Circuit Bending Guide


Circuit bending is the art (as opposed to science) of modifying audio toys to produce musical instruments. By creatively shorting circuits, adding switches and pots you can create a truly unique musical object. The hobby is incredibly easy get started in; just roll down to your local thrift store and pick up some old speak ‘n’ spells and start poking around. This comes with all the usual disclamers i.e. don’t hook house current up to your body. If you’re careful though you’ll soon be hearing the wonderful sounds of a know-it-all speak ‘n’ spell in agonizing pain. Sound like fun? Have a look at Anti-Theory’s great guide to everything you need to know to get started with circuit bending.

There is also an interesting gallery show over at Crown Dozen.


  1. pHIL HELLARY says:

    Was it me or has been down for the past hour or so??


  2. mys says:

    i live in germany.
    i have also encountered problems when trying to reach in the past hours.

  3. stav says:

    Radiohead has such a unique musical style and much of it is attributed to their experimentation with these types of devices. Gotta love these guys. Especially that nut “Jonny Greenwood: lead guitar, keyboards, electronics, and many more.” Quote from wikipedia. His music’s so good, Wonder if he’s been running the current through his brains left hemisphere!!

  4. CaptSnuffy says:

    i couldnt reach this morning from here in new york

    i saw some of these circuit bending instrument things online and it mystified me. no more!

  5. john bokma says:

    Rememebers me of those days that I made a circuit with an SP0256AL speech chip. I had it normally connected to an I/O port on my Spectrum, but when not connected, it sometimes talked funny, can you say:


  6. Cody says:

    Wow, I’ve been waiting for a circuit bending tutorial forever!

  7. noouch says:

    That’s hot. I gotta get my hands on one of those things and try this out.

  8. Casual Observer says:

    That photo is awesome!
    Really well placed switches and such!

  9. Rich says:

    synergy looks great but has anyone seen x2x or win2x? really great hack that uses vnc transparently to do the same thing

  10. alseides says:

    everything is great and all, but maybe i would like it more if those sounds were somewhat pleasant to hear. those noises drove me crazy.

  11. landfill says:

    Amen to that, stav.
    Johnny Greenwood is fucking amazing, Radiohead have got to be my favourite band of all time…

  12. The guy that runs the anti-theory site is a hippy
    there are way more sites to learn circuitbending including my own site.
    sorry for the self promotion, hack me if you want.

  13. indeepp says:

    Great crazy s&s.i never see one with so mutch bends on it,and probably gives a very crazy sound..
    great stuff

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