Ahead of the NAMM 2022 trade show being held in Anaheim next weekend, San Francisco's Playtime Engineering has unveiled a pair of toys, the Blipbox SK2 synthesizer and the Blipbox myTrack groovebox, designed to help even the youngest musically-inclined minds produce, record, save and share electronic beats and melodies.
The SK2's spacey surface detailing belies its ability to generate more than 400 pre-recorded melodies ranging from chiptunes to orchestral, as well as multi-mode filters, 16 oscillator schemes and stereo multi-tap delay functions. A signal flow diagram is printed on the unit's front face and all of the controls are labelled so that even basement-level beginners can easily learn and discover new synth sounds. Users will be able to export their tracks through a 1⁄4-inch audio out and import new sounds through the MIDI In.
The myTRACK, conversely, is a kid-sized multi-track sampling device that uses a 5x5 grid of playpads to trigger beats and sequences (think, a toned down Ableton Push 2). Each of the 48 pre-included instruments can be applied to any, or all five, of the available tracks as can the process effects controlled by the device's physical levers. In fact, many of the myTRACK's more advanced features are presented as dedicated, physical buttons rather than as buried submenu options. Additionally, those pre-packed sounds and sequences can be updated via USB-C to include new sets such as orchestra, hip-hop, jazz, rock and EDM. An incorporated microphone allows your future Grandmaster Flash to explore the outside world in search of new sounds to capture and modulate. The myTRACK offers a 5-pin MIDI OUT port so that the device can connect to and control an SK2 while its USB-C port is class-compliant USB MIDI in and out, so you'll be able to use it with any Mac or Windows DAW.
The SK2 will retail for $199 and be available in November 2022. The myTRACK will follow in Q1 2023 for $249