ABOUT USWho we are and what we do
We founded S-CAT in 2008, by starting a business building and selling circuit-bent, or modified, instruments on eBay, alongside a YouTube channel where we demonstrated the machines that were for sale. Our channel has now reached in excess of 2.5 million views, and we sold over 1075 circuit-bent machines around the world.
Casio PT-30 Upright Mod
Modified Delay in Oak Case
Customers included Liam Howlett of The Prodigy and Jean-Michel Jarre. A selection of instruments was used by producer Ego Plum, alongside a 60-piece orchestra, for soundtracks to episodes of Harvey Beaks and Sponge-Bob Square Pants.
Producer Daniel Boyle worked with Lee “Scratch” Perry on his “Back On The Controls” and “Black” Albums, and used both our circuit bent digital Dubsta delay, and our new Analogue Dubsta-Delay. Our circuit bent machine was even included on the “Back On The Controls” album gatefold artwork.
These achievements inspired us to step into the world of electronic design and manufacturing in 2013. We began to create our own range of products, the first being the Dub-Siren & Analogue Dubsta-Delay, which are available from our online shop. We were introduced to talented design engineer Dave Cherry, of Cherry Designs, who we continue to work with to this day on all of our circuits.
Dub Siren signed by Liam Howlett
The learning curve of product design is an enjoyable challenge for us. Dave Cherry’s deep technical knowledge, combined with our experimental approach, leads us to strive for audio excellence and quality of build. Explore our instruments in our online shop, and see what designs we have in development.
MEET THE TEAM
It all started for me when I was given a selection of electronic kits, and a soldering iron, at 8 years old by my grandad. We would sit at the kitchen table, building them. It was from there that my interest in electronics began. I first started getting into synthesizers when I was around 12 years old. I was given a Casio VL-1 for Christmas and spent a lot of time using the ADSR section to create my own sounds. Having an inquisitive mind, I was always taking things apart, and I remember opening the VL-1 up, and poking around the PCB with a paperclip, changing the sound. Little did I know that in later life, I would create a business based on that.
I was heavily into the Hip Hop, electro and graffiti scene in the ‘80’s, and was a regular visitor to Covent Garden, which lead onto the day time jams at clubs like the Wag, Spats and Jubilee Hall. By the time I was 17 I had teamed up with my now Brother-in-Law Daren Ager, we started our first electronic band under the name of a Interlect 3000. We would rent a friends local place called Spare Room Studios in Essex, which was full to the rafters of classic electronic instruments and record there as often as we could.
After many years in the studio and releasing vinyl, I decided that I wanted to take my equipment out live and teamed up with Jason Scarlett of Bio-System in Southend. We hand built a 20k sound system together and began putting Techno Parties on in the area, starting around 1996. We went on to supply the music and sound system at various squat parties and music festivals. It’s something that we did on a regular basis for around 20 years together. I still record and release music in our own studio. See our music page for more details.
These experiences led onto a love of quality audio for me and an inquisitive mind that wanted to know what technology was being used to create the best electronic musical instruments. I did a lot of research myself over the years, and begun to understand the internal workings of many instruments at the time. Now all these influences feed into our designs at S-CAT.
I grew up surrounded by music and creativity, being taken to festivals and gigs by my parents. I always loved making things, painting and drawing, and was an enthusiastic guitar player. I also had a keen interest in ancient history, and decided to study archaeology at Bristol University. However, the electronic music scene turned out to have a stronger pull than academia.
Arron and I met through mutual friends, and he introduced me to music production, which I loved. We then started experimenting with circuit-bending, and S-CAT was born. I began to take over the creation of our elaborate control panels. I now take on pretty much all the graphic design aspects of our work, which is a fantastic creative outlet. I also love building electronics, and am usually found happily hand-soldering S-CAT machines at the workbench.
Over the years, running S-CAT has given me many opportunities to learn new skills, and meet fantastic people. The process of bringing a new product to completion requires hard work and attention to detail, but is extremely satisfying.
My many roles at S-CAT include; Working alongside Dave to document the prototyping process, creating layouts and artwork for our case designs, liaising with manufacturers, stock control and ordering, building and assembling products, web design, accounting, general admin and shipping.
I met Arron and Abi some 10 years ago and was instantly intrigued and interested in the circuit bent machines they were producing. As primarily an audio electronic engineer/designer working in the pro audio industry for 25+ years I found it fascinating what craziness could be achieved by hacking in to an old keyboard or drum machine and making it do things and make new sounds and noises it was never intended to do!
We have moved on quite a way from the early days, now producing unique high quality products from scratch (although their original circuit bent designs are still in high demand to this day!).
I am happy to be part of the team now, designing and providing circuitry to bring to life what ever the next idea Arron and Abi or all 3 of us come up with! In many products we favour using older and forgotten about chips and components and this we believe goes some of the way to giving our equipment its characteristic S-CAT sound. I have also expanded my digital and software knowledge which is present in some of the products now and will continue to feature more in the future along with the analogue.
Using the knowledge I have gained over the years, you can be assured that however quirky or crazy the product might be, you will always get a reliable product with good professional audio and noise performance up to the limits of the components capabilities.
The mechanical build quality and aesthetic design that Arron and Abi have mastered over the years is second to none and can be seen in all the products, this is testified by the people that are using them right now and include some very big names in the industry.
We hope to welcome you to the S-CAT family soon! What are you waiting for?