Finished Pieces


    In the picture above you can see my custom faceplate. I etched the design in copper clad board (PCB material) and then dipped the etched plate in a nasty chemical called Liquid Tin that tins the copper and keeps it from tarnishing.

    A word of warning:
    Be careful with the LCD screen. It receives it’s data from a plastic ribbon with conductive ink printed on it. The screen doesn’t use solder connections. Instead the data ribbon is pressed against the screen to conduct electricity. That means if you break the ribbon there’s no way to solder in a replacement wire. The conductive ink on the ribbon dries up over time and will come off if you move it around too much or move the screen. I did this and it couldn’t be fixed, so I replaced the screen with a whole bunch of LEDs. It doesn’t work the same as the LCD, but at least it looks cool.
    There are two boards inside the VLtone. The first one you will see when you open it is the sound board. The one under it is the control board. The control board holds all of the switches, keyboard keys and the the screen. Avoid removing this board if you can. If you DO have to remove it, be careful not to move the LCD screen around. Maybe it could be taped down while it’s open. Once the LCD ribbon breaks, it CANNOT be fixed.


    Almost all of the bends in the VL-tone are achieved be creating amplifier feedback loops. There are no data glitches to be found. This means there are no random melody bends but lots of squealing distortion bends.

    The schematic below is just a guide and not a complete list of EVERY bend. Experiment with the points shown. Add touch points and components like capacitors in different values to find different kinds of effects.


    Sorry, no sound files for this piece.

    25 Responses to “VL-Tone”

    • 1

      * Casper Electronics » Archive » VL-tone schematic page added said:
      March 7th, 2010 at 11:54am #

      […] been getting lots of requests for a VL-tone page with schematics. Here it […]

    • 2

      Mike said:
      March 7th, 2010 at 3:36pm #

      Check out what this guy did for his veroboards to make them a bit moreswanky. Might’ve been nice for your LED board.

    • 3

      How-To: Circuit-bending the VL-Tone | Products & Tech News said:
      March 8th, 2010 at 2:14pm #

      […] Seems the little VL sports a rather delicate LCD connection that requires a fair amount of TLC. Relevant tips + wiring diagram can be found over at Casper Electronics. […]

    • 4

      How-To: Circuit-bending the VL-Tone « The tech telecom and all said:
      March 8th, 2010 at 8:01pm #

      […] Seems the little VL sports a rather delicate LCD connection that requires a fair amount of TLC. Relevant tips + wiring diagram can be found over at Casper Electronics. […]

    • 5

      Aud1073cH said:
      April 17th, 2010 at 3:34am #

      I’ve finally found a VL at a swap meet, but unfortunately, no sound comes out. Where do I start poking around to try to get sound back? I’ve already checked the speaker connections. I get nothing from the ouput jack either. 🙁

      I look forward to getting it humming 🙂

    • 6

      casper said:
      May 1st, 2010 at 3:31pm #

      Does it turn on? I would bet that it’s something simple. Power wires broken, output jack solder connection broken.

    • 7

      1.6.4-bend me i'm famous said:
      May 8th, 2010 at 9:16am #

      I make a video for the rythmic gate in in the casio VL-tone, controled by the trigger of a DR110.
      you can see in my page

      it’s the first mode of my VL-tone, for the moment, it’s not finish.

    • 8

      1.6.4-bend me i'm famous said:
      May 8th, 2010 at 9:18am #

      YOu can see a video of a rythmic gate in, in my page. it’s my first mode for my casio VL-tone

    • 9

      1.6.4-bend me i'm famous said:
      May 8th, 2010 at 11:52am #

      My first mode on my casio vl-tone, rythmic trigger in. you can see on my page

    • 10

      1.6.4-bend me i'm famous said:
      May 20th, 2010 at 5:06pm #

      a put a rythmic trigger in, in my VLtone

    • 11

      Tronabetes said:
      June 5th, 2010 at 5:37am #


      Thanks for posting this! In the photos of the finished project I see you have 3 pots and 6 switches, but in your diagram I only count 8 connections… am I missing something?

      Thanks again.

    • 12

      stusvend said:
      July 14th, 2010 at 12:43pm #

      For whoever is interested, the Casio EP-10 shares the same same amazing chip (NEC D1867G), as Casio’s calculator/keyboard flagship VL Tone & many offshoots in the PT family as the VL series. The EP-10 is the “Muppet Babies” model. I bought one off of Ebay today for $9 bones. Thought that might be useful to those who dont want to spend $75-$150 for the VL-1.

      Here is a demo of the muppet babies circuit bent. Good sounds.


    • 13

      Ines said:
      October 7th, 2010 at 9:51am #

      i’ve recently found a vl-tone, but it seems to be dead…
      i can’t use it with batteries, as is missing a contact, and when i’ve tried to use the AC nothing happened…

      the lcd doesn’t give a sign, and also the tunes don’t make a sound…

      i was wondering if maybe there is something i’m doin wrong, or is just broken ( if so, how much would it cost to fix it? is it worth it?)

      Thanks in adv,


    • 14

      somthing said:
      October 17th, 2010 at 12:51am #

      i love the look of this! the layout is great! it would be nice to hear some samples of it working! and also. what is the led display showing? is it just audio levles? how did you wire it up?

    • 15

      casper said:
      October 24th, 2010 at 4:58pm #

      @somthing. Thanks. The LED display is described above. It replaces the LCD display that was there before that I accidentally broke. Basically it just displays random patterns now. I will try to upload some samples soon.

    • 16

      adam said:
      December 7th, 2010 at 1:19am #

      Would this bend schematic work for a Casio PT-1?

      I know where to get one, just not sure if it’s worth my time. The guy said “it’s difficult to explore the circuit when its apart” and he gave up. Its back together works great stock.
      THX for putting this one up Pete.

    • 17

      Elijah said:
      January 26th, 2011 at 10:00pm #

      Hi I was thinking about incorperating a joystick instead of the body contacts. Would it be best to just use the body contact feeds or would there be a better approach? This the first time using a joystick and I was wondering if these feeds work with a joystick or if I will need to find new/more feeds or if this would work at all?

    • 18

      michael page said:
      December 19th, 2011 at 10:31am #

      Hiya, do you know if the vl1 has an envelope point you can tap into ala the sk-phat philter mod…? might be a nice addition seeing as it has got adsr

      Mike x

    • 19

      LN said:
      May 3rd, 2012 at 4:21pm #

      This is crazy. I’ve held onto one of these little guys since I was a kid and have been pondering for a while whether I want to circuit bend it or not. Have much love for the thing, but curious to change it up.

      Cool to see this!

    • 20

      Ben B. said:
      February 12th, 2013 at 8:41am #

      will it work with a LTC 1799? anybody tried?

    • 21

      casper said:
      February 23rd, 2013 at 3:54pm #

      @BenB. SOrry. 🙁 no idea.

    • 22

      J. said:
      September 17th, 2013 at 8:16am #

      Just picked up a Vl-1, turned it on, checked it out. Then tested the line jack & now the speaker doesn’t work. Any suggestions.? I checked the contacts/joints ect. Everything looks cool ….????

    • 23

      mandy said:
      February 18th, 2014 at 7:11am #

      I got a Casio VL-TONE yesterday but I can’t get any sound from it can you please help. Thanks

    • 24

      CYBERYOGI =CO=Windler said:
      April 23rd, 2014 at 7:54pm #

      To get strange timbres out of a VL-1, simply place it on an AM radio tuned to an empty channel.

      My VL-Tone did strange glitch melodies (much like Roland TB-303) by simply removing batteries for a fraction of a second. Installing an opener switch shouldn’t be hard. The LCD foil cable can be pressed back into place by a foam rubber strip.

      A strip of adhesive window insulation foam rubber can be used to squeeze the LCD foil cable back into place, which is sufficient to make the display work again when aligned properly. I read that they were originally heat-sealed in factory by pressing a hot metal bar with silicone rubber padding against the cable to melt the glue. The BONDMASTER MANUAL.pdf (from a Motorola pager repair machine) revealed the following parameters of different HSC foil cables.

      forces & temperatures:

      Planar = 50..70 psi at 140..150°C
      Anisotropic = 50..80 psi at 150°C
      Monosotropic = 70..90 psi at 160°C

      “Planar” cables (pitch 0.3mm, oldest) are yellow-black.
      “Anisotropic” cables (pitch 0.29mm, cheapest) are green-white or black-white.
      “Monosotropic” cables (finest pitch 0.22mm) are yellowish, with thermoset adhesive.

      The cable needs to be pressed into place during heating and cooling cycle, which in total may take about 1:45 minutes (recommended factory default of that machine). Depending on material, the heat can be between 140 and 160°C. Too hot or too much force can melt it or cut through the leads, so try lowest heat first. The thermoset glue of “Monosotropic” (yellow) cables may be impossible to re-melt and so needs to be replaced. Older cables may need even lower temperatures, so due to the risk of damage (the margin between gluing and destruction is small; also liquid crystals degrade from long heat exposure) generally only try heat where the foam rubber strip method fails. A suitable heat source is an adjustable SMD soldering station with temperature display. With soldering iron use thin cardboard to spread the heat and rub quickly back and forward; with hot air watch out that hot air gun temperature often starts much hotter and needs to stabilize; set air flow lowest to avoid damage to surrounding parts. If you don’t own one, try a hairdryer + plastic bar (e.g. broad cable tie) to rub and press on.

    • 25

      Rob said:
      May 1st, 2014 at 11:05pm #

      Hi I recently bought a VL 1 on ebay and while it all seems to be working the output is VERY low. I can only use it late at night when there is very little ambient noise.

      Id eventually like to try circuit bending this but would like to get it working properly first.
      Any ideas as to what i need to check (ie main culprits for the low volume)?

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