Mention “circuit bending” and you may think of someone making unlistenable noise on a Speak & Spell they … broke. But in the grand tradition of Reed Ghazala, circuit bending can mean instruments that have exquisitely mutated from vintage devices, resplendent in new paint and making bizarre but wonderful new sounds.

I guess you can think of it as the difference between a conservatory-trained woodwind quintet and … the sound of your first-grade music class playing those plastic recorders.

Ivo Ivanov is squarely in the master builder category. We can drool over his visually beautiful creations, in this gallery here.

And we get access to all the sounds.

Ivo isn’t just a kid with a screwdriver mucking about and breaking things. (Um, that’s more a description of me.) He has a skilled background in engineering and sound design. That led him to start Glitchmachines, initially as a kind of luthier of the circuit bent variety, but later as a workshop for sound designs and sample libraries. You can review his sound design chops and see galleries of his creations on his personal site.

Or, to get those sounds for your own projects, there are two sample libraries built from his circuit bent creations (made with Alex Retsis):

And yeah, all these mad sounds can result in some mad music:

Since we live in the age of the hardware renaissance, you aren’t limited to getting sound packs just for your computer, either. GLITCHMACHINES also did a bunch of expansion cards for the Tiptop Audio sampler module ONE, including a library dedicated to circuit bending:

Of course, you might just be happy drooling at these gorgeous paint jobs. This makes me want to repaint my whole road rig.


via – thanks for the photos for CDM, Ivo, after I gawked at one on social media.