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Critter & Guitari’s 201 Music Synthesizer is the long-awaited successor to its Pocket Piano


Critter & Guitari’s lineup of hackable music computers and video synths are undeniably distinctive. They do issues that virtually no different instrument can, plus they’re in all probability probably the most visually distinctive transportable music gadgets on the market. Its newest creation is the 201 Music Synthesizer, an arguably lengthy overdue substitute for the corporate’s first product — the Pocket Piano

Like its flagship Organelle, the 201 is constructed on open supply software program, particularly Pure Information and Faust. However somewhat than attempting to be all issues to everybody, it is extra narrowly targeted. It ships with six built-in synth engines overlaying chiptune-style bleeps, analog-esque sounds, drum samples, bodily modeling (doubtless through Karplus Robust), and vocal synthesis. Slightly than 4 knobs that adjust in objective relying on what patch you’ve got loaded (which can or might not have significantly good documentation, relying on who created it), the 201 has three parameter knobs for envelope, tone and “shock” — for if you simply need a completely happy accident. 

One of many issues that makes the 201 actually standout although, is the sample generator and sequencer. Whilst you can merely play notes stay and document them for later recall, the synth can even create patterns for you. A few presses on the distinctive maple keys and the 201 will begin spitting out easy octave jumps, arpeggios or random polyphonic chaos. And if one thing strikes your fancy, it can save you that as effectively. And it can save you actually 1000’s of sequences to the included 8GB microSD card. 

Just like the Organelle, you’ll be able to truly hack collectively your individual patches for the 201 utilizing Pure Information or Faust, however that is extra of a pleasant bonus than the principle promoting level right here. Beneath the hood of the 201 is a 900Mhz ARM processor with 512MB RAM, which ought to be loads for many synth patches, but it surely’s not fairly as highly effective because the Organelle M. The 201 additionally has a built-in speaker, a 1/4-inch stereo out jack, 1/8-inch MIDI out and in, USB-A for connecting MIDI controllers, and USB-C for accessing the information on the microSD card.

After all, to be a real substitute for the Pocket Piano, the 201 additionally must be transportable. So, along with the AC adapter, it may be powered by three AA batteries. And at about one pound and a bit of over nine-inches lengthy, it is fairly straightforward to toss in a backpack. 

The Critter & Guitari 201 Music Synthesizer is at present crowd funding over at Kickstarter and has already surpassed its aim. If you would like to safe one once they begin transport in April of 2023 you’ll be able to again it earlier than December twentieth for $295. 

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