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Entries in toys (5)


Dato Duo

At Everyday Listening, we try not to get distracted by fancy looking gadgets. We do however, love things that are playful. The Dato DUO is a small synthesizer, simple enough to be used by kids. And while the act of making electronic music can be quite lonely experience, the Dato DUO is aimed at playing with two people.
The DUO has two sides, one with a simple sequencer and pentatonic keyboard, and one with a filter and a waveform. This creates a way to sculpt the sound as a duo: a very original way of playing together!
What Dato have done in a very smart way, is tweak the playable parameters in a smart way so there’s still a lot of freedom, but it will never sound really unattractive. An interesting approach for an interesting and difficult target audience. They’re doing a Kickstarter-campaign at the moment.

Lego Tinguely 2: a Lego Rhythm Machine

Last year I saw Pierre Bastien play live. Interesting how machines can act as a musical instrument and provide musical layers to improvise on. But it also appeared hard to keep it interesting as there is not much variation in the turning of a wheel. 

Roman Gerold was kind enough to share his latest experiment with me: Lego Tinguely 2: a mechanical rhythm machine made of Lego. A great idea to use such simple building blocks to generate noise and rhythms. Its sounds could play a role in a musical setting as well, if used in moderation. 



It has been quite some time since I found this Gloggomobil on Noise For Airports, yet for some reason I did not share it with you yet. Which is strange, because I love beautiful, handcrafted toys, especially when they make sounds.

Children (and their parents!) can create their own compositions by pushing the black pegs in the holes on the drum. Very simple, yet very nicely constructed. The Gloggomobil was designed by Herbert Bächli and can be ordered online here. There is only one downside: the price is with $1102.00 a tad high. 

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Earworm Assault Devices

Although I consider myself a pacifist, these Earworm Assault Devices are quite funny and (well, moderately) harmless. We probably all know the experience of having a song in our mind that just does not want to leave and keeps repeating compulsively. That is what we call an earworm. 

While most of these earworms arise naturally in our mind, a few years ago the German interface designers from Fur came up with the Earworm Assault Devices. Small weapon-like machines constructed with the sole purpose to plant unwanted song phrases in a victim’s mind. They record samples up to 12 seconds and ‘shoot’ them at your ears repeatedly.

These earworms, if chosen carefully, can stay in your head for a long time. You just have to sing that song, or whistle, over and over again. I heard there is only one way to get rid of such an earworm. Sing the song all the way through, until you reach the end, and after the last notes it will be gone. I never tried this method myself though.   

Via Richard van Tol


Original Sound Track

Original Sound Track is a simple but wonderful concept by Ricardo Seola: a combination of a wooden toy train and a music box. The metal keys on the train are plucked by the pins on the track. 

The tracks can be put together in different ways, creating different arrangements of the same song. This will teach children about music and composition. The idea is to have more songs available so combining them would also be possible. 

I think it is a great idea to combine toys with music in an original and educative way (not that plastic crap with noisy sound chips inside). For this train the question is: will it work? 

(via Joachim Baan)