Debuting at NAMM is the Blipblox from Playtime Engineering. Insisting that it’s not “your typical music toy” (whatever one of those is) this has professional features and a nearly endless ability to create new sounds.
Of course we will scoff – just look at it. It looks like any number of neglected plastic, battery operated toys I have cluttering up my house in the wake of three kids. But you have to give these things a chance. It’s always the musical toys that get the most attention at any given creché, so why not have something a bit more intentional?
It’s designed to be useful, fun and engaging to all ages and capabilities. No keyboard or boring piano sounds, instead it uses a “proprietary algorithm that synthesizes completely unique waveforms”. Instead of just playing notes you are actually designing sounds.
The synthesizer specs are actually pretty interesting. 8 unique oscillator modulation schemes, a low pass filter, 2 envelope generators, 2 LFOs and a 3×3 modulation matrix. The built-in sequencer and drum machine comes with a load of melodies and rhythms ready to go. There’s a MIDI input, a whole load of buttons and knobs that are all wipe-clean so you don’t have to worry about your dribbles. And check out the LEDs and the speaker.
There are two videos which are a little bit of a letdown. The sounds and features are interesting, it’s just the presentation isn’t very, urm… fun? He needs to give it to some kids to play with.
Priced at $159 it’s pretty steep for toy synth let alone a kids plaything. It is half the price of the Data Duo, but the Blipblox should be 50 bucks I think.
- Playtime Engineering Blipblox webpage