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littleBits' synth kit plays nice with analog gear and audio software

Billy Steele
April 1, 2015
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littleBits and Korg first teamed up on a kit for aspiring musicians back in 2013, and now the duo is at it again. This time around, the two companies collaborated on MIDI, CV and USB I/O modules, adding to the existing Lego-like DIY audio collection. With the MIDI module, you can control the Synth Kit from a compatible instrument (like Korg's MS-20 mini), or use a littleBits setup to wrangle sounds from gear and software, too. Connecting the USB I/O module adds a way to capture your homemade instrument with recording software (DAW). And as you might expect, it'll allow littleBits controllers, sequencers and effects to tweak any audio coming from a computer.

Finally, there's the CV module. This tiny piece of tech lets you add control voltage (CV) and gate/trigger signals from an analog synth to a littleBits system. It brings sounds from not only synthesizers, but keyboards and sequencers (like the Korg Volca line), too -- all of which greatly expand the range of tunes you can mash together as you see fit. Sound familiar? The add-ons were announced last summer, but they're making an official debut now. Once you splurge for the $159 Synth Kit, adding CV and USB I/O modules will cost $35 each, while the MIDI module is priced at $40. Need all three? A Synth Pro Pack is $140, and includes the aforementioned trio and handy mounting boards.

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