MIDI Controlled Glitches

Some of you might be interested in these loops I created a while back using a MIDI-controlled Texas Instruments Speak & Spell toy. The toy has had a mod board made by Highliquid fitted that allows MIDI access to speech fragments stored in the toy’s speech ROM, essentially allowing circuit-bent type sounds to be produced in a controllable (and reproducible) manner. Unfortunately, the board is no longer manufactured. Apparently, the designer is considering releasing the firmware and board schematics as Open-Source, though, so all is not lost, if you want to get your hands on one. If he does Open Source the design, I’ll be making a couple more of my own boards, as I have Italian and French Speak & Spells I also want to MIDIfy.
Incidentally, I’m still looking for the German Speak & Spell (I believe it was called the Buddy)- if anyone sees one, please let me know!

Loops were knocked into shape in Ableton Live. I also added some reverb, which I now regret, as it limits what you can do with the loops to some extent. As I say in the set description, feel free to download and use the loops if you fancy, but please drop me a line if you do.


That sounds pretty cool actually… How hard is it to midify one?

@V’cent it is pretty cool, isn’t it! I must dig it out of the cupboard again sometime.
Without getting hold of one of the Highlyliquid kits, probably quite hard. With the kit, it’s pretty easy. You just have to make up the PCB, (very few components, pre-programmed chip), and solder a few flying leads onto the original Squeak & Smell circuit board. The hardest bit is making the hole for the MIDI socket in the toy’s case. Maybe I’ll drop John (the Highlyliquid guy) another email asking when/if he’s going to release the project.