I’ve always had an affection for toy musical instruments, particularly cheap ones purchased at Savers. I also have a Speak and Spell. I had been trying to devise some way to amplify these things via guitar pickups, but I’d need to modify a guitar to really get the job done. But last night as Bryan and I were rehearsing the Corey Hart classic “Sunglasses at Night,” Bryan pointed out that all I need are some 1/8″ to 1/4″ jack adaptors, and I could use the headphone outs to send signal to an amp or PA.
Fortunately I have such things handy. Now the world is a whole new place, the birds are singing and choirs of angels litter my path with lotus petals. Or something.
So we played Whitewater last night, toys in tow. The adaptors allowed us to use my $3 keyboard as a drum machine – I ran it through my Digitech Whammy Pedal to take the sound an octave down (because kiddie-keyboard drum patterns are really heavy on the treble). I used the Speak and Spell for fills, musical and verbal. I also brought along my old digital answering machine, because the female voice that says “You have no new messages” sounds really spooky through a reverb-and-delay-laden guitar amp.
Good times. And only the beginning. I stand at the cusp of my own personal revolution in sonic experimentation, all because of the simplest of suggestions. Such is the way of innovation.