GOT DATO?: This quirky instrument, built in the Netherlands, is a sight to behold, that makes sounds that are strangely quirky and retro. What’s even more fun, is that the controls are set up as a two-sided console so it’s not all just flashy lights and colorful buttons, it’s a plug-n-play synth that will encourage hopefully countless collaborations. DATO comes from designers David Menting and Toon Welling, and this cool tool made its debut after a successful Kickstarter campaign back in ’16. My guess that its friendly interface would appeal to those already out there tweeking knobs and wires, but also to the novice that has always wanted to create tonescapes but may have been remiss with the big kits, pedals, patches and what-not floating in the electronics market.
FUTURISTIC FUN: The connections are simple, and diverse enough, and you can just hook it up and start playing (built-in speaker), though it has the flexibility so you can bring your own DIY kit, laptop, whatever. They offered me a hands-on demo, but my apologies as I’m less a sound bender than I am an audiophile deep listener. If you’re interested go here, it currently costs about $408 (shipping is extra). It looks to bring the big kid out in the most skeptical. Here’s a little ditty about what it can do.