Monday, December 15, 2008


I just got back from my 10-day trip to Buenos Aires today... what a blast! One of our little missions was to find some sort of spanish-speaking electronic toy to infuse with some sort of electronic diablo.

This one's for DanB... and so I'm sure he'll have a marvelous composition/video ready to post for us fairly soon. New device features include 1/4" output, pitch/rate knob, distortion switch and psycho loop switch.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Casio Quellotone

Here it is, Mike:

The Casio MT-45 circuit bent for Quell, features:
- Installed optical "theremin" with accompanying blinky light
- mute/mod switches for Hi-Hat sounds
- 4-way glitch joystick with alien filters and harmonies
- 3 body contacts for bitcrushed BROWN NOTES, special for the Reverend Moquell

There were times I thought this whole thing was wrecked. Up until the last minute, half of the keys weren't even working. At one point I was getting no audio at all -- fearing that I had crossed something hot and blown out a chip. I spent more time fixing things I'd snapped, unsoldered and burnt than I did adding new features! I couldn't resist adding the blinky opto-theremin thing either. The idea is to reflect the blinking *LAZERBEAM* back onto the photocell to make it freak out more.

SO MIKE -- the deal is, you have to post some freakout acid jams for us now. Maybe you can finally record the soundtrack to that new Unicorn-Cardiologist-Outer-Space-Western cartoon drama you've been working so hard on!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Circuit bent Electronic Storybook for AudioAngel

....AudioAngel gave me these two Sound-Effects devices from a Storybook toy. One from The Lion King, one from SPIDER-MAN!!! All she wanted was a 1/4" jack installed to play the sounds live but guess what, I found a circuit-bend point and just couldn't help myself. The copper pads on the sides are BODY-CONTACTS and the more skin they touch, the LOWER the pitch of the sound effects. VERY AWESOME and glitchy! No video for this creation, I'll let AudioAngel come up with a performance, then we can all go see her play freakedout LionKing sounds live!
...except for Quell, who's too far away.
Quell has to stay home and try to find a more insane YouTube series to top Ol' Greg

Friday, November 14, 2008


's my brand new homemade analog synth, inspired by the Thingamagoop, but designed from scratch by Zippy. It's controlled by three mercury tilt-switches and of course, buttons-and-knobs. Fun to play! The sound changes as you rotate the thing. It's brain is seven square-wave oscillators: three for the "notes," three for the blinky lights, and one for the "tremolo" mod. The whole thing mounts on a round, blank circuit board and fits inside this acrylic rocks-glass I got at Lucky's!!!! 1/4" output also installed to crank-it-up and annoy the neighbors.

This was a big one. Took me about a month to finish, doing a lot of testing, learning, ordering wrong parts and re-ordering... It took a lot of science to make this happen!

also, it runs on WAY less than 2.2 Gigawatts... only 9V.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Guitar pickup. Two dollars. Radio shack parts and fifteen minutes.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The latest new device, design stage

Zippy's "YOU DECIDE" 2008

I was just given this old Red Les Paul Guitar Hero controller...
WHAT'm I gunna DO wit' IT?!?!?!

another drumitar? Some kind of freaky synth? Maybe just a light-show controlled by buttons? A water gun? A TV remote control?

you decide!
comment or email zippy

I dunno.... if you comes up with a really killer *doable* idea, I'll make it, and you can keep it!

The Shadow Jar

A varitation of a basic photo-theremin oscillator circuit, TRAPPED IN A JAR! Only you can save the wacky noise by torturing it with light.

Please note, this device does not actually generate the sound of The Blue Angels soaring past your apartment, but it goes nuts in front of a TV screen!

meet "Mr. Mini-Ding"

Built for Max Demian by Zippy, using two cell-phone vibration motors. AND A LITTLE BELL!!!

New from Prankster Labs (friday night with Zippy)

Exhibit A. Everyone knows I play barefoot... I've been interested in fucking with the delay parameters live, but its hard to get my toes into that little row of knobs! I opened the bitch up and desoldered the feedback pot, re-mounting it on the side for better TOE ACCESS! Now I can throw the feedback up to 100% all of a sudden and make crazyass loops on the fly!

Exhibit B. Remote control "insert" KILLSWITCH for any 1/4" device, specifically noisy Bad Hand devices including, but not limited to, plasma reality Hadron acceleration amplifiers, and thingamagoops.

"the lunxbox"

I made this contraption for Julia for her birthday.

Nutritional Information:
do not eat.
contains: a picture frame Mike Vines left behind when he moved out, some piece of wood I found in the kitchen, copper foil (, marbles (, little bells (, a coat hanger, and love.

C in the dark.

Zippy's got purples.

check out Gary Brawer -- our hero, see his blog entry on this nutty project

When Timmy was getting his guitar hacked, Gary mentioned something about putting lights in it somewhere. I was all like "I GOT A GUITAR YOU CAN PUT LIGHTS IN!" I actually bought the Epi just for Gary. The fulltone pedal is a copy of the old UniVibe's used by Hendrix, etc. Its my favorite tone, sounds so good with the hollow body -- now I can take it everywhere!

...and play in the dark.

Zippy's Homemade Drumitar

I'm inspired, of course, by Futureman of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, with his amazing Synthaxe Drumitar covered in touch pads. A friend of mine had this Rock-Band guitar controller that wasn't working with his XBOX anymore, so i gutted it. I bought the BOSS DR-110 off of Craig's List and it was a perfect match: 6 non-velocity-sensitive drum pads and a clearly marked circuit board. My original plan was to install the entire drum machine into the controller, and just have an audio output. Logistically though, the cat-5 connection made more sense. AND because it's detachable (thanks to a female-to-female coupler) I still have a working drum machine i can use without the guitar!!!

This isn't the best performance, i guess, but hey, this thing is brand new!!!!

MY NEXT PLAN involves the installation of a Moog 3P circuit into my cat.