Insanity is something we value when applied to musical instrument engineering. Confined within that realm, it’s a fun, entertaining feature, particularly so when matched with infinite curiosity.
Swedish circuit bender Simon the Magpie fits the “crazy scientist” profile fairly and squarely: his flair and accent are somewhat reminiscent of Dr. Strangelove, and many of his creations have more than one thing in common with Frankenstein.
In the ocean of Youtube videos posted on his website, the man comes across as an unstoppable experimenting machine with a rare gift for entertainment – actually, more than rare in a community notoriously aloof and nerdy like the one of electronic instrument engineers. Never has circuit bending looked so much fun to the common man and woman!
Simon the Magpie’s website is like a treasure island for modding minds. In it, you’ll find:
- Nine mods that stuck, called Magpie Pedals & Super Bends
- Dozens of other pedal mod experiments
- Videos of Simon’s circuit bending process where you can see how he mods anything
- A few toy instruments mods
- Several hilarious episodes of a series called “You send it, I bend it“
- Scary looking “modded dolls” – called Noise Dolls (we warned you about Frankenstein similarities…)
- Other Experiments
- Pedal and Synth Demos
And then there’s the live stream.
Interestingly, rather than selling his mods, Simon sells (through Patreon) access to the video of how to create the mod in question. Although, if you find something on his website that you want to buy, he’ll build it for you if you contact him, or if you send him the pedal you want modded.
Knobs did this video about Simon earlier this year.
Shnobel recently shot this video of his Patchbay DS-1, a radical deviation on the original BOSS distortion pedal, which opens the door to infinite sonic possibilities through an interface that glorifies randomness over organization.
Here’s a playlist of six of Simon the Magpie’s most popular mods.