Now on Kickstarter: Chompi Club invites you to explore the magical world of sound design through a very cute “Tape-Music” device.
Update 29/03/23: Chompi is now on Kickstarter and has raised almost three-quarters of a million pounds in about a day. Evidently, there’s a market for a straightforward, user-friendly and playful sampler for around 500-600 dollars.
It looks amazing. Like something from the Lego movie brought into real life. Everything about it is oversized, which gives it a deliberately toy-like quality. It has big buttons, big knobs, that 2-octave row of clacky keys and a whacking great big carry-handle. It’s also decked out in child-friendly colours and adorable characters. Is there any way to take this seriously?
Maybe that’s the point. Maybe Chompi Club is trying to bring the fun back into sampling and music-making.
Chompi Club has a “one of a kind” sampling engine, multi-effects and a tape-style looper. The design emphasises speed and usability with lots of one-button-to-action functions. Press on the Chompi button (that’s presumably the name of the adorable character) and you are instantly sampling to the keyboard. Hit Loop and you are looping, grab the filter knob for filtering, stand and endpoints on the sample knobs and so on. If you’ve played with a SmplTrek or SP404 then you probably can’t believe such a simple interface could be possible.
Chompi says the screenless design invites exploration.
The sampler can handle 7 voices of polyphony and has a recording time of over 6 hours. There are 40 slots for presets. You can adjust the playback speed and direction, fix start and end points and apply an Attack/Decay envelope. Then there’s a single-knob effects section with filters, lo-fi effects and granular reverb/delay effects.
The Tape Looper offers sound-on-sound looping with transport controls, scrubbing, playback speed and direction and, apparently, other additional features to be found by advanced users. The video describes it really nicely and gives a good demo of what could be a really unique instrument.
It’s powered by USB-C, with no mention of batteries, and has a built-in microphone, SD card slot, line input and output, headphones and finally, MIDI.
Chompi Club is based on the Electro-Smith Daisy platform and is open source and ready to be turned into all sorts of things. It should arrive on Kickstarter at the end of March for an Early Bird preorder price of $499. That’s not a very toy-like price. Chompi says it was inspired by childhood devices such as the Casio SK-1 and wants to introduce new generations to the magic of music with its fun and “affordable” sampler.
I think it looks great, and I’m very into the concept and simplicity. I guess the price is inevitable, but it might be a barrier as you can get a much more sophisticated Sonicware SmplTrek or Roland SP-404 MkII for around the same, even if they can’t compete on accessibility.
So, will you be joining the Chompi Club?
- Chompi Club: Chompi Club
- Chompi Club: Chompi Club