NAMM 2018: Playtime Engineering’s Blipblox could well be that rare thing - a child-friendly electronic instrument that actually feels like a proper synth. In fact, although you might buy it for your kids, you may end up playing with it yourself.
The Blipblox definitely has a ‘my first synth’ appearance: there are colourful knobs and buttons; the plastic casing is designed to be durable and splash resistant; and a multi-colour LED light show is synced to the music. However, it features a proprietary algorithm that enables you to synthesize unique waveforms, so there’s a real sound design element to this, too, and it’s designed to encourage experimentation.
Spec-wise, there are eight ‘unique oscillator modulation schemes’, a low-pass filter, two EGs, two LFOs and a 3-in/3-out modulation matrix. You can switch to Performance mode when you want to do some ‘proper’ music production, and there’s even a MIDI input for a keyboard.
That said, even young kids should enjoy the Blipblox. There’s a built-in sequencer with hundreds of pre-loaded melodies, and an integrated drum machine. Other features include a battery power option, a built-in speaker and an audio output.
The Blipblox will be making its debut at the NAMM Show, and we took the opportunity to test it out. A price and release date are to be confirmed, but you can sign up for updates on the Playtime Engineering website.
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