SK1

Ah yes, the Casio SK1. 8 bit sampling and sounds and rythms that ultimately ooze retro cheesiness. THE classic circuit bent keyboard. Everyone and their dog has done one. I'm pretty sure this is the single most modified instrument world wide.

Casio SK-1In fact, there's so many generic CIRCUIT BENT ONE OF A KIND UNIQUE CASIO SK1 NOISE SYNTH's sporting an incredibly lazy patchbay interface showing up on ebay and youtube all the time, it sometimes makes me wonder how many of them are left unmodified.
All because of Reed Ghazala's article 'The Escapist Sample Shuttle' that was published some time in the nineties. It is a sort-of tutorial on how to bend a SK-1, which to be fair, got me started with circuit bending, too.

Hey, I never really claimed to be different!

This was the second instrument I worked on (must have been around 2002-2003). Compared to the experience I had with the SK-5, this time, everything went a lot smoother and overall felt far more rewarding. It is way more stable than the SK-5. I can't really remember if I ever actually managed to make it crash at all. Even with its sounds and sequences mangled to the max, it still runs steadily and always comes back to its original state when all switches are off. It only has one sample bank, and less sample editing features than its percursors, but you can assign envelopes to all the voices, which makes for nice effects and rythmic patterns.
I was madly in love with it for years which is also the reason why it is the only instrument that I could be bothered to give a decent overall paint job, something I was too lazy to do for mostly everything I worked on afterwards. I've been using it steadily for years until I eventually grew a bit tired of its somewhat dated sound. But that's my very own personal issues. It still is a nice instrument and I still enjoy digging it out from time to time to jam or for using it in bigger installations, where it blends nicely into the overall soundscape.

As with most of my gear, the interface of the SK-1 has changed over the years as I added new features or had to do some maintenance on it.


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