Squidfanny Trance Gate

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Circuit Bent
By Dave Bradbury - SQUIDFANNY
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Hacked, Modded & Circuit Bent AMSTRAD CKX100 Synthesizer.

This is an original 8-bit synthesizer from the late 80's. The machine has been heavily modified and upgraded with an array of new custom circuitry to expand it's features and sounds well beyond it's original specs.
It is now capable of producing a range of unique sounds and modulations, many of which are well beyond the capabilities of conventional synthesizers and often beyond description....

Please scroll down to see a demo vid, and details of the mods and features -

The Amstrad CKX100 is an original 8-Bit artifact from the late 1980's. It has a distinctive lo-fi sound and uses WAVETABLE synthesis to produce a warm, pleasing and ultra-harmonic tones from a bank of very grainy 8-Bit waveforms. It has a distinctive sound, which is quirky and unique.
The CKX100 has grainy Digital Drums with preset Rhythms & Accompaniment, Bleepy Electronic Instruments (presets only) & Lush Chord with a very cool 'Computer Aided Harmony' Feature (similar to the OMNICHORD).

It also has a MIDI output, so that you can use the 'Computer Aided Harmony' feature to play other MIDI synths, VST's, etc.

More info on the CKX100 HERE.

Click photo's for full screen and full album.
  • This machine works perfectly and can be used 'as stock' when required.
  • This machine comes with a new set of Patch-Leads, a suitable power supply (for UK plug), and printed Quick-Start guide with instructions.
Metallic Keys are nicely painted in various shades and multiple colours of Metallic Paint, and sealed with lacquer to protect the finnish.


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Click Play below for a DEMO VID showing this machine in action -

The various New Mods and features are briefly described below.

This machine comes with a printed DIY manual & Quick Start guide, with more details on the mods and features.-------------------------
Left Panel contains 'Trance-Gate' Analog Step-Sequencer -
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This machine contains an integrated Step-Sequencer, which performs three distinct functions, and can be synced to other suitable gear such as Monotribe's, Volca's or other suitable vintage or DIY gear.
  • TRANCE-GATE - A programmable GATE, with with controls for GATE LENGTH, an INVERT switch, a master ON/OFF switch & LED lights to indicate the status and GATE length.
  • PITCH-MOD - Programmable pitch modulation, with a DECAY knob, AMOUNT knob, master ON/OFF switch & LED lights to indicate the status and DECAY shape.
  • BOLT-BAY ARPEGGIATOR - Use the included Patch-leads to connect the bolts together and generate unique Arpeggiator effects made from different tones of Ring-Mods and disrupted distortion effects. This mod has a master ON/OFF switch and LED light to indicate the status.
The STEP-SEQUENCER has controls for SPEED, and a large chrome Rotary knob to change from 8-Steps, to 7, 6, 5, etc. 
In 2-Step mode, the Step-Sequencer will act as a standard LFO, with the DECAY knob changing the waveform from Square to Triangle & something closely approximating a Sine wave.
On the back of the machine are 3.5mm jack sockets, which provide Sync Input, Output and Reset. They will respond to a standard +5volt pulse from any suitable device (such as Monotribe, Volca, vintage drum machines, DIY gear or a MIDI-TRIGGER converter.
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-------------------------Right Panel contains Digital Glitch mods.

The real power of the Amstrad comes from these Digital mods, which are able to completely transform the Instruments, Chord, Accompaniment and Drums into unique sonic forms, many of which are beyond what can be achieved with conventional synthesizers.
Expect to find Lush Chords, Complex and Harmonic Arpeggios, Strange Delays / Echos, De-tuned Effects, Extended Envelope Effects, Digital Filtering, Ring Mods and an array of Modulating Compression, Strained Distortion and Bleepy modulating Sub-Tones.....

The CKX100 is able to produce some excellent 'Aphex' style Granular Effects and Dramatic Glitch Sounds which often defy description.... Use the GLITCH BUTTONS to generate Chorded Drones, Screaming Digital Noise and Granular Drum Rolls. Use the RESET BUTTON to Instantly reset the sound to normal again.

Right Panel Contains Digital & Glitch Mods -
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The new Knobs / Switches / Buttons & Lights are mounted on Thick Green PCB (circuit board), and the Flashing LED Lights above are mounted on Chrome LED Holders.

The Mods are activated and controlled by an assortment of Rotary Switches, Metal Toggle Switches and Push buttons -
  • Large Rotary Knob -  On the right of the panel is a large Silver Rotary Knob, with a toggle Switch below it and a Purple UV LED Light in a chrome bezel. This knob contains Bleepy squarewave tones, which modulate along with the rhythms, and can be used as a Sub-Oscillator along with the instruments. Use the Toggle Switch to activate & de-activate the tones. The LED light will Glow to indicate that the mod is active.
  • Small Rotary Knob - In the center of the panel is a small silver Rotary Knob, along with a Toggle Switch and a Purple UV LED Light in a Chrome Bezel. This knob contains 6 x Instrument / Chord Glitches which provide Beautiful Complex Arpeggios, Strange Echos, Lush Chords and Extended Envelope Effects. Use the Toggle Switch to activate the mod. The LED Light will Glow to indicate the mod being active.
  • 6 x Glitch Switches on the left of the panel - Use these switches on the Rhythms / Chord / Accompaniment for Dark Electronic Techno-esque rhythm Accompaniment and de-tuned chords. Use with the drums for weird pitch shifting and drum shifting Rhythmic effects.

  • Glitch Buttons - Scramble the Digital Circuits with dramatic sonic results. . . Use with the drums for Granular Effects and Grinding 'Aphex' Style Rolls. Use with the Chord / Instrument to generate Chorded Drones, Digital Noise, Instrument/Drum Cross Modulation & General Havok and Glitch Chaos.....
  • RESET BUTTON - Small Green Button below the right corner of the panel is used to Instantly reset Glitched sound back to it's normal state. This button allows the user to completely Scramble, Mangle & Corrupt the audio beyond recognition, and then instantly return the sound again.

  • Flashing Lights - 3 x Flashing LED Lights above the panel will pulse and flash along with the sound. The lights are housed in chrome bezels. The Blue LED will flash to indicate the Vibrate (when active).
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When the various modification switches are turned 'Off', the machine will function exactly like a standard CKX100.

I don't have a manual for this machine, but operation is very simple and you'll most likely not need one. Give me a shout if you've got any probs.

And so it is...........

Things to know before bidding -
  • This machine is 100% stable and reliable, however you will encounter random oscillation when switching between the Glitch Switches. Simply tap the RESET Button to instantly return the sound to normal.
  • This machine comes with a suitable 12 volt PSU for UK plug. It can also be powered with 6 x 'C' Type Batteries (not included). I've added a Polarity Diode, which will protect the circuits from in-correct power supply.
  • A new set of Patch-Leads are included with the synth.
  • This machine functions perfectly and can be used 'as stock' if required. Simply turn all Glitch Switches to the 'off' position.
  • This machine is sold with a 12 Month 'Repair or Replace' guarantee.

Thanks for looking, be sure to read usual Terms & Conditions below.
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