Playtime Engineering has announced the Blipblox SK2. It’s a futuristic fun time synth for toddlers of any age and the Blipbox myTracks kindergarten groovebox.
With Playtime Engineering it’s all about the fun of building engaging ways to interact with sounds, music and synthesis. While they might look like something you’d trip over while picking your kids up from a creche they are packed full of synthesizer technology
The all-new and exciting SK2 has a bunch of new features and a new paint job. Although, it looks pretty identical to the original. The idea is that it’s super easy to play with and generates great sounds and exciting lights. You’ve got one big handle for the filter and another for the…. tempo because speed up and slowing down is something you do a lot with a synthesizer.
But this is all about discovery. The SK2 has 400 built-in melodies, resonant multi-mode filters, wavetable synthesis running in 16 oscillator schemes, and finished off with a stereo delay. The front panel has a flow diagram of what goes into where and you’ll discover a pair of LFOs, modulation buttons, randomisation and buttons that do other stuff just for fun.
There are some new drum samples with pitch-shifting built-in that include all sorts of effects and vocal surprises. And the lights have been redesigned to thrill the pants off any passing toddlers. It’s also certified safe to chew and dribble on.
The star of the show has to be the Fisher-Price style MPC groovebox. Set your three-year-old on the road to beat making heaven with a 5×5 grid of playable pads for launching both samples and sequences. myTracks is loaded with 48 instrument sounds, a drum track and 4 instrument tracks that you can use to build songs.
There are two effects processors for getting things crazy and the now-famous pair of Blipblox handles lets you control each effect separately. Anything else has a dedicated button for ease-of-use including. A built-in microphone is brilliant for capturing the poetry and rhymes of your little ones that you can drop into any track.
Over USB you can download new sounds and genre-specific sets to liven up your performances and spark ideas.
Sounds like a riot. Check it out.
Well, that demo is probably the worst thing I’ve seen in a long time. Good fun though! Sadly you won’t be able to pick them up from the middle aisle at Lidl or Aldi for a fiver, these come with serious price tags of $199 for the SK2 and $249 for the myTracks. While it may not be a pair of desktop machines I’d want to drop nearly $500 on, they are fun and totally brilliant for getting kids interesting in making music. If you wait 6 months you could probably find one at a car boot sale for next to nothing.