“So what do I do with a MeeBlip – it’s, like, a sound module?”
We actually get this question a lot. MeeBlip is designed to be useful when connected to other tools. It doesn’t take much – even an inexpensive Rock Band “keytar” keyboard controller, now available for not much more than US$50, will let you play. Here, we meet some of Peter’s Berlin neighbors, the fine folks at boutique analog hardware maker Koma Elektronik. Their analog delay in particular sounds terrific with MeeBlip’s own unique sound. And for MIDI, we turn to the brilliant step sequencer for iPad, Phaedra.
This is one example. But any number of MIDI sources and effects will work – iPad owners, all you need is a MIDI connection, typically a supported USB MIDI interface and Apple’s own USB Camera Connection Kit. (iOSMIDI.com will help you find what you need.)
We had a lot of fun jamming with this combination. Here’s what happened:
Hey, Europe! Now every MeeBlip SE comes with a power adapter in the box, including tips for both Europlug and UK – so if you travel between the UK and the Continent, you’ll always have power. (Sample unit shown here.)
Now you can buy a MeeBlip SE Limited Edition and have it shipped to most parts of the world. It’s the same open source hardware, the same unique personality, the same black-and-orange paint scheme and retro knobs, 30 patch memories, and onboard MIDI – only we’re shipping it faster to you.
United States and Canada
US$149.95 plus US$9.95 shipping (USA) $11.95 shipping (Canada).
Includes North American power adapter. Buy now.
European Union (€)
€149.95 plus €9.95 shipping. (DHL – ships fast, direct from Berlin)
All VAT and duty included, prepaid – so you don’t have to worry about it.
Includes power supply with Europlug and UK adapter (swappable, perfect for Easyjet tours!) Buy now.
If you’re in Berlin, buy via this link and you can pick up in Berlin Neukölln, near Hermannplatz, at Mainzerstraße 58 EG. (We’ll send pickup details and times Monday – Saturday.)
£119.95 + £7.95 postage (DHL, quickly crossing the Channel from sunny Berlin)
All VAT and duty included.
Includes power supply with Europlug and UK adapter. Buy now.
The rest of the world (as much of it as we can ship to!)
US$149.95, plus shipping.
You supply your own power adapter for wherever you are (and that keeps shipping costs low). (Note, you will be responsible for applicable tax/duty in your country.) Buy now.
We can’t wait to get these MeeBlip SE to you. Shipping now in North America; Berlin shipping to Europe (including the UK) begins 6 December.
The sun sets over LA – perfect moment for tracks like this, from an LA-based MeeBlip owner. Photo (CC-BY) Dominick.
Synthesizers are limited as instruments only by the musicians using them. And so, continuing our survey of the wonderful music coming from the MeeBlip community, here’s our favorite ambient track. “On the Edge” is eerily transcendent, a gorgeous track that will leave you soothed and reflective. (At least, it did me.) And, incredibly, it’s all MeeBlip, using only Ableton Live for mixing and reverb.
Well, except the birds at the end. I’m fairly certain those are not made by MeeBlip, though play music like this, and they may gather at your studio window.
MeeBlip users are constantly reminding us why we love synths. Even beginning with a fairly classical synthesizer design, you constantly make surprising music and sounds, endless in variations.
So, we’re pleased to begin a series featuring some selected tracks from you, the MeeBlip community. You can also drop in on our MeeBlip demo thread on our forum, have a listen, and share your own additions.
To kick things off, let’s have a listen to a terrific, fun-loving track called “Squid Racing” by an act known as MEGA SYNTH (Darren M. Mittermeier). It’s a tune that would be at home on a retro game – but also has a quirky personality all its own.
MeeBlip is a 16-bit synth and is capable of sounds that don’t sound like so-called “chip music.” But if you do want those kind of raw timbres, it can do that, too – and here, MEGA SYNTH makes it sound better doing it than James or I could. Continue reading »
They’re fully-assembled. They have a (North American) power supply in the box. 30 patch memories (up from 16) will store your favorite sounds for quick access in performance and studio work. And now, MeeBlip SE features a retro-style makeover, with black-and-orange livery and nice, new knobs.
MeeBlip SE is a perfect holiday gift to others … or yourself. It’s designed for hands-on control and playability, and works with MIDI. (No keyboard? Add an inexpensive MIDI interface to a computer or keyboard and connect to MeeBlip right out of the box. We like the dirt-cheap, very playable Rock Band 3 keyboard – seriously.) We want it to be a good first synth for newcomers – or a good addition to your studio for experts. It’s an open source hardware synth that isn’t just for hackers.
And, at last, we’re shipping the new models, starting with the United States and Canada. US$149.95 buys you a MeeBlip SE that we’re shipping right away. It’s a perfect way to celebrate Black (and Orange) Friday.
James has been hard at work in Calgary readying these for shipping. Europe (and other international orders) will shortly follow, as Peter starts shipping MeeBlip SE from Berlin. (We’ve reserved units for Europe and pre-reserved customers.) Stay tuned.
We’re pleased to again offer MeeBlip SE for sale – now fully-assembled. MeeBlip has been winning praise from press and users, and we can’t wait to ship more of them out to you. Buy one now from your part of the world.
We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes improving MeeBlip and making it easier to get it in the hands of musicians. That means some not-so-musical stuff like working out how fulfillment operates so we can ship these easily and quickly, including to Europe.
You won’t notice those changes, other than finding that it’ll be easier to buy a MeeBlip when you want. But we have made some other enhancements to MeeBlip SE:
New orange-on-black color scheme, inspired by some of our favorite synths of the past. We like the way it’s looking – and it’s also easier to read.
New retro knobs. (And knobs are important; we still believe in being able to control the synth from the front panel – no menus needed.)
More patch storage. The original SE had 16 slots for storing sounds; you can now use up to 30. We think people who use patches in performance will be especially pleased.
The latest MeeBlip firmware – as always, fully open source and ready to read or hack at GitHub.
Fully assembled. Previous MeeBlips were “quick build”; now you can plug this in and use it right away.
SE owners: you’ll get access to the extra patch storage, too; we’ll post a firmware update soon. We’re swapping the high-pass/low-pass filter switch for this, because you’d almost always want the low-pass filter with our unique digital filter characteristics.Continue reading »
Baseball and other sports have had their own trading cards, so why not maker projects, too? Fabian Fabian of Hamburg has released a delightful set of cards featuring projects from the maker scene, from Fritzing to Makey Make, and we’re flattered that MeeBlip gets its own lovely card.
My favorite card, though: one is blank, so you can draw your own creation.
Each card has extensive details of the project on the back. There’s also beautiful artwork, as you can see in our gallery. Everything is up on GitHub and released under a Creative Commons license, of course.
The other booster packs are looking terrific, and a proper launch for others to buy these will come early next year. Now, we just need to be able to trade more cards, see other cards from the community – and, of course, get someone to open source a homebrewed recipe for the Topps-style bubblegum. (It can’t be that hard to make sugary cardboard, can it?)
Calling it “the first hackable do-it-yourself synth for the rest of us,” Keyboard Magazine gives the MeeBlip SE its coveted Key Buy award.
Francis Preve, writing for Keyboard, is also quick to point out that “open” doesn’t mean “for hackers only.” Instead, being open source is “an ongoing exercise in refinement … ready for prime time—even if you don’t want any aspect of your musical life to involve holding a soldering iron or writing code.”
The sound is “a tasty blend of analog style subtractive synthesis and digital grunge … What makes the MeeBlip cool—and a part of my synth arsenal—is that it doesn’t sound like anything else I own.”
“If you want a truly unique digital synth that can deliver grit, grunge, and grime—while sporting a set of features familiar to keyboard players— the MeeBlip SE truly deserves a closer look … a terrific value and a total Key Buy.”
Working with Francis Preve as a reviewer was a pleasure. In fact, testing an earlier revision, Francis discussed revisions that led to the SE firmware he reviewed for the magazine. It was terrific to get outside feedback in our development process.
We’d love to get you a MeeBlip SE if you don’t have one. Do come ‘Blip with us:
So begins the review of the MeeBlip in a recent desktop synth round-up in Germany’s fantastic DE:BUG Magazine, by writer Benjamin Weiss. “Bratzeln” or some variation is an onomatopoeic word in German, and thus impossible to translate. (It means the MeeBlip feels like this, maybe. No, seriously, we asked Benjamin and he reported it was a nice thing to say about the MeeBlip’s sound.)
DE:BUG has high praise for the MeeBlip – and high praise for you, in the community. Lesen Sie den Test in deutscher Sprache: Im Test: MeeBlip SE