NAMM 2022: You certainly couldn’t accuse Playtime Engineering of hiding its desire to make child-friendly music technology products. There’s that company name, for a start, and its pre-existing Blipblox synths look undeniably toylike.
The same could be said of the company’s two new products - Blipblox SK2 (opens in new tab) and Blipblox myTracks (opens in new tab). The SK2 is designed for kids aged between eight and 14 and combines features from the standard Blipblox and the more grown-up After Dark model, while myTracks is a 5-track groovestation.
The SK2 features 400 built-in melodies lifted from everything from ‘video game pop’ to classical music, plus resonant multimode filters, wavetable synthesis, 16 oscillator schemes and stereo multitap delay. There are drum samples, too - plus some sound effects and vocals - and LED lights that blink in time with the music. Connectivity includes MIDI In and 1/4-inch audio out.
The myTracks, meanwhile, includes a 5x5 grid of pads - used to trigger sounds and sequencer clips - and has the whiff of a child-friendly MPC. There are 48 instrument sounds (acoustic, electronic and percussive) and you can sample directly to the pads via the built-in microphone.
The obligatory Blipblox levers, meanwhile, are used to control the two effect processors, and other, more advanced functionality is said to be accessible via dedicated buttons rather than being hidden away in menus.
You can fill the five tracks either with the built-in sequences or ones that you record yourself, while a Randomize function is designed to offer instant inspiration. Grooves can be saved as sets and then recalled later.
Although it’s designed to operate standalone - both of these new Blipblox products have a built-in speaker and can run on batteries - you can also hook up myTracks to your computer via USB-C and change the sounds and sequences. Sound sets are available in multiple genres, including orchestral, hip-hop, jazz, rock and EDM.
The USB-C port also supports MIDI I/O, and there’s a 5-pin MIDI Out, too, enabling you to use the myTracks to control other synths and sound modules.
Available later this year, the Blipblox SK2 and myTracks will cost $199 and $249 respectively. Find out more on the Playtime Engineering (opens in new tab) website.