Kid-friendly synth and groovestation help make music creation child's play
Back in 2018 we brought news of a feature-rich synthesizer for kids of all ages called the Blipblox. With NAMM 2022 just around the corner, Playtime Engineering has added two new fun-packed music makers to its lineup in the shape of the Blipblox SK2 and Blipblox myTracks.
The idea behind the toy-like Blipblox was to make creating music simple, engaging and so much fun that parents would want in on the synth action too. Following the Indiegogo success of its first product, Playtime Engineering launched a more advanced After Dark version in 2020 and the SK2 model kind of combines the free-play ethos of the original with the sophistication of the second model.
The "child-durable, safety-certified" music machine sports both a signal flow diagram and control labels to help players find their way, and comes with 400 built-in melodies running from "video game pop to classical music riffs."
For synth scientists looking to dive deeper, resonant multi-mode filters, wavetable synthesis, a bunch of oscillator schemes and stereo multi-tap delay have also been included. The device can run on batteries, includes a built-in speaker, offers a new set of pitch-shift drum samples, and the LED lights have been completely redesigned too.
"The SK2 completes our suite of Blipblox synthesizers so any person at any skill level can choose their Blipblox to explore, discover and produce electronic music," said Playtime's co-founder, Kate Sheets.
Also set to make its NAMM debut is the company's vision for a music production studio in a playful groovebox. The Blipblox myTracks sports a 5x5 playpad grid for launching sequencer clips and triggering sounds, multi-track sampling possibilities are on offer and there are dedicated buttons for advanced functions normally buried deep in complicated menus.
The easy access device comes packed with 48 electronic and acoustic instrument sounds output via the built-in speaker, including percussion, with onboard effects added in courtesy of the funky purple control levers. There's an integrated microphone for mixing in real-world vocals or samples, and new sound sets for genres such as hip-hop, jazz, rock and EDM can be downloaded to a thumbdrive and loaded into the device over USB-C.
Rather than be overwhelmed by frustration should the music-creation muse decide not to strike, budding producers can simply activate a randomize feature and save choice grooves for future playback.
Finally, a 5-pin MIDI output allows the groovestation to control any Blipblox synth or other hardware, while USB MIDI caters for connection to music production software running on a computer.
The Blipblox SK2 is designed for kids aged 8 to 14 years and will go on sale from November for US$199. The Blipblox myTracks won't be available until the first quarter of next year for $249. All of Playtime Engineering's product line will be available for in-person play time at the company's booth at the NAMM 2022 expo, which runs from June 3-5 at the Anaheim Convention Center in southern California.
Source: Playtime Engineering