All Goofyness Shall Be Revealed #1—the circuit bent Spy Voice Changer
First, two annoying warnings:
1. Don’t try this at home—something may blow up. Or might not. Not sure which thing might disappoint most … Just so you understand the risks, not just to your equipment, and don’t shake your virtual fist this way if something goes awry.
2. Lord knows where, when or if such crazy crap as herein specified will ever show up in your own travails. Don’t sweat it, look hard to find it, or pay big $$$$ for it on eBray. Maybe there’s something waiting in a junk bin nearby; perhaps it & you have an appointment with destiny.
Moving on: many gizmos mentioned here are well known, like the Korg Monotron, or at least searchable online. Others, not so much.
The above widget was found several years ago at a Christmas Tree Shop, I said “gimme” and was immediately underwhelmed. Maybe it was the small speaker. Or just my profound lack of patience/imagination at the time.
Since then an adjusted ‘tude and an easy bend (the two wires out of the front are in parallel with the clock resistor—thus, Touch-A-Matic “control” of heterodyning/pitch/phasing/whatever) has changed things. More recently a speaker out (jack in the top) has further expanded things with, shall we say, “differently voiced” speakers and ill advised but handy DI connection.
The Monotron and practically anything at hand has been run through this via the 1/8” mic input (impedance matching? gain structure? hey, now, did you just make all that stuff up?). Also microphones, mostly goofy toy ones and the occasional phone tap coil, make for plenty of feedback fun. (I record at home at fairly low, easy-to-manage volumes; your live gigging needs & circumstances may greatly vary.)
The Spy has 3 basic modes-Amp, High Voice Changing and Low. In any of these modes the two-wire clock speed bend has an effect. The Voice Changer modes will pitch bend, deflecting towards what you might call normal or unchanged pitch. The Amp setting tends to have some phaseyness or sideband weirdness (no, I’m not an Electrical Engineer nor a reliable authority of any kind) even if there’s no pitch bending per se.
While I’ve only seen one Spy V.C., this one, other super groovin’ voice changing toys may yet be found in your neighborhood and messed with in similar ways. Have fun.