Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Encourage Freedom to Explore Music and Sound With BlipBlox Kids' and Big Kids' Synthesizer! by Playtime Engineering Toy Review

Explore music in a whole new way with BlipBlox by Playtime Engineering. BlipBlox takes the power of electronic music and simplifies the process of making for kids, and big kids at heart, too! Children are able to explore sound without having to know the education behind it. Kids love turning dials, pushing levels, and pressing buttons, and while their pressing buttons a synchronized light show will move the beat. Hit the lights and you've got a musical light show accompanied by some cool synth! Winner of the Tillywig Brain Child Award, BlipBlox is already making headway throughout the educational community, and being recognized as not just a toy, but as an educational tool. 

BlipBlox simplifies the mechanics of synthesizing music. Parents don't need to know what makes what go, but I wanted to learn! Thankfully, BlipBlox has a map and guide on their site. I have never heard the term LFO or envelope when it came to music! BlipBlox is not just a music board with some dials and funky sounds. BlipBlox teaches kids the power of synthesizing music, how tempo can change the melody, how tone can change the feeling of the song. There are hundreds of electronic music melodies to choose from so it never feels like you’re hearing the same song twice. The awesome light show that BlipBlox creates, too, helps with this fun and engaging electronic effect! It’s really a powerful tool, and boy, does it keep the kiddos busy! Kids as young as three years old can enjoy BlipBlox, but our two-year-old son got his hands on it and he’s like a Digital Mozart. Kids will perform with feeling with their BlipBlox! 

There is a method to the beautiful madness!

What’s up with all of the pathways and arrows, knobs, and levers? BlipBlox is laid out on an easy to carry a board with knobs, dials, levers, and buttons all with a purpose. Each set is color-coded to make it really easy for parents to explain to their kids. Green lines are musical notes, which is the melody. Blue lines are control signals—oscillators that shape the sounds. Red levers are the synthesizers. The melody starts on the left of the board, then the sound is synthesized in the center and then filtered on the right side of the board. There is a very easy to follow a map on the BlipBlox website, which I found very helpful! Even as a layman, I started to get a general understanding of how to actually synthesize music. It's kind of crazy how much "work" is involved to get that sound. 

Easy to follow map! Use this guide until you learn the layout!

BlipBlox is easy to turn on with the push of a button, and it’s very easy to control. Although I wish there were words on the colored arrows, that’s only for me. Words will really muck up the clean and sleek design of this board. Kids can “feel” out BlipBlox board without reading and just turn, pull, push, twist the knobs and levers to synthesize their own music. 

Kids don’t need to be musical geniuses to enjoy BlipBlox. Simply turn on your BlipBlox, and change your melody by pressing the sequencer, which has hundreds of already programmed melodies. Each melody is different and can be customized to make a cool tune! To change the tempo, or the speed, adjust the level on the left and hear the music go slow and then really fast. The notes on the green line will now communicate to the oscillator button. The level on the right will change the tone of the sound. Control the volume with the knob at the top right. Add fun effects by turning counterclockwise and clockwise with each oscillator knob (blue lines). The gray knobs are on the bottom and they control the modulation sources. The green dial in the upper left-hand corner can be turned to adjust the time for in between notes. 

BlipBlox has already proven to be a great travel tool for us. I brought BlipBlox with us on a recent trip to the store, and my younger son who usually cries (and whines!) in the car was playing with BlipBlox happily. We are going to do some more testing when we go on our two-day road trip this summer!

Everything (awesome) has a price!

BlipBlox costs $189, which is a bit steep for me. However, you have to break down the overall value. 

BlipBlox is extremely sturdy!

After a week of testing and my kids dragging it out around and dragging it around like a lovey blanket, the BlipBlox is still blipping! The BlipBlox board is also splash resistant. The knobs are also designed so that little hands can’t pry them off - trust me, my little guy tried!

Take music education on the GO!

BlipBlox offers playtime that is engaging, educational, and they’re not on the tablet or iPad. For little ones, BlipBlox seems like it's just a busy toy, but in reality, a toddler can differentiate different pitches of sound. When they start to flip the switches and turn the dials, n

Grow Up With BlipBlox!

Two kids can play with BlipBlox at once. There’s also no right or wrong way to play. I honestly heard some sick beats coming from BlipBlox and my kids were bopping their heads and dancing to the beat. When my kids of different ages play, I noticed that they both play differently. The toddler who just touches listens will keep pressing and turning without a real roadmap of where he’s going. My oldest son who’s nearly six tested out the controls and was synthesizing like a pro, well, to me he was! That being said, BlipBlox is not just a toddler toy. BlipBlox will grow with your child, even into their teenage years. With inputs to connect to a keyboard piano or other devices, you can layer your music and create. BlipBlox includes an audio output jack and the MIDI input allows the BlipBlox to connect to a keyboard, sequence controller or professional studio. 

Mom and Dad Have Time Again

BlipBlox gives me many coffee breaks. In my book that’s priceless. When not in use, BlipBlox will turn off automatically after 30 minutes, which save its battery power, too! It also comes with a USB adapter and 3 AA batteries, so music making happens right out of the box! Easy peasy!

Get your own BlipBlox on their website, Walmart, and other retailers! Hopefully, we’ll see BlipBlox’s price go down a bit to be more of a mainstream toy, or possibly come with some add-on items like a microphone, even some maracas so kids can layer that awesome synthesized sound, and groove to the music too!

Happy music makin’! Thank you Playtime Engineering for sending us BlipBlox to us for our review. 

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