Do you have an old electronic toy that seems destined for Goodwill? Don’t give it away just yet. Circuit-bending, or short-circuiting electronic devices so they make interesting sounds, is a cult music-making trend that started right here in Cincinnati.

With nominal technical know-how, you can transform a toy into a psychedelic instrument within a couple of hours. Oakley resident Reed Ghazala, credited for inventing circuit-bending in the ’60s, showed us how:

1. Find a sound-producing, battery-powered toy. These can be found at most thrift stores. In this example, Ghazala is using Texas Instruments’ Speak & Read. (For safety reasons, do not attempt to circuit-bend something plugged into the wall.)

2. Open up this toy and expose its circuit board. Insert batteries.

3. While the toy is making a sound, use a piece of wire to arbitrarily connect various points of the circuit to each other.

4. If the connection makes an interesting change in sound, solder the wire in place. Then solder a switch in the middle of the wire so the new sound can be turned on and off as desired.

5. Mount the switch on the outside of the instrument so it can be used after the toy is reassembled.