All around creative dude Reggie Watts uses some crazy gadgets to make his unique brand of noise. But in the video above he's using a new, super-simple kit designed to help experienced musicians and n00bs alike experiment with the possibilities of synthesizers.
Electronic instrument maker Korg has teamed up with the New York-based electronics startup littleBits to create a modular synthesizer kit that'll allow you to build your own synth from the included component bits. For those of you unfamiliar, littleBits is modular platform for stringing together electronic components. The different "bits" snap together with magnets allowing you to build fun projects. The results are frequently similar to the cutesy stuff people build on the Arduino electronics platform, except you don't need to know code at all.
Nine months ago, littleBits teamed up Korg to try to create the synth kit. The individual modules are based on electronics inside Korg's recent ultra-cute micro synths, like the Volca series. According to littleBits founder Aya Bdeir, the challenge was to transfer many of the features and options included on more complicated advanced synths into a smaller package while still retaining the simplicity of the platform.
The bits included in the kit are:
1 Power, 2 Oscillators, 1 Random, 1 Keyboard, 1 Micro Sequencer, 1 Envelope, 1 Filter, 1 Delay, 1 Mix, 1 Split, 1 Synth Speaker.
And in those 12 bits, there's a lot of power to do everything from making a crazy sound to looping it together in the four step sequencer. I had a chance to play with the synth kit last night and it's a lot of fun and more versatile than you might expect for something its size. While the bits definitely benefit from being used in conjunction with other gear, there's plenty of potential in the kits themselves. The Synth Kit comes with a little project guide that helps you setup some of the basic possibilities like the Percussion Kit below.
Beyond a novelty, the Synth Kit is probably most interesting as tool for learning about how the different electronic modules in synthesizer like a Moog work together. The kit is available for pre-order now for $160, and it should ship by the end of the month. [littleBits]