Doesn't this thing look like the most brilliant weird free VST plugin, but made flesh? The guy selling is hoping for $150+, and he might get it - this box gets a full 10/10/10 score at Miniorgan.com.
Posted by Tom Whitwell.
I had one of these when I was a kid! I miss it so. Ahh, my first synthesizer. You could even abuse it for cooler distorted sounds, I remember holding down a switch or something to make it do something nasty. That noise loop took me back.
Guts of this is the 'well-known' Texas Intruments SN76477 - basically a small synth on a chip. Used in the Blacet Dark Star module and a ton of DIY circuits. It had an LFO, VCO, noise gen, Env, & VCA, plus weird digital mixing. It's a shame that there aren't similar chips around today for us noise-lovers to tinker with.
i've got one and they are completely fantastic, you can can even use it as a kind of two sound drum machine by using one of the switches manually to flick between a falling sine wave bassdrum sound and a decaying noise snaredrum sound.
it also rather excellently has a speaker but no line out: i keep meaning to buy some kind of small battery powered amp to make all little music toys like this fit better into spontaneous fooling around with geek chums.
the cicuit is pretty much exactly the same as the one suggested in the original data sheet (below) and since the chips pop up for ten quid or so here and there, and use so few components, it would be pretty easy to build a replica on that funny stick the components in without soldering vero/bread/board stuff.
It was my first electronic anything and I used it to make sound effects for all my Star Wars figure battery chucking wars. Domino forts didn't stand a chance against it.
My parents hated the thing.
I eventually trashed mine whilst trying to literally wire/rubber-cement it to a cheap radio I had in turn grafted to a tape deck - in a rather misguided attempt to manufacture the northern Caribbean's thinnest sounding multifunction three-speaker doom box.
Picked one up about 6 months ago from e-bay. I installed a 1/4" mono out, and had a 1/8" thick sheet of clear plexi cut, to reinforce display the original cardboard base. Drilled four holes for proper rubber feet, and it now has a nice revamp. If only I could reproduce the stickers, true to form. That would be the power move.
Hello all - As the original designer of the Sound FX machine...there was no "line out" provided. That 76477 chip used to be carried by Radio Shack which is where I first got it and started playing around with what it could do. It then evolved into the toy that you have, sold by Remco. Best regards, Ken
Geeky nostalgia. I had one of these when I was around 11 or 12 and I was thinking about it earlier. I had asked for it and, my mother bought it for me. I think it may have been for my 11th birthday, though technically we didn't "celebrate" birthdays. I loved it, even though it was somewhat limited in what it could do. It was also kind of cheesy, not just in how it sounded, but in the way it was made. I think it may have cost $16 at the time. After I got tired of using it in the normal manner, I would tune a radio to a blank area on the AM dial, sit the toy on the radio, and listen to the sound of it interfering with the radio. I discovered something weird in doing this. If you talked into the speaker of the device, the speaker would act like a microphone. You could hear your voice modulated with the sound of the machine THROUGH THE RADIO! Exciting! After I got bored with this, I inadvertently I broke the toy while experimenting with it again. I was so upset...