Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Final Project: Circuit Bent Toy Guitar

For my final project I decided to circuit bend a toy guitar that I purchased at Walmart.  The toy guitar as I bought it, only had an on/off switch and had the buttons to press on the neck of the guitar.  Each of the buttons on the neck of the guitar had set songs that it plays for a certain amount of time until it's done.  After discussing what to add to this regular toy guitar with Clint, we came to the conclusion that I would try to make this toy guitar as closely related to a real guitar as I possibly could without losing it's obvious toy-like features.  It is intended to be a statement of how I personally do not play any instruments whatsoever, and that I have no musical background or history at all!  That being said, playing a toy guitar as though I was playing a real guitar references the humor with myself playing an instrument with no musical history.  In order to add some "real guitar" characteristics to my toy guitar, I had to dissect and take the toy completely apart.  I then began circuit bending the circuit board that was inside the guitar to see where certain points on the circuit board would make different sounds that the "original" toy would definitely not be creating.  To be able to toggle between the normal sounding guitar tunes, and slow/fast guitar tunes, I had to add some switches to it.  I wired a switch to the circuit board that drops the tempo of the guitar tune really low, and then after that I wired a switch to the first switch and the circuit board so that I could distort the sound a little bit in various ways.  The reason why I wired the second switch to the first switch was to make it so the second switch wouldn't be active unless the first switch was turned on.  In addition to that, just like how a real guitar would have, I added a potentiometer in a relatively similar location to my toy guitar as where it would be on a real guitar.  This potentiometer was wired to be able to toggle the volume at hand.  Then, of course, to make it even more like a real guitar, I had to cut the wire off of the speaker that came with the toy, and wired a jack to the toy so that I had the ability to play the toy guitar with an amplifier active loud and clear. 

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