torsdag den 14. februar 2013

Voice Message Greeting Cards turned into Lo-Fi Sampler

I bought these super cheap Voice Recordable Audio Greeting Card Modules of eBay for about 1.50$ each. The ones I got has capacity for around 10 seconds of sound. I thought they could be fun having around for a future Lo-Fi sampler, and either ways they were so cheap that there really was no excuse for not buying a bunch.
The module comes with 2 pushbuttons: a record button and a play button. There's a little LED that turns on when record mode is activated and when the message is done playing. There's a small 8 ohm speaker and an electret mic for recording. The module runs of 3 x 1.5V button cell batteries.

Voice Recorder from eBay
Modified into Lo-Fi Looper

The first obvious thing for me was to get rid of these annoying batteries so I connected the bottom connection pad of the first battery holder to GND and the square silver pads in the other corner I connected to 4.5V+. Now we don't have to be concerned about running dry of power.

Next thing was to make this bitch repeat the message when it's done playing. I thought it had to include the pin connected to the PLAY button so I connected a resistor to the pin and sniffed around for a point that would make the message repeat - and as I hoped for, I hit one of the microscopically small SMD-capacitors which (I guess) must go LOW when the message is done playing and then it can function as a signal to repeat the message when connected to PLAY. I did so through af toggle switch, to be able to turn LOOP on/off.

Then I went further in my experimentations and implemented af PITCH pot, just of random experimentation with connecting different points on the PCB: one point slowed down the playback rate; another was speeding it up, so I connected the points to the 'ears' of the potentiometer and Voila! we've got a SPEED knob.

Here's a sound example:
Bent Greetings (lo-fi looper) by dogenigt

The sound is quite nice and sketchy when pitched almost all the way down! I am having thoughts about turning these into boxed Lo-Fi Loopers and selling them for a fair price. Could be nice to make a small living of circuit bending and handmade electronics :)

More to come in the future about this project! I was just too anxious to be able to keeping this a secret until the final version of the product! And... well, I fried my last PCB by mistake so I am waiting for another shipment from Hong Kong. Hehe.

Stay tuned!
Best Regards from Dögenigt.

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