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Christopher Kaczmarek’s Scratch Box

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Scratch Box by Christopher Kaczmarek via makezine:

A gutted credit card reader is repurposed to become another instrument for the Alpha-Bit arsenal. All the circuitry has been removed except for the magnetic stripe reader; in its place an amplifier and a speaker have been housed in the enclosure. Slide your credit card (or any card with a magnetic stripe) and hear the data information translated onto audio. Producing sounds similar to a scratching record player, the scratch box is a fun and expressive instrument. A 1/4″ output is included (as always) so that the fun can be made even louder when plugged into an amplifier.

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More from Chirstopher here!


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1 Comment

  1. Very cool.

    For those who would like a quick demo of this technique, try plugging in a Square Reader (https://squareup.com/reader) into the audio plug on your smart phone. Then turn on an audio recording app and slide a CC back and forth in the Square reader. Play back your recording… swishrwishr rish rish…

    Well… maybe not hours o’ fun, but at least a few minutes of fun.


    Been a while since I posted a comment here and it took me a while to figure out the boxes in the creative captcha replacement were sliders. I was clicking the numbers, typing in the zero boxes… Nothing. Am I the only one fooled by this cute UI trick?

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