The Bliptronic 5000: An Affordable Version of the Tenori-On

I wrote about the Tenori-On a few weeks ago.  After watching several demonstration videos and how Paul De Jong used his magical-awesome music skills to make beautiful music with it, I was in love.  However, the Tenori-On is well over $1000.  Yikes.

I just read about the Bliptronic 5000 on CreateDigitalMusic.com.  It’s basically a cheaper version ($50) of the Tenori-On that you can buy on ThinkGeek.com.  The interface is really similar to the Tenori-On, but it has fewer “modes” and the sound quality is not as good.  But hey, maybe that’s the type of sound that you’re going for.

The coolest feature of the Bliptronic that the Tenori-On lacks is a collaborative function.

According to ThinkGeek.com:

“An infinite number of Bliptronics can be attached together using the link ports and included cables. When one Bliptronic reaches the end of it’s pattern, the next Bliptronic is instantly triggered to start playing. This allows you to make longer songs where each person controls a section of the song. You can even set the tempo and instrument differently on each Bliptronic in the chain to achieve unconventional musical results.”

From CreateDigitalMusic.com:

“You know the grid craze is in full steam once ThinkGeek offers a $50 clone. The Bliptronic 5000 is somewhere between the Tenori-On and monome. It certainly looks like the monome, with an 8-by-8 grid of light-up pads in a square form factor. But like the Tenori-On, it has built-in sounds and speaker, it’s made of aluminum, and it runs on batteries. The Bliptronic also simplifies its user interface. Its 8×8 pads are simply an eight-note octave with eight steps. There’s a play button, and knobs for tempo and tone selector. There’s also the ability to link up devices and play them together – bonus points for that, as aside from basic MIDI function, the Tenori-On as shipped by Yamaha failed to deliver some of the original collaborative features promised by designer Toshio Iwai’s original proposal.

The “old-skool” sounds are pretty lo-fi-sounding from what I can tell, but this unit does have a certain charm. If you’ve got a monome and a Tenori-On and a Launchpad in every room, you can amuse your friends by keeping one of these in the lavatory. And who knows, someone might pick this thing up and do something terrific with it. (I sure can’t argue with the price.)”

I know what I’m adding to my Christmas wish list this year.

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