Mixtape Alpha – Orders Ending Today

Only seven hours left on this so it’s going to be a quick post. The good folk at Open Music Labs are using Crowd Supply to produce a final made-to-order run of the Mixtape Alpha, a credit-card sized polyphonic 8-bit synth with some quality features for it’s size.

The ability to record and playback sequences is particularly nice, as are the effects including frequency modulation and a pretty decent bit-crusher that can be stacked on to one another. The best thing, it’s only $42USD with free shipping.

Actually that’s a lie. The best thing about it as that it’s coming from Open Music Labs, with the plans and source code all available online to be hacked and built upon by those that are able.

Check the video below as one of the creators runs through it all. Then head over here quick to get one before it all ends later today: http://www.crowdsupply.com/open-music-labs/mixtape-alpha

Mixtape Alpha was a successful experiment for us, so much so, we ran out of our first production run. And, after much soul-searching, we decided to retire the product. But, before we did that, we wanted to give one last chance for music enthusiasts everywhere to get a Mixtape Alpha. As Neil Young said, “it’s better to burn out than fade away”.

The Mixtape Alpha has a stylophone style input for continuous tone generation, and six buttons for discrete notes. With four voices, four effects, and five-note polyphony there is quite a range of expression. You can even loop a pattern and play a second part on top. But, the best part is, you can record the songs you make, and trade mixtapes with your friends! And it comes in its own cassette case, with instructions.

Mixtape Alpha was done in collaboration with Jie Qi from the High-Low Tech group at the MIT Media Lab. It’s an attempt to break down the barriers between people and electronics: To get them comfortable touching PCBs, and change expectations about how electronics should look. To this end, there are resistive touch pads, and all the trace routing took aesthetics into consideration as well. These are ideas very familiar to circiut benders, and we’re hoping they catch on with other folks as well.