Circuit Bending a SAW III Sampler

Saw 3 Sampler Circuit Bending

Tommy of Roth Mobot pointed me in the direction of the SAW III Sampler from a few weeks ago. The device costs $2 and includes as set of 2 AAA Batteries! When it comes to bending there are a few interesting points and also some annoyances. The drawbacks include: no Loop Mode when play button is held, there is also a gap between each playback, and a audible beep at lower speeds before the audio starts. Despite the shortcomings there are a some very nice features. The recorded sample is stored even if batteries are taken out and the standard speed length of the sample is about 30 seconds. Low operating voltage only requires 3 Volts which is great and can be supplied with 5 volts by a 7805 Voltage Regulator without burning up the circuit. The best part is that the sampler is only $2 which is cheap as hell!

The board is fairly easy to work with and there are many components yet to be explored, but the pitch resistor labeled R4 was successfully replaced with a 1M Potentiometer effecting both playback and recording speeds. You can also trigger Playback by using an NPN PN2222 transistor with 2 outer legs connected to the playback button. When the Base pin of the transistor receives a positive voltage it completes the Ground circuit and will trigger Playback. As a bonus I marked a location on the circuit board to connect the Base pin to for a quasi-Looping feature.  Pretty neat and at lower speeds works rather well. The Playback can also be triggered from an external circuit like an Arduino Board or some other Microcontroller, all you need is a common Ground between the 2 devices and connection for the Positive voltage pulse.

Last but not least the Output needs to be connected in Parallel with a 10 Ohm resistor, otherwise the volume is way to loud. This sampler makes a very nice candidate for rehousing or even incorporating into another bent device. Enjoy this bend and let us know you find anything else useful.