Finished Pieces

Barbie Bending!

    This page contains schematics and instructions for bending your Barbie Karaoke machine.

    Over the past few years the BarbieKaraokeMachine design has changed a little here and there.
    Some have two mic inputs, others only one.
    Some have volume limiters, others don't.
    The biggest difference though is that some have standard, square ICs (typeA) for the echo while others have a "gum drop" style IC (typeB), which is mounted on a little board that sticks out from the main sound board. This model can be identified without opening the unit by looking at the echo button on the front. Most models say "echo". This model says "echo/delay".

    The "gum drop" model functions like the other models but has more glitching capabilities. TypeA makes more pulsing type sounds while TypeB is more sporatic and noisey. Of course it's hard to explain the difference and you'd be better off just finding out for yourself. Below are schematics for BOTH types of ICs. Enjoy.

      motor speed mod

      echo bending B

      -I refer to point "11" a few times below. I don't know where it is or what I was referring to.... sorry :-P.
      -This is an OLD diagram and was made in a hurry for a project I was doing. ALL that I can guarantee is that if you try the connections below you will find some different kinds of effects. I cannot guarantee that the effects will be at all like the vague descriptions. There are lots of variables that probably weren't taken into account when I made this list, different adjustments that could be set differently that will effect the outcome. The descriptions of the effects written below could have had more to do with the volume or feedback setting that the specific points that were connected. That said, there's lots to find.. so use this list as inspiration only and have fun.

      echo bending A.1

      echo bending A.2


    Sorry, no sound files for this piece.

    13 Responses to “Barbie Bending!”

    • 1 » Archive » Barbie Bending Update! said:
      August 24th, 2006 at 1:42am #

      […] Something you’ll be seeing a lot more of in the near future is schematics and bending info for popular pieces. The one piece I get the most emails about is the Barbie Karaoke Machine, so that’s what I’m starting with I’ve added a new page to the “finished pieces” section called Barbie Bending. So far I’ve added info on bending the echo IC in the BKM and a step by step tutorial on installing a high quality motor speed control. […]

    • 2 » Archive » Barbie Bending Part2 update said:
      September 19th, 2006 at 11:55am #

      […] Added more Barbie schematics to the Barbie Bending page. Includes pitch and decay adjustment and interconnect points. enjoy. […]

    • 3

      Fun with Barbie karaoke machines - Hack a Day said:
      March 17th, 2009 at 5:31pm #

      […] If you’d like to bend your own barbie karaoke machine, [Peter] was kind enough to post schematics and instructions for his […]

    • 4

      Chris Skinner said:
      September 16th, 2009 at 12:48pm #

      Thanks to Pete’s hand drawn schematic I finished bending my Type B Barbie last night. Pics and sketches can be seen here:

      For some reason this unit didn’t like dropping the tape speed too low because the motor would not be able to ramp back up (crash), so in lieu of the 240 ohm resistor in the tape speed circuit I used 340 ohms. I also found a 1k pot gave me a better control of the range of the speed in lieu of the 5k pot in the schematic. I might have mis-interpreted the schematic, but in experimenting found my own way to get higher tape speeds with an additional 25 ohm pot and switch. I also included some of my notes while experimenting with the various bends listed in Pete’s guide of the IC connections. I “X”-ed bends that did not seem as cool as others so that I could narrow down my choices of the controls. I managed to fit 8 pots on the top of the machine which control 7 bends, along with each corresponding switch and an ON/OFF switch for the whole unit. This was not easy; I don’t own a drill, just a battery operated dremel, and didn’t have any kind of ruler or stencil for planning the holes for pots and switches. Finally, I used some Aqua Teen Hunger Force stickers (I got from buying one of the seasons on DVD) to mask the Barbie branding. Perhaps I should have just let it be, I mean it’s already pink! haha. If you wanna ask me something about the process, I’ve included my myspace link.

    • 5

      Steven said:
      June 6th, 2010 at 5:57pm #

      Just checking out the bend diagram for the blob circuit version. There are a couple bends that mention connecting point 3 or 8 to point 11. I don’t see point 11 in the picture. Am I missing it, or is it not labeled?

    • 6

      casper said:
      June 6th, 2010 at 6:43pm #

      Awesome work! Sorry that this is long overdue. It looks great. Nice documentation too.

    • 7

      casper said:
      June 6th, 2010 at 6:47pm #

      I just wrote some notes on the page above that answer your question.

    • 8

      Ciderfeks said:
      August 19th, 2010 at 6:11pm #

      Is it normal for the LM317 in the tape speed mod to get fairly hot? Through some uneducated experimentation using your diagrams and Chris Skinner’s additional notes, I wired the 3rd pot lug in your diagram (the unused one on your 5k pot, although I used a 1k pot) to the “in” leg of the LM317 to get chipmunk style high tape speeds at one end of the pot turn and very low near stop speed at the other. I also changed the resistor to a 47R. All works well except that the LM317 does quickly get hot, although it’s not too hot to touch. Is this normal or have I messed up?

    • 9

      Ciderfeks said:
      August 30th, 2010 at 9:47pm #

      ok scratch that last question, I wasn’t looking at my own wiring properly 😉

    • 10

      Other Effects Builds — Circuit Bent said:
      November 16th, 2010 at 10:11am #

      […] own strange delay pedal check out Pete from Casper Electronics guide on how to make one out of a Barbie Karaoke Machine Auto Crash with mods This is John Hollis’ “Crash Sync” pedal. It’s an […]

    • 11

      POE said:
      July 26th, 2011 at 1:58am #

      Thanks for the info. I’m in the middle of one and wanted to share a couple of mods I’m trying out. I removed the head that erases when recording so my tape will now layer. I’m planning on installing a switch to change the polarity of the motor = play back in reverse.

      Also try one of those old fake cassette adapters that you can plug into your portable CD player circa 1986.

    • 12

      casper said:
      September 2nd, 2011 at 5:36pm #

      Sounds cool. You should post pictures once you’re done. FYI reversing the motor may not work out. In most tape decks only ONE of the wheels actually turns. so if you turn it backwards the other wheel wont turn to take up the tape and the tape will just jam.. sad but true.

    • 13

      mike c said:
      October 26th, 2013 at 3:36pm #

      The motor reverse will work with tape loops though….

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