During these last two decades, electronic music has been gaining steady ground in popularity. After a first surge during the last twenty years of the previous century, the USA slowly warmed up to all the different electronic sounds that were coming from Europe. Ultimately resulting in a thriving domestic movement of producers and DJs who are pushing their own unique sounds within the genre. Coming to the point where kids now prefer to be a DJ rather than to play guitar in a band.
This increase in popularity also created a broader market for synth manufacturers. Brands like Korg, Roland and Behringer all increased their production lines to cater to this crowd, and even modular synthesis has become more mainstream.
With all these developments, one would think it would be easy to find a toy synthesizer to introduce young kids to all these new sounds and this new vision towards music composition. Yet, until recently, this was all uncharted territory.
Until the Blipblox came on the scene.
SKIP THE ABC AND START WITH THE LFO!
Blipblox is an award winning synthesizer designed for children to introduce them to the world of electronic music.
With its playful design, kids are instantly attracted to its various controls and integrated LED lightshow. Kids will love the big red colored levers, and once they discover the other buttons and knobs, a new sonic world will open up for them.
Blipbloxes are the only synthesizers fully certified to international safety standards including FCC, CE, ASTM F963-17, CPSC 16, EN62115, REACH, RohS and CA Prop 65 for toys, for ages 3 and up.
A QUICK BREAKDOWN OF ITS FEATURES
The interface my seem simple, but there is a serious synth engine under the hood. This includes multiple oscillators which generate the initial sound, various LFO’s to modulate it in various ways and a very smooth filter section to take out the rough edges.
By far the best feature of the Blipblox is its design which focuses on direct access to sound manipulation in a playful way. There are no menus to dive through and there are no descriptions near the controls on the front panel to show its functionality. Instead, kids and adults alike are invited to intuitively work the synthesizer.
To help the user make sense of the signal flow, there are colored lines between the controls to instantly show the pathways of the sound. For curious minds, the manual offers a deeper dive, explaining all the different controls in detail.
It works on batteries as well as with a USB power supply which are both included.
FULLY INTEGRATED LED LIGHTSHOW
Another neat feature is the fully integrated LED lightshow with several modes. Bright colors that jump in all directions add another major layer to the fun. But no worries, if either the kid or the parent is sensitive to fast moving lights, the lightshow sequences can be turned off or altered into a static mode. If that is still a bit too much, the brightness can be altered too.
The Blipblox is different from other entry level synthesizers in that it lacks a keyboard. This was done on purpose. The Blipblox has a built in sequencer which comes with hundreds of professionally produced melodies. The unit will then automatically shift through all of these melodies for continuous musical inspiration. The main focus is to teach young kids sound design. Still, the sequencer can also be turned off and the unit can then be connected to an external midi keyboard to offer the ability to play the inspiring sounds of the Blipblox externally.
There are various tweaks that can be made to the Blipblox. Other than the aforementioned LED lightshow controls, this includes a set of extra sounds and a master volume control.
STURDY DESIGN AND BUILT TO LAST
The Blipblox is tested to be safe for kids ages 3 and up. Extra care has been added to make sure none of the parts can break at the hands of young children. We put it to the test and the unit is built like a tank. This is also specifically useful for the life of the unit. As children grow up, the Blipblox can stay a permanent fixture in their musical journey. Young kids may just randomly press all the buttons without knowing much of what is going on. But with time, kids will take a deeper dive into its sonic architecture. When they are old enough to start making music with the help of a computer, the Blipblox can be easily integrated with MIDI to a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and the 1/4″ jack for superior audio quality.
BLIPBLOX IN THE STUDIO
Add your Blipblox to a studio set up to fully take advantage of all its capabilities.
Blipblox Toy Synthesizer MSRP: $189 Safe for ages 3+ • Target ages 3-10
Buy here: https://blipblox.com/products/the-blipbloxsynthesizer-for-kids
Blipblox After Dark Toy Synthesizer | MSRP: $199 | Safe for ages 3+ • Target ages 10+ | Shipping December 2020
Buy here: https://blipblox.com/products/blipblox-after-dark-synthesizer
About Playtime Engineering
San Francisco-based Playtime Engineering is a boutique startup with a mission to create intelligent children’s toys designed to promote creativity and audio exploration. The company’s award winning products include the Blipblox Toy Synthesizer.
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