My First Sony - Sound Pad SOP-1000 (toy drum machine with effect samples)

This small sound toy was likely designed as an add-on to the My First Sony - Cassette-Corder and plugs into its microphone jack, but it also works with any other device with microphone input, although the sound level is fairly low.

The 7 rubber pads play each a monophonic medium resolution sample of animal and funny effect noises. When the 6th pad is held during power-on, it instead switches into drum machine mode with 4 OBS preset rhythms. These samples are astonishingly clear (although 8 bit or similar) and have unique timbres those are nicely suited for tekkno.

main features:

Sony, SOUND PAD SOP-1000



I bought my specimen on a flea market, where it was plugged into a My First Sony - Cassette-Corder (which I already owned and thus didn't buy). About 1995(?), I saw in a radio shop 2 variants of this instrument. One was likely the SOP-1000 (price about 15€) while an identical looking professional variant had a black case (with white and green drumpads?) and costed at least about  35€(?). The latter had an additional switch to select between "drum" and "animal" mode (or similar), thus I guess that both versions contained the same sound CPU, thus likely the alternate sound set also exists in the SOP-1000 an easteregg. (I haven't analyzed the hardware yet.)

The 7 drumpad sounds are quite special. The 1st goes "bomm" like a funky e-bass or droning drum and resembles much the electronic heartbeat noise in the medical care unit on the starship Enterprise in the first Star Trek series. The 2nd sound is a synth snare which descending pitch. The 3rd is a muffled cowbell or bongo. The 4th is a decaying tone with strong howling 4Hz vibrato. The 5th (pad shows a frog) sounds like a synth bass with meowing filter resonance (like TB303). The 6th sounds like cat meow while the 7th is a lowing cow.

When the 6th pad (labelled "stop") is held during power-on, it switches the instrument into drum machine mode. The upper 4 pads work here as OBS rhythm select buttons and immediately restart their pattern when pressed during rhythm, which can be used as a sound effect. The lower center button stops the rhythm, while the left and right lower pad control the tempo in astonishingly fine steps. The tempo can be set quite fast, which is nice for tekkno. Rhythm 1 seems to be a latin pattern (using e-bass and synth snare). The 2nd is waltz (synth meow and snare), 3rd is tribal stuff (e-bass, synth snare, ghost, cowbell, cow). The 4th rhythm (e-bass, synth snare, cowbell, "Sony!") contains as an additional sound the word "Sony!"(?) shouted by a child choir or the like.

Especially when plugged into the mike input of my circuit- bent Beat Square - Mix Evolution and routed through its voice changer it can make some really wicked tekkno sounds, but also unprocessed the thing sound nice.

 removal of these screws voids warranty...    
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