Inventory Management

I went on my usual route to find new synths from second hand and thrift stores.
Of course I found a couple of things.

When I got home to throw them into my closet with all the rest of them, I thought, jeez I have a lot of toys.

I figured I would make a blog post about the toys I have and what I was thinking (if anything) when I bought them.

Dollar Store Synths
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They were one dollar… can you believe that?!
Unfortunately, when I got them home I found out that they don’t have a timing resistor. I’m sure i will be able to come up with something cool to do with them but for now… they are gonna sit.

The Sound-X Kids
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I think I got this one for 3 bucks. This thing is AWESOME. It has tons of sound effects. It has some really cool drum beats (which you can even play backwards). It has a scratch pad. And, it even has a little keyboard with quite a few neat sounds. There is nothing generic about this little guy. The only problem with the keyboard sounds is that they don’t have any sustain. The are basically just little recordings that play once.

I think there is a resistor that is heating up inside too, because the case gets REALLY hot in one spot when you use the scratch pad a lot.

Kawasaki Dual-Cool-Keys
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The idea behind this one is that two people can play with it at the same time. I got it because I figured that it would have twice the polyphony (I don’t know if that is the right term) as a normal toy. Most of the toys you can only hold down 1 or 2 keys at one time, making complex chords impossible.

At the same time I got another Kawasaki (each for 4 dollars!) of the same series. It has a little 6 trigger drum pad with drum sequences already build in. It has some interesting drum loop samples as well. The keyboard to this one is only bi-phony but it has some really cool sounds to it.

Another Kawasaki
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I haven’t put batteries in this little guy yet, but I’m hopping it’s every bit as cool as it’s older brothers.

Just some Rand-O’s
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The blue/purple 4 button thing is just drum loops. They are really annoying. I have seed this little guy on youtube and on Reed Ghazala’s Website.
Reed Ghazala's  Doppler Wind
It’s called the Doppler Wind (whatever that means).

The little red keyboard, beleive it or not, is the same circuit that was in my very first post. So I guess I get to revisit that nightmare over and over again.

The DJ looking think is pretty lame. It could make a good housing but it really doesn’t do much. It has four drum loops and a few lame sound effects. I have another one of these but it is in a different package. It has drum pads on it but the drum loops are the same. That’s how I know it comes from the same place. I don’t know if those drum triggers are in this DJ one. Some day I will take them both apart and find out if they are truly the same circuit.

Playschool Guitar
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This is a pretty lame toy too. The cool part though is the built in tremolo. I don’t know whether it is just another voice that sounds like that or if it truly mods the sound of the guitar. Only time (and a screwdriver) will tell.

Let me know if you have any of these and have found any interesting bends.

Happy bending!

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11 thoughts on “Inventory Management

  1. You’re the first guy I’ve found on the internet that has another Kawasaki Dual-Coolkeys. I’ve been doing some demo videos of it on YouTube because no-one else has and I’d like to bend mine too sometime in the future.

    Video links in case someone is interested:

    • That’s awesome!!!

      I haven’t gotten to that one yet… have you poked around in it yet???

      I would love to see some notes on it… Let me know when you do start messing with it… we might be able to help each other out!!!

      Thanks for the comment!

    • I started taking the Kawasaki Dual-Coolkeys apart the other day… it’s like it was meant to be bent… it loves it. Everything is modular (sort of) and comes apart so easy. This thing is gonna be fun… I have some wicked ideas.

      Have you had any luck bending yours?

  2. Hey, I’m a big fan of the kawasaki cool keys, too!!

    All the modding I did was to put in an mini-plug out. It sounds totally awesome as it is. It has nice polyphony, and the rhythm of the sounds creates this awesome churning sound.

    Any idea where to get more of these beasts? I’m starting to write parts for the cool keys for a band I’m in, and we’d like to use the instrument on tour and stuff, but it’d be unwise to work without a backup…

  3. I guess I’m a little late to the party but great post πŸ™‚ I’ll have to do something similar. My wife smirks at most of my purchases but she finds some of them really neat. I guess it makes me sound old to say “It is amazing what they can do with kids toys these days” lol. I have recently gotten into the old logic games: Simon, Merlin, etc. Will never stop me from picking up something for 5 bux though lol. It beats spending it on smokes or booze. I recently got a weird Kawasaki Music Keyboard Drumpad that seems pretty neat and probably easy to bend. It has an MPC2000 style drumpad section and a minikeyboard. I’ve had the drumset style one before and it bent with a little coaxing. Haven’t cracked it open yet, but I think having the separate drumpads should make it easy to figure out a few πŸ™‚ Thanks for the post too! Glad to know I’m not the only R2 unit collecting jawa out there lol πŸ™‚

    • Never too late to circuit bend!!! (and don’t worry… my wife wants to buy a house just so we have a place for all my circuit bending crap [and other hobbies] )

      Thanks for the reply… I bet I know exactly the keyboard you are talking about… is it the “Hardboard drumpad” ???

      That thing is way cool… I have one. I had an idea to hook some 3 (or more) way switches to the outputs of a 4017 decade counter. If it was done in the way I made my other drum machine… you could have some really modern sounds coming from a bent little toy….

      The Kawasaki music stuff is almost more for big kids… In my opinion.

      My experience with the dual keys has been great so far… I have it open and I’m working on some external triggering for some loop-ability.

      I really need to put some pictures up..

      Thanks SO MUCH for reaching out… great to hear from you.

      Good luck with the bends!!!

  4. I know this is an old post, but this is the only place I’ve seen the kawasaki dual keys. I’m pretty new to circuit bending but I’ve become a bit obsessed over the past couple months – I think I’ve gotten a few funny looks at the thrift store with my arms heaped full of keyboards and kids toys. Anyway, has anyone gotten some good bends out of this? I have another kawasaki that almost looks like one these split in half, with a green speaker on the left side. Unfortunately these don’t have model numbers. If anybody would like to share some bend points, or even just places to stay away from when prodding around, I’d appreciate it. Thanks a lot!

    • Oh man!!!

      Don’t get me started on the Dual Keys!!! Love it.

      I don’t really know much about the bend points, as I mostly use the brains of toys as the sound generator and them modulate that. But, I can tell you that the Dual Keys is fantastic for people who like to mod their toys. It’s kinda like the thing was made to be opened up and played with. Everything, and I mean everything is modular. Due to the mass produced nature of these things, everything comes apart easily. Everthing is packed in a way where you can delete things that you wouldn’t want and still keep all the stuff you do. I know that doesn’t make too much sense but trust me. These Kawasaki Dual Keys are where it’s at.

      I have one opened up right now. I took a bunch of pics a little while back. I will try to post em in the next couple of days, to better explain what I’m rambling about. Maybe we can start some open, on going, real time discussion on the Kawasaki Dual Keys.

      Thanks for the comment. I’ll try and write a post here in a day or two.

      Also, if you have anything you would like to share (pics, vids, ideas) let me know. I would love to link to you or share your content.

      Thanks again,
      Nick

  5. Very cool to see all these toys waiting to be bent!! Did you do anything with the Sound-X yet? I picked one up today at a thrift store…think I paid twice as much as you did. It really does have a ton of sounds, I’m excited to crack it open.

    • No not yet.

      I do remember opening it up to see if it was ripe for bending… I seem to remember that it would get SUPER hot in one perticular area. Maybe a transistor or something. I would be interested to know if you find the same thing.

      I see it having a lot of potential because of all the beats and keys and weird sounds. I think a lot of the sound circuits could be cut out too though. Depends on what you hope to do with it.

      Keep me posted on what you find. Maybe it will inspire me to bust it open again and take a peak inside.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Cheers!

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