When I first got the Mattel Synsonic, I went mental.
Finally, I could act-out all my Kraftwerk fantasies and pretend I was Wolfgang or Karl, tippy-tapping away on my ubercool drum synth pads.
There was a kick, snare and two tom pads. They weren’t up to Simmons drum standards but for what was essentially a novelty toy, they were pretty damn good. I used to whack the crap out of mine, so much so that the little piezoelectric transducers under the rubbery pads would occasionally fall off.
What’s more, these weren’t just whackalong pads – the Synsonic was also a drum machine. Yeah, programming was a bit hit and miss, there was no quantising of events unless you used the repeat buttons but it was awesome.
In some ways, it was more advanced than the beatboxes of today. My fave feature was the choke button that turned the open hi-hat sound into a closed. It wasn’t a simple switch, like you would have on a sample-based machine, this was a gradual closing. Sounded lovely!
Eventually, I even modded my baby as you can see above, adding trigger ins and outs. This meant I could play my JX-3P and Rogue from the pads. Or play the pad sounds from my synths!
Can you imagine how many hours I spent, triggering great bursts of white and pink noise?
Ahhh… now that’s what I call fun! 🙂