Music

Blipblox After Dark synth invites kids over to the dark side

Blipblox After Dark synth invi...
Some of the toy-like cuteness has gone thanks to the darkened color scheme
Some of the toy-like cuteness has gone thanks to the darkened color scheme
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Some of the toy-like cuteness has gone thanks to the darkened color scheme
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Some of the toy-like cuteness has gone thanks to the darkened color scheme
MIDI in and audio out caters for integration with external hardware
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MIDI in and audio out caters for integration with external hardware
One of more than 300 professional melody compositions is randomly selected and played when the unit is powered on
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One of more than 300 professional melody compositions is randomly selected and played when the unit is powered on
The Blipblox After Dark is certified to international toy safety standards for kids aged three and above
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The Blipblox After Dark is certified to international toy safety standards for kids aged three and above
The toy synth can be used on its own, or hooked up to external music creation hardware
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The toy synth can be used on its own, or hooked up to external music creation hardware
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A couple of years ago, Playtime Engineering launched a colorful portable synthesizer on Indiegogo that allowed players young and old "to have fun without fully understanding how it all works." Now the startup has reworked the hardware and software, and toned down the cuteness, for the Blipblox After Dark.

Originally unveiled at the 2020 NAMM show in January, the Blipblox After Dark toy synthesizer is the second product from the San Franciscans, and sports a similar interface layout as the original but looks slightly less toy-like. Over 300 melodies composed by professional musicians are included, with the system randomly choosing one of them to sound off when the unit is switched on.

The unit puts 16 oscillator schemes at the user's disposal, with pulse width and frequency modulation, sync and detune all up for grabs. But you don't need to know all that to have fun. Players from 3 years and up can just use the array of buttons, knobs, switchers and sliders to modify the melody coming through the built-in speaker.

The Blipblox After Dark is certified to international toy safety standards for kids aged three and above
The Blipblox After Dark is certified to international toy safety standards for kids aged three and above

The ROM-based wavetables host 256 unique tones, a resonant multi-mode filter lets you manipulate frequencies, you can dial in stereo multi-tap delay for added body, there's a built-in drum machine with more than a hundred pitch-shifting samples to set the groove, and more.

All Blipblox synths are certified to international toy safety standards, meaning there are no sharp edges, the controls can't be pulled off and the device should be tough enough to withstand rough treatment from youngsters.

It looks like great fun for children young and old and is ready to rock out of the box via USB power or the included batteries, but more advanced users can integrate it into a studio-like setup thanks to 5-pin MIDI in and stereo audio out.

Indiegogo pledges for this edition start at US$179. The project has already met its funding goal with about two weeks remaining on the campaign clock, and if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in November. The video below has more.

Blipblox After Dark Launch

Source: Playtime Engineering

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