Circuit Bent Casio MT-210


This is a little old Casio keyboard with some interesting bend points. I had originally misunderstood this keyboard and thought all the drums were analog, but only the hi-hats are. They are nice though, for a Casio.
I have heard S-Cat and other people’s bends and thought I would give it a shot. Mainly I wanted to bend the drums since a lot of other bends I’ve heard really just warp the synth tones with distortion or other effects which I can achieve using my ME-50 or in my DAW. The drums have a lot of variations of tone and the pattern itself through the bends I made. One interesting one is the kick drum. Since all drums except the hi-hats are PCM samples, there must be another kick sample in the machine because one bend gives me a more 909 style kick. It is pretty punchy and beefy for a Casio. Maybe it was too industrial for the demographic of this keyboard and they left it out, who knows. Other bends alter which tone plays which percussive part. For instance I can get the conga tone to play the hi-hat pattern instead of the hi-hat tone.
This keyboard was one which I did not want to spend a lot of money on, so here is what I did to bend it with a net cost of about $4.
First, I was lucky enough to visit my parents, and my dad had lots of old DB-15 cables as well as unused telephone cables which I cannibalized in order to get about 35 short thin cables. When I found my bend points on the keyboard I marked them with a thin felt pen. I soldered the cables to the bend points. To save time I used short bolts and nuts for the bend terminals outside the keyboard. I stripped the cable, wound it around the bolt near the head, and put it through the hole I drilled in the faceplate of the keyboard. Then put the but on and tightened it. This allowed me to get a good connection, but saved me some additional soldering. To make connections between bend points I use short cables with alligator clips. I also installed a potentiometer in the center of all the keyboard with the three terminals just below it. This allows me to connect it between bend points for even more variation.
While not the most compelling keyboard to mod, in the end I spend about 5 hours, had a modest amount of fun, and now look forward to dumping some loops into my computer so I can chop them up and use them on my Korg ESX-1. Someday, I may release my “Circuit Bent” Sample pack for sale with this and all my other little projects…

A little demo of non-repeating loops from my MT-210

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