Speak and Math MidiSpeak

When I saw the midi speak kit online I knew I had to have one for my Speak and Math. The circuit-bent Speak and Math is already a ton of fun to play with. Sick, sputtering, looping glitches, word fragments, and random number strings are common, so getting it to trigger along with your drum machine is pretty awesome.

Features

  • Use MIDI to trigger thousands of sounds—words, word fragments, garbled speech, percussion, and bizarre sound effects
  • Trigger sounds in a controlled, repeatable manner
  • Works with Speak & Spell (American or British), Speak & Read, Speak & Math, La DictĂ©e Magique (French), Grillo Parlante (Italian), and Buddy (German)
  • Use the toy’s headphone jack or speaker for audio output
  • User-selected MIDI input channel

I must have built this Math & Midi in around 2006 or 2007. I know I used it on a few POTAR recordings and at a bunch of live performances. I usually had it connected to my Alesis HR-16 or Roland TR-505. It’s a great addition to any Speak & Device because you send midi notes from any midi device to trigger the random sounds. Maybe the best part is that you can still use all the circuit-bent modifications you have made to the Speak & Device to glitch or loop those sounds. It follows along great with a drum machine for random accents or with a keyboard controller for more flexibility.

The kit was made by Highly Liquid, who still makes amazing midi kits today. Unfortunately, MidiSpeak 2 has been out of production for a few years now. The only info I could find online for this kit was using Archive.org’s Wayback Machine. It has an awesome backup of the old site with notes on programming the Midi channel, installation, power requirements, etc.

This is really one of those devices you will probably have to pry from my cold dead hands. Not the Speak and Math itself, but the MidiSpeak 2. If I had more time on my hands I would definitely see what else I could get it to work with. Stay posted!