Synth Kit by littleBits

Synth Kit

Synth Kit by littleBits

In Collaboration with KORG.  Available for Pre-Order!  Out 2/28/14!

I watched my mom play guitar and piano as a baby and I play both.  That is not a coincidence!  We are a big musical family and incorporating and playing with music -or even just around- our children has opened them up to new experiences and I can see how my oldest daughter has benefited.  Building and playing with an analog synth by Korg at a reasonable price sounds like a lovely dream.  It is not!  littleBits has a brand new synth kit for children that they can put together and play with at age fourteen and up.  My husband, who played drums in band as a kid, started showing Brooke drums at six months (she plays a mean bongo now), is also a huge synth lover so it was fun for all of us to work (and play) on this project together.

What is a synthesizer?  Oh, yes, sometimes I have to take a step back and realize not everyone is as obsessed with music as we are, so let me explain why this new Synth Kit is….so….COOL!

A synthesizer (‘synth’) is an electronic musical instrument that creates electrical signals that are converted to sound.  Synthesizers are commonly controlled by something that looks like a keyboard but synth controllers are very diverse from drums to fingerboards.  Early synths go back as far as the 1890s, but it wasn’t until Robert Moog created and released his commercially available modern modular synthesizer in 1965 that the music scene exploded with electronic synths.  Think of the 1960s and 1970s electronic music with all of its twists and turns and sometimes eerie sounds.  That was, at the time, a very modern and new approach to mainstream music and quickly topped the charts.

The thing is….analog synths are still expensive.  Until now.  KORG is already synonymous with high quality musical instruments including recording devices like analog and digital recorders.  My husband and I are pretty old school when it comes to music in modern times.  We play vinyl records and, while I do have a digital 16-track recorder, I started out using an analog 4-track and it is still my favorite way to hear music.  Digital music almost sounds too clean to me- and we like the ‘garage rock’ sound.  To be able to create synth sounds on a synth kit we put together and play as a family is not only fun, it is also a great experimental and learning tool for kids.  I still remember hearing songs from Pet Sounds, various Pink Floyd albums and Sgt Pepper as a very young child that blew my mind.  My husband still listens daily to his favorites like Gary Numan and other synth-rock pioneers.  If we could have played around with those sounds at a younger age, we would have been ecstatic, so it is cool to see Brooke’s eyes light up when she tries to do it now.

Was it easy to put together?  Definitely.  Teens should have no problem putting the Synth Kit together.  I need simple ways to use electronics and the kit was so easy to connect (magnetically even) and hook up to the mini speaker that even I had no problem following the directions.  Even though Brooke could not help us put it together, she helped us ‘follow instructions’ as we put different circuits together and was ready to play with the keyboard and knobs as soon as we were done!

Can my preschooler play on the Synth Kit?  YES!  I was concerned at the beginning if Brooke would even benefit from using this kit at her age.  While we put together the synth, I am happy to report that with Bob’s and my supervision, she has had quite the experience working with the different audio, visual and sensory aspects of the synth.  littleBits and Korg state on their website that they have ‘demystified a traditional analog synthesizer’ that will make it was simple for novices as it is for experts to create music. We are not afraid to let her explore.  The synth kit has different circuits with different sequencers and there are many ways to play with sound.  I did have to keep making sure we didn’t get too LOUD – which analog does a good job of telling your ear drums when it is too much, so watch out for that!  You will be able to make a lot of BEEPs and BOOPs and make funky weird alien sounds with this kit and it is fun to loop the noise.  If you purchase the product with the intent that your child may do something they are not supposed to do with it on accident, it allows them to be able to have that freedom to get involved with music a lot earlier.  Things are just things, but giving your child the gift of music is priceless.  The Synth Kit by littleBits keeps giving us that gift of music exploration with our oldest daughter and I can see it lasting a long time to eventually incorporate our youngest (who is quite confused -though interested- in hearing the ‘noise’ right now).  Awesome!

P.S.  The Synth Kit even has instructions on how to mount the kit (that will be down the road), such as a keytar.  You are welcome, music geeks!

Check it out!  Here is our very quick video of the Synth Kit in action.



Synth Kit by littleBits

List Price: $ 159.00 (Free Shipping for all order through littleBits on items more than $149+)

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