littleBits™, maker of an open source library of electronic Bits™ modules that snap together with magnets for prototyping, learning and fun, announced today its partnership with KORG, a leading global manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, to launch the new littleBits Synth Kit. Designed to allow users to create brand new sounds and build their own electronic instruments, the new Synth Kits will be shipping the first week of December and available at littleBits.cc and select specialty retailers for $159.
From The Beatles to Bjork, legendary artists have used analog synthesizers to produce complex sounds and innovative music. For the first time ever, the littleBits Synth Kit will enable curious hobbyists and musicians to easily explore the iconic synthesizer instrument, allowing them to build their own sound machines (with signal generators, modifiers, modulators and controllers) and put on their own performances - all with little to no engineering or musical knowledge.
"We're excited to work together with industry leader KORG to design and launch the new littleBits Synth Kit," said Ayah Bdeir, founder and CEO of littleBits, MIT Media Lab alumna and TED Senior Fellow. "Our goal is to break technology down to its fundamental parts and put the power of electronics in the hands of everyone. This new kit is an incredibly easy to use, high quality, analog modular synthesizer, and is designed to inspire people of all ages to unleash their inner rock star."
The new Synth Kit includes an assortment of 12 electronic Bits modules that instantly snap together with magnets to create circuits like those used in KORG's famous analog synthesizers. Modules included in the Synth Kit are power, oscillator (x2), filter, envelope, delay, keyboard, micro sequencer, mix, split, random, and synth speaker (which can connect to recording or live sound equipment). The Synth Kit also includes a project booklet outlining step-by-step instructions for 10 projects. Accessories like mounting boards can be purchased separately to create a playable performance station.
With the new littleBits Synth Kit in hand, users can build infinitely reconfigurable sound circuits; and since the littleBits system is expandable, multiple Synth Kits can be used at once to create a massively powerful instrument. In addition, users can combine it with other littleBits modules to create complex visual, light, and mechanical installations – no wiring, soldering or programming required.
Users can also follow the step-by-step instructions in the project booklet, and combine Bits modules with assorted materials like cardboard, tape and 3D printed plastic to create fun and novel interfaces, such as:
- Percussion Party: Snap seven modules together to build a circuit that lets you dance to the beat of your own drum. Set the rhythm, adjust the timbre and control the envelope to create soothing, rhythmic sounds or a wailing drum beat.
- Keytar: Combine nine modules with assorted household and craft materials to create a customized keytar. Decorate your instrument, add a strap and get ready to rock.
- Synth Spin Table: Eight modules work together to create a synth with some spin. Create turntables with paper plates and straws and play with your synth machine just like a DJ.
- Additional projects include Synthesizer with the Works, Tuning, Play a Song, Spooky Sounds, Metal Music, Synth Bandand Perform Like a Pro. Instructions for sound-altering circuit designs are also included, such as pitch sweeps, white noise, key player, sequencer control, frequency modulation, random voltage, filtering noise and echo and delay.
"The new littleBits Synth Kit lets music fans explore sound and the synthesizer in a truly new and unique way. We are thrilled to partner with littleBits to bring this exciting experience to our fans and music lovers around the world," said Tadahiko Sakamaki, Manager/Designer, Product Planning Department, KORG.
Winner of more than 20 product awards, littleBits is a well-funded, fast-growing startup based in New York City. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) acquired innovative littleBits to its permanent collection. The company has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times Magazine and Fast Company. Bloomberg TV recognized littleBits as "LEGO for the iPad generation." In addition, the company was featured in a TED talk in 2012, which garnered more than 700,000 views worldwide.
Bits modules are reusable, compatible and color-coded, allowing users to grow their library as they add new Kits or specialty pieces to their collection. Each module has a specific function (such as power, light, sound, pulse), and every module works with every other module in the library to make building projects easy for children, teens and adults.
Additional tips, tricks and project ideas are regularly posted on the company's website by littleBits and members of the littleBits maker community, and users can sign up for the littleBits e-newsletter to regularly receive updates on innovative projects and product information.