How brilliant is this? It’s a bonkers “bytebeat” noise machine built in the form of a cassette. They are calling it MMXX T-APE and who cares if the sound has nothing to do with magnetic tape?
It’s from PhonicBloom, the same people who brought us the Gecho Loopsynth and Glo the Polyphonic Whale. MMXX T-APE is a weird machine that makes the most of the decision to make it look like a cassette. The spindles, rather wonderfully, are the parameter knobs. The chunky bit at the bottom is a row of touch sensitive keys and option buttons. Somewhere in the middle there are light sensors and everything else is exploration.
They say it works a bit like a granular sampler but without the samples. Instead it uses a mathematically generated “bytebeat” which creates complex structures for cutting and arranging but fiddling with things. There’s also something to do with a pair of colliding 8-bit DACs. It doesn’t really matter, suffice to say that this can generate all sorts of beeps and squawks in the area of lo-fi, bit crushed and chiptune noises. There’s nothing about it that even hints at the warmth or wobble of magnetic tape, nope, this is more of a digital experience.
You can change the formula of the bytebeat, layer up an 8-bit waveform, sequence it, arpeggiate it, screw in some bitrate adjustments, do some mangling and add some delay. Get busy with the knobs and wave your hands at the light sensors. I wonder if it would work well with a pencil stuck into the spindles? Nah, it doesn’t have the teeth.
Anyway, it’s a load of fun and you know you want one already. In fact, I hope they do them in different colours and I’d be up for a few.
The MMXX T-APE is €69 and is available next week.
- MMXX T-APE website.