Dutch startup Dato has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the Dato Duo. It’s a funny looking double sided console of a synthesizer designed for two people to play facing each other. On one side you have a synthesizer and on the other a sequencer. They say it’s aimed at kids from 3 to 99 years old – and it does look like a load of fun. It also looks a bit like a college electronics project but I guess that’s part of the charm.
On the synthesizer side two large sliders control the oscillators and the filter cut-off and there are some envelope controls to shape the sound. Effects and percussion elements are added via the two touch pads. On the sequencer side you have 8 steps in a circular configuration and a pentatonic keyboard for playing melodies. There are a few other controls for tweaking the melody on the fly.
The idea is to make it fool proof and child proof so that you can’t really go wrong. Is it too much of a toy to appear on the all-so-professional and serious pages of Gearnews.com? Maybe, but if you’ve got kids and are always looking for ways to encourage them into music technology then this could be a winner. Will it have enough in it to keep you happy though? We’ll have to wait and see. The chances are that it’ll make a good, tuneful sound whatever you do.
The Kickstarter campaign runs until the 26th June with the first 100 backers able to pre-order at a special price of €269 after which the Dato DUO will retail for €299. Hang on, for that sort of money I could get a Novation Circuit, a pair of Korg Volcas or a fist full of Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators. It had better be an extraordinary piece of kit to warrant that price tag.
More information can be found on the Dato DUO website.