Mattel Synsonic Drum Machine / Pads

Mattel Synsonic

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!

Mattel Synsonic Modded

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! 🙂

45 – A Tribute to Daniel Hansson

45 Tribute

In August 2007 Elektron CEO and co-founder Daniel Hansson passed away in an unfortunate auto accident. It is in large part his creative vision and eye for detail that have made Elektron’s products what they are today. The 45 Tribute pays homage to his creative genius and his philanthropic spirit. Artists from the Elektron community have taken their time and energy to contribute to this project freely in his honor.

All purchases of the 45 Tribute should be viewed as donations, as that’s what your purchase translates to. All proceeds collected from the 45 Tribute will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund. So you pay $5.00 for 30 songs, and you get to be a philanthropist in the process! POW!

As if the 30 tracks, or contributing to World Wildlife Fund wasn’t enough to motivate you, Elektron is giving away one free SidStation! Everyone who purchases the 45 Tribute within the first 30 days will be automatically entered to win.

(Source: 45 – A Tribute to Daniel Hansson)

I’ve written previously about my love of the fantastic instruments Daniel Hansson helped create.

Daniel took the time and trouble to email me personally about my gigging in Sweden and other Elektron stuff. So, I was very shocked and saddened to hear that he’d died.

Please check out the compilation tribute album, linked above. It’s a fantastic collection of tracks for and amazingly low price and the proceeds go to the World Wildlife Fund. It’s a great testament to how many musicians have benefited from Daniel’s innovation, passion and excellence.