What looks like a fifties’ style toy from Radio Shack is actually a new product from littlebits in collaboration with synth giant Korg called the littlebits Synth Kit ($160), which, when magnetically linked together, can be assembled to create a customized sound synthesizer unit complete with various attenuators for controlling sound parameters to produce various tonal effects, powered up by a simple 9 volt battery. Each littlebits synth magnetic unit has its own specific function like filter, envelope, sequencer, oscillator etc.
Aimed at the young teen market, Korg is offering various packages that range in build options and dynamics that vary in starter kit prices, and they also offer some add-on pieces to add to the mix. The production though is entirely left up to the imagination of the precocious audio engineer in charge of the building process, which does not call for any soldering irons or electrical mishaps. The units can also be rearranged (snapped) in secession to create different ranges of sounds and effects. Each snap-unit module breaks down the function of each synthesizer component, which results in an eventful hands-on learning experience to kids of all ages. With enough know how and experience, it will give our future sound designers some synth-building skills that will give some of those crappy EDM artists a run for the money.
And if that ain’t enough, they’ve also got a short demo vid with that most annoying Reggie Watts [Sorry fans!], so you can get an idea of how it all tweaks.
I love to see these types of stocking stuffers aimed at the youth of today, but they need to take it to a more integrated level compatibility with video game systems and tablets. Still, a wonderful product!