I’d been meaning to post this before Christmas, but just ran out of time before I could get it done, but I thought I’d squeeze it into 2015, just!
- Teenage Engineering OP-1: A pure genius device from Teenage Engineering, I love it and it just gets better and better with every new version of the OS. I can’t wait to see what they add next.
- Teenage Engineering PO-12:A fantastic little device and possibly the shape of things to come from other manufacturers.
- Teenage Engineering PO-14: That compliments the PO-12 very nicely and works well with the …
- Teenage Engineering PO-16: Which completes the set, and they do work well together. I like the idea of small and well designed hardware. I think that the only thing that TE missed with this series and also the OP-1 was a way to connect and expand the devices with a mobile device. That sounds kind of obvious now, but probably when the OP-1 came out originally it didn’t make that much sense.
- Monotron: The original and excellent Monotron I think it would be interesting to see if more synth makers did a Monotron equivalent. What would that look like for Yamaha? For Roland?
- Monotron delay: Was a great addition to the line, as was the …
- Monotron duo: As was Korg’s decision to open source the circuitry. Very nicely done.
- Casio VL-1: Is where mobile music started off for me, so it’s something I’m really fond of.
- Casio VL-10:
- Thingamagoop: I’ve got the 2nd edition of the Thingamagoop but of course the new one comes out in 2016 and I’m really keen to see how good it is. I’m tempted, but haven’t ordered one as yet.
- BC-16: The rarest of rate micro modular synths. Almost impossible to find but really interesting to play with and a device that gives you an appreciation of modular synthesis and analogue work.
- Handera 330: The first of two of my PDA entries. This one is the rarest of them all. Only ran Palm OS4, but it had an SD card and CF card slots onboard.
- TRG-Pro: From the same makers, the Pro had a CF card slot and was pretty amazing in its day. Of course it is very good at sending MIDI, and works well with older devices.
- Nebulophone: Another Bleep Labs device and a cool and cheap noise maker for having fun.
- DS: I included the DS as, pre-iPhone / iOS, it was a great platform for mobile music and of course had the original DS-10 synth.
- iRig acoustic: I’ve been really impressed by the iRig acoustic, especially when using it with my Ukulele and a bunch of effects apps.
- TouchBoard: I’ve become a fan of the TouchBoard since using it at our SoundLab play space event. I think that the device has a lot more to offer than perhaps anyone has thought about it so far, and I hope to explore that more in 2016.
- MuteSynth II: This is an incredible piece of hardware for exploring sounds. I’ve really enjoyed using it and have found it a great way to lose myself in sound design.
- Olegtron: Another interesting and very different hardware device. Something that feels like it’s going to start growing into more than just a single device, but I’m not sure where it’ll end up. That’s quite exciting in it’s own right though.
- Littlebits: If you wanted a modular experience and eurorack is too expensive, then this is (or so I’m told) a good alternative. It’s also great to learn about how synthesis works.
- Ototo: A very underrated device with great expansion through sensors and the ability to play anything, like fruit!
- iRig MIDI 2: For connecting iOS and MIDI hardware, this is it for me. Solid and reliable and that’s it.
- Molecule synth: Rare, unusual, modular and strange. I’d hoped that this could develop into something and there could’ve been more molecules available, but it’s unlikely I guess now.
- Mixtape alpha: Another rare device which is difficult to play and worse to find one these days, but an interesting design and, in it’s own way, quite soothing and pleasant. I like it anyway.
So there’s my list. Not the usual list of hardware you might find on a blog, but a list of things I find interesting sonically and inspiring too. I hope you find it useful.