Yesterday I stopped by Control in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see Peter Kirn demo his upcoming MeeBlip ANODE synthesizer. The MeeBlip ANODE has digital oscillators, an analog filter, envelope, MIDI, and an LFO. You may be thinking what’s the big deal. Well the ANODE is very inexpensive (a little over $100), small and most importantly sounds very good. It’s also open source and by grabbing one you support Peter who with his blog Create Digital Music has given a huge amount to the pro-audio community over the years. When I arrived it was hooked up with a tasty P3 Sequentix sequencer and Korg Volca Beats. I quickly ran home and grabbed my new Roland TB-3 to hear it sequence the MeeBlip too. The MeeBlip/TB-3 combo sounded quite good and I was glued to their knobs for a good thirty minutes.
“Combining an analog filter with unique digital sound sources, all in an easy-to-understand, compact sound package, MeeBlip anode is synth hardware anyone can enjoy immediately. anode is part analog, part digital, capable of producing a range of uniquely aggressive, bass-heavy sounds. And inspired by the best classic synths of the past, getting your hands on that sound is always simple, direct, and intuitive. Simply plug in a keyboard, computer, iPad (via adapter), or controller via the MIDI port to play notes. Then, adjust sounds via knobs and switches – you don’t need to navigate a single menu. Its digital side reproduces the sound and architecture of classic synthesizers, but with an emphasis on adding personality, especially in the low end. Its all-new analog filter with resonance can range from smooth to raunchy – perfect for shaping sound or making squelchy basslines.” – meeblip.com
I’m obsessed with podcasts. When I moved to Berlin every time I missed english speak or felt alone Leo Laporte and his podcasts were in my ear. After I blogged for a while I knew I had to do a podcast too. I also knew I couldn’t do it alone. Most podcasts with just one host seem really boring to me. After I met Peter Kirn last month at the SAE/Shocklee Panel for IMSTA I knew I had to run the idea past him. Create Digital Music is without doubt an important source for music tech words. I credit that site for killing my subscriptions to Keyboard and Electronic Musician (I still get Sound on Sound). Honestly we don’t know if we have the energy to keep this up but we enjoyed recording the first one. I assume we will keep it going, get a cool name for it, add some audio bumpers and become more comfortable talking. We will get the quality up a bit too. I hope you enjoy our ramblings.
“This was entirely impromptu, but we do intend to plan ahead and do it right and make it a regular thing. That raises a couple of questions. What would you want in such a program? (High on my list: adding some actual music and music discussion, guests, interactive Q&A…)” – Peter Kirn, CDM
For the price of a plug-in you can buy a Meeblip. It’s a digital synthesizer that’s fully buildable, hackable and modifiable. It has a MIDI din and a volume knob that goes to 11. What could be the most interesting thing about the synth is who is comes from. It’s a partnership between James Grahame of Reflex Audio and Peter Kirn of Create Digital Music. Therefore, any cool hack, trick or update on the little box will surely be covered on the CDM blog. That fact alone makes me want to be part of the story. If you have a kid and you don’t mind the risk of getting him too involved in the music industry put one of these together with him this December.
“It’s a hardware box that makes noises – virtual analog synth noises, chip-sounding noises, good noises, bad noises, noises you can make into music. It’s got physical knobs and switches on it, plus a MIDI DIN in port so you can connect that keytar you bought on eBay… The MeeBlip is the creation of James Grahame, of Retro Thing and Reflex Audio fame. (He tells the full history of how it came to be.) But we’re serious about the Create Digital Music name going on there, too… At the same time, just because it’s “open source” and “hackable” doesn’t mean the MeeBlip is just for hackers. On the contrary – we wanted a synth anyone could play. With the Quick Build Kit, you can assemble the MeeBlip without a soldering iron or, really, much skill, in a matter of minutes.” – Peter Kirn