handmade
electronic
instruments

by Michael Rucci

DEVICE 0036
Completed:
May, 2011
Location:
Montreal, Quebec Canada

 

This Kawasaki toy keyboard has been circuit bent or modified to include control clock speed for tempo and pitch adjustment. Also an optional LFO (low frequency oscillator) can modulate the clock speed for a nice effect.

The speaker has been removed to make room for the additional electronics behind the metal plate. In place of the speaker this can now be connected to amps, effects, or recording equipment via the new 1/4" output jack. (I'd also like to note there is a very tiny speaker inside that was required to keep this functioning properly, it can be faintly heard when the output is not being used.)

Aside from all the modifications the original design had several useful features, including 32 keys, 4 drum pads, 8 voices and 8 music loops. As well as a very simple sequencer that will play back the recorded pattern quantizing one note or drum hit per beat. It is duo-phonic and will play up to two keys or drum pads at once.

As the battery life was quite short, in place of batteries it is now powered by an included US style wall adapter.

This is a stable instrument however when it has had too much it may lock up and thus I've installed a quick reset switch.

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