June 19, 2006

Annoy your cube-mates for twenty quid...

by Chris Randall

Pertinant market-speak: Since the dawn of time we humans have loved the beat of drums. Now we may not have managed to evolve much since the sun came up on time, but drums sure have, and now anyone can lay into a drum kit and thrash out the solo to 'In the Air Tonight.'

That doesn't make any sense at all. But that said, this is a circuit-bender's wet dream. Go buy one. It'll be the Next Big Thing for faggily synthi-pop wannabe industrial bands. No, really it will.




Jun.19.2006 @ 10:49 AM
It'd be fun just to use it as your mouse pad in an office. Every mouse scroll would produce some floppy drum-falling-down-the-stairs sound.

Jun.19.2006 @ 11:28 AM
When toys like this are so easy and cheap to produce, I wonder why we don't see more interesting music equipment being produced? Digital electronics are at the point where there could be some really interesting music making devices coming out for not much more than the cost of toys (I mean, solder in a proper output jack, and triggers for the sounds, and this thing is probably as high spec as a lot of "vintage" 80s digital drug machines).

Is it because of the marketing costs (the cost of advertising & promotion being so great that it only becomes economical to produce items above a certain cost?). Is it because software plugins have replaced hardware for more obscure products (way way way cheaper to "mass produce" software than hardware)?

Seems to me that we should be seeing a golding age of really cheap and weird digital synths and drum machines.


Jun.19.2006 @ 2:39 PM
Of course it's a Golden Age! If you click on "similar products" you get Swearing Punch Balls, a Desktop Finger Flick finger-punching doohicky, an Ant Farm, and a Panic Button for your keyboard.

Jun.19.2006 @ 2:45 PM
brandon daniel
It's because of economy of scale. The biggest selling synthesizers of all time still came in under 30k units. Toys have a much bigger prospective market, so the markup can be lower (costs divided among a greater number of units sold) and the end product cheaper.

Also, those jacks for the trigger inputs, the proper output jacks, and other features that a musician would expect that a child wouldn't also cost money on the BoM... it adds up.


Jun.19.2006 @ 3:04 PM
The USB missle launcher should be a big hit amongst the laptop crowd. Someone in the audience sleeping because they're watching a guy check his mail onstage? Shoot a foam missle at them for hilarity!

Jun.19.2006 @ 7:09 PM
FIREWIRE home pregnancy tests for the groupies!

Jun.20.2006 @ 2:05 PM
"Also, those jacks for the trigger inputs, the proper output jacks, and other features that a musician would expect that a child wouldn't also cost money on the BoM... it adds up."

I agree, but I can't help but think that the high price of music gear is high because the manufacturers know they can get away with it.


Jun.20.2006 @ 4:46 PM
Well, I am building my own digital drum machine, and the cost for the actual electronic components are nothing... Maybe $50. This is without mass production. The hardware I am using is the most expensive part (I am using decent switches, arcade cherry buttons, aluminum project enclosure, proper 1/4" phono jacks)... but if it was made with a printed circuit board and a molded plastic enclosure with rubber contact buttons (like most toys are manufactured), they could get the cost less than $100, for sure.

Digital technology is so cheap nowadays, I am just disapointed that we aren't seeing more funky technology. The only really cool experimental stuff is happening in plugins. I mean, a crap Behringer effects unit cost about $100... All the effects are really just code running on a dsp chip and microcontroller... if they wrote some new effects code, instead of the usual cheap plate reverb emulations or whatever, they could easily make a killer product for $100.


Sep.15.2006 @ 8:13 AM
it looks like Simon except for MPC freaks



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