Donner throws a curve ball with Medo, a handheld synth, sampler and music-making device

Known up to now for its more ‘traditional’ products - guitars, digital pianos, MIDI controllers, etc - Donner's next move is to launch something a little more outlandish in the shape of Medo, a standalone music-making device that incorporates a sampler, synthesis and a looper.

Medo’s more experimental concept perhaps explains why it’s being released via Kickstarter; this gives Donner a way of assessing demand levels and ensuring that it’ll only be released if the campaign is funded. That said, the modest £4,201 goal has already been achieved, so maybe it’s just a way of drumming up some pre-release publicity.

Anyway, Medo gives you five seconds of sampling time, and has a grid-based touch control surface. The exact nature of this changes depending on which mode you’re in - drum, bass, chord or lead - and tracks can be built-up in the 128-bar looper. There are built-in speakers, RGB lights and a 2000mA lithium battery that can be charged via USB-C. 

There’s also gestural control - it looks like you can adjust parameters, apply effects and control modulation by moving the device around.

Medo’s most attractive features, though, might be its size and prize. It’s small enough to be taken pretty much anywhere, and the early-bird pledge option of $149 (regular price will be $298) should ensure that there are plenty of takers.

If you order now, delivery is expected to be in December, by which time we hope we’ll have had a chance to try a Medo ourselves. Given its touch-based nature, the obvious question is whether it'll offer much more than a music-making app running on your phone, so we'll try and find you an answer.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

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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