MMXX T-APE is a bytebeat synth and sequencer in a cassette form factor

Don't put this one in your boombox.

PhonicBloom’s latest instrument, MMXX T-APE, is a flexible bytebeat synth-sequencer designed to fit in the palm of your hand like an unassuming cassette tape.

Bytebeat sound engines convert short lines of code – or simple mathematical formulas – into audio, which is usually sent out to an 8-bit channel. This gives it a chiptune-esque timbre.

T-APE’s features lean into editing these formulae musically, letting you zoom in, slice, mangle and rearrange audio into sequences, arpeggios and more.

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The device sports two rotary controllers – positioned as the T-APE’s spindles – as well as touch sensors and light sensors. The latter are said to add “a kind of Theremin-like functionality” to the device.

PhonicBloom MMXX T-APE
Image: PhonicBloom

The bottom of the device lets you access its eight control parameters: Layers, Sequencer, Bytebeat, Delay, Formulas, Arpeggiator, Variables and Volume.

Bytebeat and Variables adjust the bit-rate and variables of the active bytebeat formula, respectively. Meanwhile, Formulas lets you load pre-programmed formulae for a quick start.

There’s also a secondary layer with an 8-bit piano (with sine, triangle and square waves),  64-step sequencers for each patch and an arpeggiator with four operating modes.

Listen to it in action below:

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Pre-orders for the MMXX T-APE are set to open next week. The device is priced at €69 and comes with a protective tin box, sticker and manual.

Learn more at phonicbloom.com

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