Ahead of the NAMM 2022 trade show in Anaheim next weekend, San Francisco-based Playtime Engineering has unveiled a pair of toys, the Blipbox SK2 synthesizer and the Blipbox myTrack groovebox, designed to help even the most musically inclined young people to produce, record and store and share electronic beats and melodies.
The details of the SK2’s spatial surface belie its ability to generate over 400 pre-recorded melodies ranging from chiptunes to orchestral, as well as multi-mode filters, 16 oscillator schemes, and multi-tap stereo delay functions. A signal flow diagram is printed on the front of the unit and all controls are labeled so even beginners can easily learn and discover new synth sounds. Users will be able to export their tracks via a 1⁄4-inch audio output and import new sounds via MIDI input.
The myTRACK, by contrast, is a kid-sized, multi-track sampler that uses a 5×5 grid of playpads to trigger beats and sequences (think of a grayed-out Ableton Push 2). Each of the 48 pre-built instruments can be applied to any or all five of the available tracks, as can process effects controlled by the physical sticks on the device. In fact, many of myTRACK’s more advanced features are presented as dedicated physical buttons rather than hidden sub-menu options. Plus, those pre-packaged sounds and sequences can be upgraded via USB-C to include new ensembles like orchestral, hip-hop, jazz, rock, and EDM. A built-in microphone allows your future Grandmaster Flash to explore the outside world for new sounds to capture and modulate. The myTRACK offers a 5-pin MIDI OUT port so the device can connect to and control an SK2, while its USB-C port is class compliant with USB MIDI In and Out, so you can use it with any Mac or Mac. .Windows DAW.
The SK2 will retail for $199 and will be available in November 2022. The myTRACK will follow in Q1 2023 for $249
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