Inconstantmate 350

Paint-on leading, + knob alteration, added 03-05-06. No more "what this switch do?"

Inconstantmate 350 - This is a Realistic Concertmate 350, Radioshack's version of the Casio PT-10 (different circuit-board, same sound). There was very little room inside for modifications, so I added a break-out box for the new controls. It has four different synth-pads, and ten classic & instantly recognisable Casio rhythms.

Recently, my friend Curt got his hands on this, and I recorded a good 8 minutes of him messing with it. The sounds he cranked out floored even me, affirming that this is my best bend yet.

- Funky glitter breakout box! Dollar-store tupperware never looked so good ;) First I sprayed the interior with glitter-spray, then painted the bottom of each compartment with semi-transparent glass paint (red & black). I'd intended to run fibre-optic strands into it from the power-on LED, but was unable to locate any. As soon as I have some I'll add it.
- Low-pass filter (switched). Thanks go out to the bending community for schematics for this. Basically it cuts out the higher frequencies as you turn the dial.
- Pitch up knob (switched). I went with a 1meg potentiometer here. It effects both rhythms and pads.
- Pitch down knob (switched). 500k pot here. It slows the rhythms right down into blasts of white noise, and the pads into low grumbles.
- 2 way vibrato/pitch shift (switched). Two capacitors wired into the pitch-down bend, which retune the keyboard to a set pitch and add a little vibrato to the sound. Very atmospheric.
- Hyperdrive body contacts. Touching these pitches everything way up, so much so that the rhythm becomes a single stream of noise. Touching them quickly and in succession while playing a tune gives the sound an excellent psychedelic effect. Subtler pressure can give you theremin-like wails.
- Output jack.

Even with all the modifications turned off, the tuning slipped at least three semitones. Luckily, it has a tuning pot on the circuit-board, which allowed me to retune it using my PT-10 as a guide. As well as the intended functions, the Inconstantmate lives up to its name and displays some unpredictable behaviour now and then, as you will hear in the sound samples.

Sound clips:

Fantasy pad This is how the fantasy tone sounds with no modifications. I use this same pad for all other samples.
Pitch up Warping the notes with the pitch up knob.
Vibrato The wonders of the vibrato switch.
Vibrato/pitch With vibrato on, shifting the pitch up.
Rhythm 1 Pitching the rhythm up.
Rhythm 2 Pitching the rhythm down.
Rhythm 3 Waaay down.
Rhythm hyperdrive The rhythym being warped by the hyperdrive contacts!
Rhythm & fantasy hyperdrive As above, but with some fantasy played over the top. Kinda middle-eastern!
Vibrato & hyperdrive Almost a delay-like effect happening here. Very sci-fi.
Vibrato & hyperdrive 2 More of the same.
Vibrato & hyperdrive with low pass filter Mixin' it up a bit ;)
Bleep out 1 One of the eccentricities of this unit in the form of a droning beep before each note.
Bleep out 2 Another odd thing happened on the way... there's vibrato and some hyperdrive on this as well (taken from a much longer sample).
Theremin Instant body-contact theremin, just add Curt ;)
R2D2 Another snippet of Curt's session with the i350. R2D2 in da house!
The Cat's Meow No, that's not someone strangling a cat, it's Curt strangling the i350 ;)

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