The littleBits Synth Kit lets anyone make music! All you need to do is chuck some components together, connect them to the speaker and flick it on. The Synth Kit is part of the Library’s Tinker Kit collection. Its function is not limited to simply having fun, use as an icebreaker at the start of a course of study or used as scaffolding when introducing in-depth academic or technical topics to students.
Whilst the Synth Kit would be of obvious appeal to sound and music design students, its ease of use makes it great for teacher educators looking to introduce topics such as signal chains, electrical circuits or the physics of sound. The sound quality of the kit is also high enough to make it interesting for students looking to create sonic accompaniment for their demonstration videos, creative works or installations.
We’re running a class on the Synth Kit at LX Lab on the 9th of November. You can book a seat here:
Reasons you’ll love it…
Pick up and play
We have used this Kit in dozens of sessions with Insearch, undergrads, even primary students in the library. In every case we found the students grasped the use and utility of the Kit very quickly, and in most cases, when left to experiment, students came up with something that held their interest and in many cases grew into more more ambitious and interesting constructions over the 10-20 minutes assigned to exploring the Kit.
You don’t need to know how to play music to make music
The kit is set up so that if you know what the parts do you should be able to make music, or at least interesting soundscapes, without having to do anything more than snap a few components together and turn some knobs. The micro sequencer can make a cute beat or basic tune, and the accessory bits will give it body and let you shape it in real time. If you are a whiz on the piano it does come with a little 13 note keyboard component too.
It actually sounds pretty good
The kit has been produced by synthesiser supremos Korg, and features high quality components. The little 9v battery powered speaker can crank out impressive volumes too, if you’re brave. Check out these cool projects that have been made with the Synth Kit.
You can use it introduce sound editing
The computer and mic plugins let you expand the utility of the Kit. Once you introduce an editing software to the mix, you can record your best passes and layer them together into holistic sound projects and digital stories,
Makey Makey – if you’re clever you could create a musical doorbell or a musical jumper. You can also Frankenstein a couple of Synth Kits together to make huge operatic style soundscapes.
What’s in the kit –
We have a bunch of other Tinker Kits in our collection, so stay tuned for upcoming blog posts on those too!