Creators all over the world bring their awesome ideas to sell on Tindie, unifying the far flung corners of the planet together into one unique tech space! We’re here to travel the globe looking at the designers, inventors and creators who deliver top audio products, exciting instruments and musical machines direct to your home!
Put away the Lonely Planet, the jungle mix and that giant backpack, this will be a sightseeing adventure from the comfort of your home (or mobile device). Prepare for an environmentally responsible journey, on a range of transport methods. Let start with a canoe; we’re setting sail for Mexico!
Mexico – Oficina de Sonido’s Hanan Cumbria
That was some great paddling… we’ve arrived in central American where we’re visiting Oficina de Sonido who make the gorgeous Hanan Cumbria – a collaboration between a graphic designer, a screen printer and a hardware designer. It’s a fantastic eye-catching drum machine with 4 elements capable of sequencing 32 steps for each sound. It’s a vivid and bold design full of life and colour, resonating the stylish sunshine-packed vibes of Mexico.The Hanan Cumbria can be synced with other gear and can be powered via Micro USB or conventional a guitar pedal socket.
Spain – Kasser Synths DFAM
Keeping in the latin spirit, we’ve hired a dingy to head over to Spain to look at Kasser Synths and their amazing DFAM Arcade YM2151 Megadrive/Genesis synth module! This little beauty is capable of producing the sounds we know and love from the early Sound Blaster audio cards, video game consoles, and arcade machines. It features a sleek design, with rotary knobs and high contrast screens for visual feedback. Add MIDI compatibility and the ability to load sounds from your favourite games, and you have a magic box of chipmusic tricks! The DFAM comes as a kit and a fully made product with a range of classic sound chips to choose from.
France – Val Power’s ARP Sync Pro MIDI
Now for a relatively short walk to France, where ValPower and the ARP Sync Pro MIDI reside. This unassuming box has the power to sync your classic vintage analogue synths to a modern setup – mimicking the Roland TR-808 and 909’s rim shot sound to send a tempo signal to the synth. This means that timed elements like sequencers (in the SH101) and on-board Arpeggiators (for the Juno Series) play at exactly the right time, guided by the MIDI clock signal you send. Valpower have a range of similar devices for a number of applications – it’s a low key device which has big implications for modern music studios!
Belgium – Atonal Circuits Brick Sequencer
Okay, that was quite a long walk… I’ll give you a piggy back over to Belgium to see the Brick Sequencer made by Atonal Circuits. This modular device uses the small coloured bricks we most likely remember from childhood (or parenthood!) to make musical sequences to output to other eurorack modules! It’s got four channels to make sequences for, each with their own output, as well as mute buttons and 16 memories to store patterns. As you’ll see in the product page “No Lego bricks were harmed to build the brick sequencer”, which is weirdly reassuring!
Scotland – MadLab’s Noise-X
A short swim across the frosty North Sea where we arrive in Scotland at MadLab, who create the mysterious Noise-X synthesizer and effects unit! It appears to have been designed by a being from an alternate dimension and has the sounds to prove it. Controlled with a unique combination of knobs, buttons, and faders – it’s absolutely packed with features: 4 DCOs (digitally controlled oscillators – things which make sounds), LFOs, (low frequency oscillators – things which make it wobble), 7 waveforms (types of sound), reverb, MIDI, and more! If there is any unit which could allow ET to phone home out of the box, it would be the Noise-X.
Poland – beat bars MIDI Expression Pedal
We’re on the overnight train via the channel tunnel, heading eastward to Poland, so we can check out the MIDI Expression Pedal made by beat bars! This expression pedal adds depth and expression to your played instruments – be them synths, keyboards or software VSTs by sending MIDI messages each time your foot moves the pedal. It’s a feature like this which composers look out for to make their music breathe with life and a more organic movement. These guys know their pedals too, with a few on offer including eco-friendly and affordable cardboard pedals and foot switches for iOS apps.
Australia – Rare Beasts MUFON
This next trip is a big one. A hot air balloon flight across the planet to rare beasts in Australia to look at the intergalactic MUFON experimental synth instrument! It’s another object which was seemingly beamed in from another world; a dual oscillator synth drone machine which reacts to light! It’s powered by USB and has a 3.5mm jack socket to plug in headphones or an amplifier. MUFON is an adorable mini synth which requires no prior musical knowledge or experience to play! Batteries not included.
USA – p0k3t0’s Sync Splitter for Pocket Operators
A quick row across the Pacific ocean to the USA where we find the Sync Splitter for Pocket Operators – 5 Way made by pok3t0. This unique and highly useful device unifies the connections between up to 5 Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators – wonderfully affordable and playful music devices. This snazzy little module carries the timing signal between your devices, while outputting each of their audio outputs individually for mixing and processing elsewhere. The beauty of this device is the ability to separate the audio, which is normally carried through all the modules to only one mono output – now you can have 5 separated out! High five!
There we are! What an adventure, you’ve got a lovely tan! We’re back on terra firma, safe and sound; at home with a collection of superb gadgets and gizmos to make our music even better. Time to feed the pets, check the mail, water the plants and maybe have a bath! We hope you’ve enjoyed our eco-friendly tour of some of the wide ranging sellers we’re proud to have here on Tindie. Here’s to more amazing musical devices, imagined and realised from all corners of the globe.