Circuit-Bend Your Casio SK Keyboard

Modify a Casio keyboard (or any other electronic audio stuff) and begin playing a few of the strangest sounds you’ve heard.

  • By Cristiana Yambo
  • Time Needed: A weekend
  • Print this Project

Circuit-Bend Your Casio SK Keyboard

By Cristiana Yambo and Sebastian Boaz

The simplest way to begin circuit bending is “playing open circuits.” This is where you open a sound tool and make use of your hands or alligator clips to wreck havoc on the board inside and find out what it really seems like. But it’s nearly as simple to permanently “bend” any appropriate device by soldering on the couple of wires and switches. We’ll let you know that, after which demonstrate the way we transformed a Casio SK-5, a typical, 80s-era sampling keyboard, into an unstoppably flexible seem organ and sonic effects generator.

A thing of caution: Don't attempt to circuit bend anything that should be connected to a wall, like a VCR or perhaps a television. These units use high voltages, and having fun with the circuitry inside might injure or kill you. Circuit bending is perfect for battery-powered toys and instruments only.

  • Ethernet cable (1) For exterior controllers (optional)
  • Alligator clips (1) A minimum of a couple of the greater, the merrier.
  • Ethernet jack (1) For exterior controllers (optional)
  • Flexible plastic tubing (1)
  • Momentary switches (1) We used keyboard keys from your old Mac pc. In lots of older, heavier computer keyboards, each secret is its very own selfcontained momentary switch (not proven).
  • Hose clamps (2) (1)
  • Flat non-performing easily drillable panel about 5'x5' (1) For that user interface, which inserts within the keyboard's speaker area.
  • Small machine screws and nuts (1) A minimum of 77 of every.
  • Stranded wire 22- gauge or thereabouts (1)
  • Flat non-performing easily drillable box (1) For that patch bay, we used a translucent plastic storage box. The patch bay box ought to be large enough to carry and enable use of 77 screws without crowding.
  • Flat non-performing box (1) Like above, but smaller sized for exterior key box controller (optional)
  • Assorted switches contacts along with other bend components (1) For that user interface. We used 4 toggle switches, 1 potentiometer, 1 photometer, 2 doorknobs (for body contacts), along with a pushbutton momentary change to reset the unit.
  • Casio SK-series keyboard (1) We used an SK-5, but they are all ideal for bending. Check local thrift stores or eBay.
  • Project Steps View All
  • 1. Connect the patch wires.
  • 2. Build and fasten the patch bay.
  • 3. Route the patch cable. Cut.
  • 4. Take away the tuning pot.
  • 5. Build the user interface.
  • 6. Connect the user interface.
  • 7. Connect the reset, and shut up.

Step #1: Connect the patch wires.

Step #2: Build and fasten the patch bay.

Step #4: Take away the tuning pot.

Step #5: Build the user interface.

Step #6: Connect the user interface.

Step #7: Connect the reset, and shut up.


This project first made an appearance in MAKE Volume 04, page 88.

Cristiana Yambo

  • A large number of projects in each and every issue covering Robots, Drones, 3D printing, craft and much more
  • Tips and talent-building tutorials with inspiration in the leaders from the maker community
  • Save over 40% from the annual cover cost!
  • Twelve Months (6 issues)


Thanks for visiting the Make: Community!

after you are agreed to the Make: e-newsletter.

You could also such as these newsletters:

Thank you for registering. Book your email to verify.

Your FREE PDF obtained care of. Book your email. Additionally, you will be finding the weekly Make: E-newsletter to help keep you inspired with new projects and much more product critiques.

We have first got it.

Your changes happen to be saved. Keep Making!

Interesting submission. Our editors will take a look at materials and follow-up along with you via email as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, keep making stuff!

The reCAPTCHA box wasn't checked. Please repeat the process.


Make: may be the voice from the Maker Movement, empowering, inspiring, and connecting Makers worldwide to tinker and hack. Sign up for Make Magazine Today!

Casio SK-8A with video out / seperate drumpads / extreme pitch (circuit bent by BAUM)

  • Joshua Samshuijzenzenzen: absolutely fantastic video
  • TheFunfinder86: What's the point of the screen I'm curious? dope video
  • Cubilas: those are some nasty samples you have there… why so lo-fi? you can record much better sounds on there with the line in. Great video! do the triggers activate when the button is unpressed ?
  • Zamphyr: Arabic scales, please!
  • INVERNOrec: fantastic! WOW!
  • abusecore: extreme pitch rules. awesome machine!
  • Igor Amokian: Very nice machine..whew weee
  • MA Tunes: Another urgent question please! Is there any way to connect this specific type with my lap top? I've tried many things and could not… I also have fl studio already installed but it couldn't recognize my casio!! Looking forward to hearing from you… πŸ™‚
  • MA Tunes: Remind me please how can I record 4 sampling!!
  • MA Tunes: This type is amazing… + the installations are great!! πŸ˜‰
  • Lachlant1984: What's the difference, assuming there is any, between the standard SK-8 and the SK-8A?
  • Maudio: Das war mein erstes Keyboard das SK8 πŸ™‚ Echt geil was Du daraus gemacht hast… vorallendingen mit T-Online Modem und Splitter Gehäuse zweck entfremdet :)))) Selbst das Mischpult hatte ich mal … von Conrad oder? πŸ™‚
  • Jae Funk: this Sk-1 is great! this video makes me want to tear my Sk-1 open and play. Thanks for the vid.
  • otis oldman: Nice work! Do you have details or a link to resources on how to make the Arabic mod? ie. where to put the diode and it's value? Thanks!!!
  • shay dishman: does it say penis on top ov the added on part? well done sir
  • JT Foster: Hey, very cool keyboard. Any chance you could upload a video playing with the arabic SK-8a scales? I just bought one of these online and I want to hear what the microtonal scales sound like before I go hacking into it. very very cool machine.
  • Raunchola: Wow! Many cool features you have added! Great video! πŸ˜‰
  • Igor Amokian: another mad scientist master piece
  • Ali El-hadad: wow , how can you do this ??????
  • Elnufo: very very very cooool! good work πŸ™‚