Chompi is a new “magical” hardware sampler and looper that looks to prioritise personality and playability over a lengthy spec list. With its cute carry handle and big-buttoned interface, it’s giving us strong ‘My First Electronic Instrument’ vibes, but might also be capable of charming more mature and experienced musicians, too.
Built on the open-source Electro-Smith Daisy platform, Chompi puts the focus on a simple sample-based workflow that’s designed to encourage experimentation. Hit the record button and you can immediately capture a sound via the built-in mic, and this is automatically mapped across the two-octave mechanical keyboard.
Chompi offers seven voices of polyphony and gives you 14 preset slots. You can adjust the sample start/end point, there’s an AD envelope, and the playback speed and direction of the sample can be controlled, too. The multi-FX section, meanwhile, is all on one knob, and provides a multimode filter, lo-fi saturation, a granular delay-reverb and more.
Recordings can be made using the tape-style stereo looper, which enables you to overdub sounds as many times as you like. The transport knob controls tape scrubbing, loop playback speed/direction and other features that are apparently waiting to be discovered.
As you can see, Chompi has no screen, but RGB LED indicators and endless switching encoders give you multi-page parameter control. The MX Cherry switches on the hot-swap enabled keyboard can be replaced and customised as you wish, and the Chompi is said to be built to last.
USB-C powering means that it’s also portable - assuming you you have a power bank - while other connectivity includes stereo aux I/O, a headphone socket and MIDI I/O (all on 3.5mm jacks). Your samples are stored on a micro SD card.
Chompi is said to have been inspired by portable old-school keyboards such as the Casio SK-1, and has the whiff of a simplified, kid-friendly version of the Teenage Engineering OP-1. This isn’t all that surprising, as the OP-1 also owes a design debt to those old Casio models.
It’s expected that Chompi will cost $599, but it’s heading to Kickstarter on 28 March where it will be available for $499. Find out more on the Chompi website.