Modified Circuit Bent CX500 Keyboard

Circuit Bent Keyboard

I was given this strange keyboard which at first seemed like a rather dull kid’s toy, but turned into a monster when modded. I am not a circuit bending genius, but I managed to get some interesting sounds from relatively simple bends.

The most compelling part of this keyboard is that it has individual pads to play the 4 drum tones in real time, as well as a microphone input. What? That’s right, a very strange thing to have on a cheap kids keyboard. Typically when wanting to get cool lo-fi drums, you get stuck using the built in patterns or have to sample a pattern, then slice up the samples and play them back with a sampler. Also, a microphone input? This was calling out for a foldback mod, like what the DSI Mopho and Arturia Mini Brute do, which allows you to mix the output back through the input for feedback or a cool resonant sound. Strangely when the speaker is plugged in, the resonance mod doesn’t work, but otherwise it creates a “just on the edge of feedback” ringiness to the sound. It is cool.

I threw in a basic pitch mod switch with a fixed value, as well as the ability to adjust the pitch with a knob. There are a few distortion and feedback mods as well, and a super low pitch/ blippy sort of mod which gives you a sort of sample and hold sort of sound.

The real money is in the drums though. I have sampled them and created a Kontakt  instrument FREE for you to download. There are only 4 samples, but the possibilities are endless. There is a basic patch, as well as a patch which uses a script from Kontakt 4’s built in library. Enjoy!

A little demo

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