie Keyboard in the same shape (but pink), and has the same functions (which do sound good though) but didn't find much for bends myself.

I also found the PSS-30 hard to bend too.
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: kitsophrenik on May 27, 2010, 09:58:55 AM
http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2010/05/squidfanny-circuit-bent-yamaha-pss-30.html (http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2010/05/squidfanny-circuit-bent-yamaha-pss-30.html)

says up there ^^^^^^^^ tht pss 30 is unbendable.... this one is well and truely bent!

also, this guys a genius!

love it!

=)
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Timodon on June 07, 2010, 06:11:12 PM
Holy F**k!

bits of that sound like Holy F**K!

Quality instrument! want one now!
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: kitsophrenik on June 08, 2010, 07:58:11 AM
innit! its a genius sound!

you should hear it amped up to fcuk! mintttttt!

=D
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: druzz on August 30, 2010, 06:17:53 AM
you could try sticking some low value resistor in line with your glitch bends, or possibly a diode, but i doubt it will help much. Leapfrogs are just a pain.

i am working on a leap frog rigth now .  its really time consuming to achieve simple things . the design is odd but its an interresting ecxperience to work with it . it forces me to think differently . closing back the original shell is out of question and i even needed a saw to to remove the speaker wich is still in its little piece of shell ... its not comming out .   i'm am currently designibg my first pcb ever wich will be some sort of controll surface with a DIP switches and odd trimmers so its kind of exithing .

but yeah leapfrog's ARE a pain  or lets say a challenge  ;).

i willl hesitate before buying an other one
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: iwillbeacircuitbender on April 01, 2015, 09:12:04 PM
Quote
Super Speak&Spell 1991  and  Super Speak&Math 1991:  both are nearly unbendable. (catweazle)
Not according to bogus:noise:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CddQWyh-wGI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CddQWyh-wGI)
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: iwillbeacircuitbender on January 11, 2016, 03:34:22 PM
"Yamaha PSS-30: One of the most unbendable chips ever (someone on this forum)"

Well I'm just here to say that I'm the proud owner of 3 of these baby's and I will be doing some serious in depth bending on this series when I get home from school next week. My goal is to seriously ruin this keyboards evening. So I'll probably post what I'm able to find/not find sometime in the next 3 weeks or so.

Oh, the PSS-30 is bendable all right, just listen to what freeform delusion did:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDYohyYcVd8
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: Bogus Noise on January 24, 2016, 07:34:40 PM
Quote
Super Speak&Spell 1991  and  Super Speak&Math 1991:  both are nearly unbendable. (catweazle)
Not according to bogus:noise:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CddQWyh-wGI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CddQWyh-wGI)
Heheh, months and months later, but just saw this post :-)

Yeah, they're doable, but tricky! The pitch was an LTC. Loads of points on the glitchy section just crash the thing.

In a way this 'unbendable machines' thread can be dangerous. Less experienced benders can come in and post something is impossible to bend, and someone else can say 'well, actually...'
On Facebook someone claimed something was unbendable because it had SMD components, and I've done a couple of beasty things with SMD! I had to reply with "SMD can still give great results, it just makes stuff more fiddly."

Another risk is that sometimes you get multiple versions of a toy. The Alphabet Desk Phonics is a prime example - there's one version with a tiny rectangular board, and another with a larger square board with loads of through-hole components. The former one doesn't do anything that I found (I went very in depth with what there was to work with), and the latter pitches and glitches with ease!
Title: Re: UNBENDABLE MACHINES list here.
Post by: iwillbeacircuitbender on January 27, 2016, 09:42:52 PM
Yamaha PSS 380- This is NOT unbendable. I've done a lot of connections between the RAM and ROM chips. Once crashed, the thing can go nuts if you persistenly short it
And I know someone here will say "Dude, you should totally do the FM data line bend, it is much better"