Fig. 1: The Saw III digital voice recorder costs just $1.85 each in bulk — including batteries — and makes some wonderfully crunchy sounds. Try two for stereo.
Whoever decided to base a toy recorder on a sadistic movie character grossly overestimated the market; AllElectronics.com sells a seemingly endless supply for $2 a pop (see Fig. 1). The Saw III digital recorder captures 30 seconds of sound through its mic and plays it back with entertaining distortion. It''s a great effect for drum loops and whispers. But the sound gets even more interesting when you simultaneously record into two Saw IIIs and then separate them for playback. Press the Play buttons at slightly different times for echo effects. Whirl Saw on a string to simulate a Leslie speaker.
Visit GetLoFi.com/?p=1152 for directions on adding input and output jacks, a pitch-bend knob, a loop switch, and a remote trigger. Hackers have wired up everything from model-train sound effects to grungy Mellotrons.