The Chompi sampler set Kickstarter ablaze when it was announced earlier this year, raising in excess of $1 million of funding. The cutesy interface probably helped, as did the impression that this thing is going to be a serious amount of fun.
As we get closer to the release - next month, hopefully - the Chompi team have dropped a new video that gives us a better idea of the instrument’s workflow. This explains that samples can be stored and arranged temporarily in the Chompi Buffer and Looper Buffer sections, and that the Jammi and Cubbi modes enable you to play samples chromatically or as one-shots. In Jammi mode, you have up to seven notes of polyphony, while Cubbi mode enables you to play up 14 different samples at the same time, and each sample can be tweaked individually.
These four operation modes can be switched between using the Shift key, which also enables you to access the buttons’ secondary functions. The white keys can be used to store and load presets, for example, while the black keys switch between banks, set the recording mode, adjust the position of the effects in the signal chain and are used to select the save, copy and erase functions.
Chompi doesn’t have a screen, which could potentially make accessing all of these features (and more) a little confusing, but as the demo shows, a clever combination of interface labelling and flashing lights helps to ensure that the workflow isn’t too complicated. And if you get stuck, the quick start manual is printed on Chompi’s underside (this panel can be reversed to look less noobish once you’ve got the hang of things).
If you like the look of Chompi but missed the Kickstarter campaign, you can sign up to get on the waitlist for the next batch of units via the Chompi website. The regular price will be $599, or $699 for the limited edition pink version (assuming more of those go into production).