glammachine1 One box, many sounds, all toy-like and strange. Such is the vision of the Glam Machine. Norman Fairbanks, the man who brought us the all-Tenori-On album, has been teasing this creation, housed in a lovely wooden box with a giant VU meter on it, for a few days. Now we finally get to find out what it is — and apparently it was all inspired by Norman doing an interview here for CDM.

Imagine a semi-modular box with glitchy sampler and the repurposed, Frankenbending sounds of electronic toy guts:

The instrument will consists of three main sections: two modified toys and a lo-fi sampler. The first toy is a complex modern educational toy that can be altered to produce amazing organic soundscapes, sweeping orchestral sounds and strange percussive loops. It also has a stereo output, which is rather nice. The second toy, in contrast to the mellow tones of the first, produces harsher sounding staccato blips, crunches and bleeps. This section can also make several different animal sounds. The sampler can record up to 20 seconds of audio, either as one long sound or four shorter ones. This is useful as the unpredictable nature of circuit bending can sometimes make it difficult to recall a particular sound. Last but not least: there is also a loop function.

Norman did the brief, but the hardware-constructing mad scientist is an East London-based fellow named Dave Cranmer, aka nervous squirrel. (See the interview he did with Future Music mag, and the many creative projects he’s working on on his site.)

Here’s a look at the insides, plus a video of another Nervous Squirrel Creation in action:


The following video is not the Glam Machine (I assume we’ll be getting that from Norman soon), but it’s a box along the same lines:

A rehousing of IQ Builder’s Talking Computer+Voice Changer+Unknow Baby Toy, all contained in a wondeful wood box. Live recording with aerial microphone, with the intention to explore this monster capable of creating a huge mass of textures, rhytmins, effect. Unique sound palette, real fun!
Hope U enjoy it listening as i’m doing playing!…