Chompi is a super-cute sampler that was inspired by the Casio SK-1 and looks like a kid-friendly OP-1

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.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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