keychain techno sound toys

These are keychain toy instruments those can play (1 even records) short tekkno/ hiphop samples.

To the right you see 2 record player shaped Tiger Toys (made in China) keychains type "Techno Beat" and "Hip Hop Style". Each contains 3 relatively clear samples those are played by turning the turntable (no virtual scratching effect, only a simple switch). Pressing the "tone arm" down selects between the 3 samples and off. A red LED flashes under the "LET'S HIP HOP" logo during play. The built-in speaker of these is quite loud and some samples include speech.

To the left you see a no-name "Hip Hop" sound toy, that is a sort-of bootleg of the above. The samples are lower resolution and have no speech, but it even contains 6 of them. The thing is switched on and off by pressing the black button. Each press selects in sequence 1 of 3 hip hop rhythm loops those repeat until the button is pressed again (or battery runs empty...). Pressing the "tone arm" selects the next rhythm loop without turning off. Turning the turntable switch plays 1 of 3 "scratch" samples (each rhythm loop has 1 corresponding scratch sample). A red LED flashes in the clear window during play. The turntable of this toy can only be turned by about 20° counter- clockwise (returned by a spring) and not all the way round like the Tiger ones. The toy exists in about 4 case variants and different colours (but all have the same samples?).

The middle one, a YESI "YakBak SFX" (made in China) is the most interesting one, because beside 6 built-in OBS samples (funny sounds with 2 switchable volume levels) it can even record(!) a short low- res sample and play it back with adjustable pitch. (To the right it has a potentiometer to set playback pitch within an octave.) When holding down an effect or the playback buttons, the sample is repeated in a loop. The playback and 1 built-in sample can be played simultaneously (volume switch only affects built-in samples, pitch only the recorded one), which extends the rhythmic capabilities a lot. Unlike the other toys, this one contains quite a lot of electronics and not just 1 black blob CPU + 1 transistor + 1 resistor.

All these DJ toys have semi- transparent cases with visible electronics. Although the sound quality is poor and beside the "YakBak SFX" they soon turn boring, they can be well used as rhythm instruments. The pitch is resistor controlled, thus they could certainly be upgraded with standard circuit bending functions, although there is little space in the small case. Like on my Casio VL-Tone 1, the sound from the internal speakers of these small instruments can be modulated in interesting ways by covering it with the hollow hand.

Important with such small devices is always to remove the button cells as soon they stop working, because otherwise the empty batteries will leak and destroy the electronics by corrosion.

 removal of these screws voids warranty...    
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