Synth Spotlight – Blipblox


Blipbox is a synth made by Playtime Engineering and if the name doesn’t give it away, it’s meant for kids. Don’t worry though, adults can use it too – we won’t tell.


Welcome to a special Father’s Day edition of Synth Spotlight. We’re going to talk about the Blipblox today. This is a great way to get your kids started on synths and it’s actually usable for you as well, depending on aesthetic and the sound you’re going for in your music. So it looks like a toy and that’s obviously for a good reason. It’s for your kid, it’s meant to attract a kid to it.

But each one of these buttons, each one of these little controls actually controls a legitimate synth parameter. So, I’m going to get the sequencer started. You can change the sequence, click of a button. Bunch of preloaded sequences. And then we can start changing it. So you got tempo over here. Got waveforms. Low-pass filter. Sort of a note length. So it’s kinda like an amp envelope decay and release. long notes. Short notes. We also have two LFOs and a mod envelope that you can modulate the oscillator and the filter with.

There’s this randomize button which just changes all the controls that wants to do something random. Giving a whole new sound. Then one unique thing, this thing has this freakout button. When I hold this down, it’s just gonna go nuts. And then we’ve got a kick and a snare. Okay, so number one question here is do kids like it?

Well, I tried it with my two year old son, Ellington who’s almost three and he loved it, check it out. So obviously, he doesn’t understand what these different controls are doing yet, but he’s actually interacting with legitimate synth parameters. He’s interacting with filters, with tempo, with LFOs. Without even knowing it, he’s programming a synth.

And then as he gets older, and then he gets to an age were he understands this stuff, I can start to explain this stuff. I can tell him this is low-pass filter. I can, tell him these are different waveforms changing the raw sound that he’s working with. So it’s a great way to get your kids started. Now, how about you? Can you use this in your music?

This isn’t your ordinary synth tutorial. This is Syntorial. Making programming synths easy. With video game like training teaching you how to program synth patches by ear. Each lesson starts with a demonstration, then a interactive challenge with over 200 lessons. Once you complete the program, you’ll be able to create the sounds you hear using almost any synthesizer. Try the award-winning Syntorial today.

Now how about you? Can you use this in your music? And the answer is yes, but it kinda depends on what you want in your music. This thing is a great little glitchy kinda chiptune Lo-Fi synth. So if you don’t have something like that, and you want that in you music, this thing is great because not only are you getting a synth for your kid, for him to learn, you’re also getting this particularly unique sound to put into your music.

It also has a really unique interphase cause it was designed to kind of look like a toy and not like a typical synth and I find that inspiring. Just kind of learning this thing and messing around with it was just really fun. Now, you’re probably wondering, well if I need to use this in my music. I need to go to control with notes it’s playing, right? I don’t wanna just use the built in sequencer. And so we can do is turn it off, connect your MIDI controller too, which I have done here and I can play it.

So it’s just got a MIDI import here on the back. And you can just do any kind of MIDI output into it and… now you can control what notes it’s playing. And this randomize button’s great. It’s almost like dialing through presets. And of course, I can program my patch myself. Now, the drums we can also edit and play those. Right now my controller is sending MIDI info out on channel one, I’m gonna change it to channel two and now.

My keyboards playing the drums. And if I select these two buttons, I can change the sound of the drums. So, this right here becomes kind of the length of the drum, the amp decay or release. And this is the pitch. Same for the snare over here. This is the length. And this is kind of like a filter.

So there you have it. Really great way for your kid to learn synths, get in there early, and a cool little kind of Lo-Fi chiptune synth for you. All right, that’s the Blipblox. Now, if you’ve got a synth you’d love to see me cover here in Synth Spotlight, please comment below. And don’t forget if you’ve got a patch you need help with, head on over to our forum and request help there. And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.