As we've reported here before, circuit bender Noah Fleischman is a mad scientist of electronics destruction. We've seen software manglings like the Flash-powered software Speak & Spell, but Noah has continued . . . destroying things . . . from toy keyboards to a device created by grafting a cassette Walkman to a 5.25" floppy drive. Noah runs the Roil noise Yahoo group, devoted to sonic anarchy, as well as maintaining his own page with extensive background on bending and his various projects (plus some nifty Flash circuit bending toys).

CDM asked Noah for resources for those wanting to get started in
circuit bending, and as part of my ongoing dedication to web-publishing
anarchy, er, here is is nearly two months later. (My inbox is truly a
dark and scary place.)

Read on, then join the revolution. (hit read more)


Noah writes:

I learned by just shear luck, actually. If you haven't already read it, http://www.roilnoise.com/bending2.htm
explains quite a bit about how I re-discovered it. Basically, I was
surfing the net, stumbled across some stuff about bending and it just
struck me that THIS WAS IT!!! I have to say it is because of the
Internet that this information really became clear to me. As many times
as I have been on eBay or Google, sitting there stumped as to what
interesting something-or-other to run a search for,  it never
occurred to me to search for "Circuit Bending". BAM! Instant new
obsession. It just hit me that nomatter what, this is something that I
will learn to do. Sometimes it just takes a nudge in the right
direction.
 

One must first have a  deep love of repetitive, noisey,
glitched-out, spattering, screaming, gurgling, and otherwise fried
sounds that weren't really meant to be. Sometimes it's the coolest
thing you've ever freakin' heard, other times it's the most gawdawful
crap you've ever heard….. And the rest of the time it seems the
device just crashes and shuts off, and you have to hit reset. The key
and the point (at least for me) is to have lots of patience and
record ALL of it, then go back later to pick out the choice loops
and regions that stand out and sound good. This is also important
because with some devices, you may only hear a certain sound or catch
that one killer loop once, you may never hear it just that way ever
again. I actually  record the bending process so I don't have to
wait until I have spent hours attaching all the switches and stuff.
Instant gratification. ;)

Another great resource is Lee Daniel Perry of the Bent Monkey Cage
in Bakersfield CA. He is a pro bender and sells CD-Rs on eBay full of
all kinds of useful info. He really knows his stuff, and although Reed Ghazala
is a fantastic pro bender too, a person REALLY doesn't need to spend
whatever it is… $1000- $3000+ to go and learn how to bend from from
the guy! For me it was much more interesting and cost effective to just
have that spark lit in my head and then go with it. Bent Monkey Cage
gave me that opportunity to dive in. Some people may find him hard to
follow, but if you really read and understand what he is trying to
teach you, he'll be your best pal!

I was happy to discover too that even broken electronics and keyboards
I thought were trash actually turned out to be easily fixable and
brought back to life. I'm the kind of person that never throws old
circuit boards and junk keyboards away, so there was quite a bit of
stuff to comb through in the back of the Roil Noise Dungeon (my
basement). If you're one of those people that has tons of electronic
toys or keyboards around, and you have some time, you may find bending
a lot of fun. I am always on the search for sounds I've never
heard before, and circuit bending really kicks that door wide open for
me. Some of the sounds you will hear,  you just cannot get any
other way. Guaranteed. It's addicting…

  • Guest

    Hi, I am a friend of NOAH and like the article. Bending is cool – but it is definitely not easy to make good tracks. As written, requires a lot of patience – I am still learning starting with a bend CD player and soon hopefully a bend alien soundbox. Let's see what happens – chaos probably ;) .

  • Guest

    Looks like Lee deleted a page or something. The link to BENT MONKEY CAGE'S webpage is actually:
    http://hometown.aol.com/poppacootch/bentmonkeycag

  • Guest

    Damn…….that is KOOL…..and on the same day I was in a California Arts and Music Newspaper—if you want check it out–The Blackboard and bent monkey cage—I love my life and thank you guys ( especially NOAH)in kc Kansas—there is no place like a bent home…..lee daniel at the caGE

  • Guest

    C A C A ………yup, it is just a bunch of CACAaudio anarchy and entropy is our game….. we have no shame……bishop bMc here for your ride.
    Controlled Audio Circuit Anomalation

  • Guest

    nice article, it is true, some noise can be cool, some can just plain suck. i've allways loved taking old toy keyboards or trashed casios and trying to rebuild them, and getting some twisted sound out of them, attach a speaker to some oscilator out of an old radio and get some strange noise, allways good fun, getting them on to a recording device is allways a pain in the ass though…

  • http://www.bentmonkeycage.com bMc–lee daniel in C

    CIRCUIT BENDING bent monkey cage—One must first have a deep love of repetitive, noise. One must be an advanced species of music.—bMc circuit bending

    glitched-out,guttonizing, screaming, gurgling, and otherwise fried

    sounds that weren't really meant to be. Sometimes it's the coolest

    thing you've ever freakin' heard. LOOP your gisms and make some damn noise –"CIRCUIT BENDING" bent monkey cage circuit-bending

    lee daniel perry california bent odditorium of noise

  • http://www.bentmonkeycage.com BENT MONKEY CAGE

    circuit-bending bentmonkeycage lee daniel

    click or paste —> http://www.myspace.com/bentmonkey
    or
    http://www.bentmonkeycage.com
    or
    http://www.myspace.com/noizetoyz2007