Circuit bending is the creative short-circuiting of devices such as low voltage, battery-powered guitar effects, children's toys and small synthesizers to create new musical instruments and sound generators. Short Circuit is a 1986 comedy Science fiction film starring Ally Sheedy and Steve Guttenberg and directed by Electrical tension (or voltage after its SI unit, the Volt) is the difference of electrical potential between two points of an electrical Guitar effects are electronic devices that modify the tone pitch or sound of an electric guitar or condition or reroute the signal in some fashion This article is about playthings For other uses of the term see Toy (disambiguation. Emphasizing spontaneity and randomness, the techniques of circuit bending have been commonly associated with noise music, though many more conventional contemporary musicians and musical groups have been known to experiment with "bent" instruments.
The circuit bending process has been developed largely by individuals experimenting with second-hand electronics, often not associated with musical production. Aesthetic value, immediate usability and highly randomized results are often factors in the process of successfully bending electronics. Although the history of electronic music is often associated with unconventional sonic results, such innovators as Robert Moog, Lev Sergeivitch Theremin, etc. Electronic music is music that employs Electronic musical instruments and Electronic Music technology in its production Dr Robert Arthur Moog (ˈmoʊɡ to rhyme with "rogue" ( May 23, 1934 &ndash August 21, 2005) was an American pioneer of were electrical engineers and concerned with the consistency and sound design of their instruments. Electrical engineering, sometimes referred to as electrical and electronic engineering, is a field of Engineering that deals with the study and application of Circuit bending is typified by inconsistencies in the instruments built in an unscientific manner.
While many pre-fitted circuit bent machines are on offer for sale at auction sites such as eBay, this somewhat contravenes the intention of most practitioners. eBay Inc is an American Internet company that manages eBaycom an Online auction and shopping Website in which people and businesses buy and Machines bent to a repeated configuration are more analogous to the well known practice of "mods", such as the Devilfish mod for the Roland TB-303, or various Analogman or Pedaldoc guitar pedal circuit modifications. The Roland TB-303 Bass Line is a Synthesizer with built-in sequencer manufactured by the Roland corporation from 1982 to 1984 Analogman LLC is a company that makes and modifies guitar Effects pedals In 1995 the company lead by "Analog Mike" Piera started modifying Ibanez
Circuit bending typically involves dismantling a piece of consumer electronics and connecting any two circuit locations with wire, sending current from one part of the circuit into another. Sonic results are monitored through either the device's internal speaker or by connecting an amplifier to the speaker output. If an interesting effect is achieved, this connection would be marked for future reference or kept active by either soldering a new connection or bridging with alligator clips. Often other components are inserted at these points such as pushbuttons or switches, to turn on or off the effect; or components such as resistors or capacitors, to change the quality of the audio. |- align = "center"| |width = "25"| | |- align = "center"| || Potentiometer |- align = "center"| | | |- align = "center"| Resistor| | A capacitor is a passive electrical component that can store Energy in the Electric field between a pair of conductors This is repeated in a trial and error basis.
Other components added into the circuit can give the performer more expressiveness. These include potentiometers, photoresistors (for reaction to light), pressure sensors, etc. A potentiometer is a three-terminal Resistor with a sliding contact that forms an adjustable Voltage divider. A photoresistor or Light Dependent Resistor or CdS Cell is a Resistor whose resistance decreases with increasing incident light intensity The simplest and one most identified with circuit bending is the body contact, where the performer's touch causes the circuit to change the sound. Often metal knobs, plates, screws or studs are wired to these circuit points to give an easier access to these points from the outside the case of the device.
Since creative experimentation is key element to the practice of circuit bending, there is always a possibility that short circuiting may result in undesirable results, including component failure. It is advised that beginner circuit benders should never "bend" any device that gets its power from the mains (household AC power) to avoid possible electrocution. Mains is the general-purpose Alternating current (AC Electric power supply (as in "I've connected the appliance to the mains"
Some circuit bending practitioners feel as though they are subverting the traditional music making process because they are making music by processes through machinery that was not designed in the way it serves. Circuit bending facilitates the instruments in making decision for themselves with the aid of chance through reconfiguration. Through circuit bending, the human elements of music are somewhat stripped away and instruments are left to their own devices which are chance and mutation. There is a connection between man and machine in ways that are unlike other man-machine pairings, the human modifies machine to facilitate the entrance of chance into the creation process, this entrance of chance into mechanical equipment or electrical circuitry in other fields is strictly avoided making circuit bending unique in its basic process.
Although similar methods were previously used by other musicians and engineers, this method of music creation is believed to be pioneered by Reed Ghazala in the 1960s. Qubais Reed Ghazala, an American author photographer composer Musician and experimental instrument builder is recognized as the "Father of Circuit bending The 1960s decade refers to the years from the beginning of 1960 to the end of 1969 Ghazala's experience with circuit-bending began in 1966 when a toy transistor amplifier, by chance, shorted-out against a metal object in his desk drawer, resulting in a stream of unusual sounds. In Electronics, a transistor is a Semiconductor device commonly used to amplify or switch electronic signals Generally an amplifier or simply amp, is any device that changes usually increases the amplitude of a signal.  While Ghazala explicitly makes no claims as to be the first circuit bender, he coined the term Circuit Bending  and whole-heartedly promoted the proliferation of the concept and practice through his writings and internet site, earning him the title "Father of Circuit Bending".
Serge Tcherepnin, designer of the famous Serge modular synthesizers, discussed  his early experiments in the 1950s with the transistor radio, in which he found sensitive circuit points in those simple electronic devices and brought them out to "body contacts" on the plastic chassis. Serge (Alexandrovitch Tcherepnin (Сергей Александрович Черепнин born 2 February 1941 in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris The modular synthesizer is a type of Synthesizer consisting of separate specialized modules connected by wires (patch cords to create a so-called patch. This article is about an electronic device For the fourth studio album by M Prior to Mark's and Reed's experiments other pioneers also explored the body-contact idea, one of the earliest being Thaddeus Cahill (1897) whose Telharmonium, it is reported, was also touch-sensitive. Thaddeus Cahill (1867 - 1934 was a prominent inventor of the early 20th century The Telharmonium (also known as the Dynamophone) was an early Electronic musical instrument, developed by Thaddeus Cahill in 1897
Artists who create and use circuit bent instruments are featured on a compilation CD entitled "Noise and Toys Volume 1," which was officially released in 2006 on We Are. A compilation album is an Album ( Music or Spoken-word) featuring tracks from one or multiple Recording artists, often culled from a variety of . . Records. Many varied musical intentions are apparent in this collection, but there is an almost physical tie binding these compositions.
Tiger Claw Records (Madison, Wisconsin), specializing in circuit bending artists released a 12-band compilation in 2006 titled "The Blown Circuit Comp - A Tribute to Circuit Bending", and a second compilation CD in 2007 titled "DO NOT BEND", which featured 19 bands. Madison is the capital of the US state of Wisconsin and the County seat of Dane County.
Absurdity. Biz has been making video documentation of Circuit Bending since 2003. Currently they have released three DVDs of Bent Festival 2004, 2005 and 2006. A full fledged documentary continues to be in the works.