We’re big fans of the Blipblox, an actual functional synthesizer clad in the appearance of a children’s toy. Because… you know… they wanted small kids to play with a real music-making machine. And it worked. Problem is, older kids mostly stayed away from it precisely for its toddler-friendly appearance. The Blipblox After Dark wants to change that.
A more mature version of the toy synth, the device takes the same elements as the original version, but injects it with a dose of Darth Vader aesthetics, making it look less like a toddler’s toy and more like a toddler’s toy going through its goth phase. You know what that’s like – everything covered in dark shades and edgy graphics because the world is a gloomy place and all that.
The Blipblox After Dark isn’t just different from the outside, as the outfit claims it’s been completely reengineered underneath the shell with a newer “state-of-the-art electronics” system and a redesigned synthesis engine. It does, however, retain the same signal flow as found on the toddler-focused variant, complete with 12 selectable oscillators (compared to eight from the original), two LFOs, two envelope generators, one low-pass filter, and a three-by-three modulation matrix, making it quite the powerful synthesizer. The dozen available 1oscillator modulation schemes, by the way, include enhanced versions of those found on the original, as well as all-new schemes that utilize 256 custom wavetables that can be morphed and scanned for further expanding your musical horizons.
With the new software and electronics, the device is able to add several things that weren’t available in its toddler-aimed predecessor. For instance, it gets an advanced multi-mode resonant filter that, the outfit claims, will give every sound a richer, more analog-like quality, as well as multi-tap stereo delay that can add a lush effect to the output sound. It also gets over a hundred new kick and snare samples to add even more variety to the drums you use in your music productions.
The Blipblox After Dark, of course, is still meant for kids (only older), so it has a multi-color LED light show that you can turn on, if you want colorful lights blinking in sync with the music you’re making. There is, naturally, a built-in speaker, so kids don’t need to hook it up to other gear (that stuff gets complicated fast), as well as a headphone jack for those times you want to get some peace and quiet while keeping your preteen busy making music in his room. There’s also a MIDI input for plugging in a keyboard, sequence controller, or whatever gadget you want to play it with. It powers using three AA batteries, with the option to plug in using a USB-to-DC cable.
According to the outfit, the new toy is aimed at the older preteen market, who may be turned off by the original version’s more goofy aesthetics. Given the extent of its capabilities, we have a feeling even older users will find plenty to enjoy with this thing, especially with the kind of features it delivers.
The Blipblox After Dark debuts in June, priced at $199.