Push the Button and Turn the Knob with the Bleepler Synth Toy

Maker News Music
Push the Button and Turn the Knob with the Bleepler Synth Toy

I first met Langel Bookbinder at a local chiptune event in the Ann Arbor area, and most recently saw him when he kindly dropped my copy of his homebrew lo-fi NES shooter GunTneR off at my house. I don’t claim to understand how Langel’s mind works, but he’s always coming up with some unhinged project or other, and they are all bangers. So of course I was intrigued when I learned of his new creation: Bleepler.

Bleepler is a handheld synthesizer toy that you can assemble yourself, or if you’d prefer, a ready-to-go kit with no soldering required. Deceptively simple, the instrument consists of a single mechanical keyboard key and a potentiometer, which together result in the eponymous “bleeple” sound emanating from the on-board speaker. Actually, perhaps the simplicity is not that deceptive: the button controls the flow of power from the battery, and the knob controls the pitch. Kind of like this:

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Bleepler is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, with just three days to go, so if you’re intrigued by this quirky handheld chiptune fidget synthesizer, get the bleep over to their campaign page right now! But don’t blame me if you end up with “Push the Button and Turn the Knob” stuck in your head for the rest of the day!

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David bought his first Arduino in 2007 as part of a Roomba hacking project. Since then, he has been obsessed with writing code that you can touch. David fell in love with the original Pebble smartwatch, and even more so with its successor, which allowed him to combine the beloved wearable with his passion for hardware hacking via its smartstrap functionality. Unable to part with his smartwatch sweetheart, David wrote a love letter to the Pebble community, which blossomed into Rebble, the service that keeps Pebbles ticking today, despite the company's demise in 2016. When he's not hacking on wearables, David can probably be found building a companion bot, experimenting with machine learning, growing his ever-increasing collection of dev boards, or hacking on DOS-based palmtops from the 90s.

Find David on Mastodon at @ishotjr@chaos.social and to a far lesser extent on Twitter at @IShJR.

View more articles by David Groom


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