Musikmesse 2014: Bastl Instruments

Each module is connected using a small 4 pin connector and nice triangular velcro patches on the sides of each box.

If you’re looking for pure tones and big string sounds or anything then these are probably not the modules you’re thinking of. However, if you like nice raw glitchy lo-fi synth sounds then you’re going to love these things.

I had a brief play with the  Bastl Instruments modules and they’re pretty good. I didn’t have time to really get acquainted with the interfaces at all.

But I did play with their stick keyboard. Now that was fun! I still don’t know quite why they have a keyboard made with sticks, but it certainly got a lot of attention at Musikmesse.

One of the things I wanted to establish by taking a look at Bastl Instruments offering was, would I buy them? The answer, yes, sadly I’m afraid that these lovely little modules are just the kind of thing I would love to play with and integrate into the stuff I make.

Bastl Instruments stuff ticked the following boxes for me …

  • Build quality: Very high, nicely made and solid feel.
  • MIDI: The little MIDI module gives you control over all the modules that you connect together
  • Sound quality: Whilst I only heard these at the show, and it was noisy to say the least, I could certainly get a feel for the kinds of sounds you can reproduce, and I really like them
  • Modularity: Well these modules certainly fit together easily enough, and you seem to be able to connect them in any sort of configuration you want.

If I have on reservation it is how stable the connection is going to be. The four pin connector isn’t particularly hardy and the devices are held together by velcro. I know that I’m not likely to be using these in a very mobile environment or expect them to handle a great deal of movement, but it still a small area of concern. However, I don’t think it would stop me from starting my own collection of Bastl Instruments modules.

So, overall I think that these modules are pretty cool. They certainly get the thumbs up from me. Of course it just adds to the temptation and constant drain on my wallet!

All the same, I wish Bastl Instruments every success with their modules and hope that the show was really good for them. I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about them over the next few months.

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