What goes beep and entertains a geeky boy?
November 6, 2005 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Fun sound toys.

My boyfriend has a menagerie of old synthesizers, electric chord organs, assorted keyboards, and even a home-made theremin. Can anyone think of a fun little electronic-music-toy I could get him? This can be a kid's toy, or anything else that makes interesting noises.
Thanks, I know this is fairly vague.
posted by ITheCosmos to Technology (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Circuit-bent Speak-and-Spell. He'll love you forever.
posted by Jairus at 10:09 AM on November 6, 2005

Best answer: It's hard to go wrong with an interest like this. It's entertaining even with silly childrens tamborines or flutes. One of the reason he probably likes all these things is because they each have a unique timbre and he will most likely play with it until he finds what's unique with it. That being said here is a resource you might find helpful:


You might want to see if he has a casio VL tone because he would probably really enjoy that if you could find one. They are easily found on ebay for around 50quid or so.
posted by bigmusic at 10:10 AM on November 6, 2005

Actually, if he has any propensity towards electronic tinkering, putting together a circuit-bending kit with a solder, resisters/capisitors/switches, lead wires, etc. would be a unique, cheap and lasting gift. This circuit-bending tutorial has a shopping list a few pages in.
posted by glibhamdreck at 10:37 AM on November 6, 2005

At least, I wish my girlfriend would get me one.
posted by glibhamdreck at 10:38 AM on November 6, 2005

Toy piano [option 1, option 2] and a Pianosaurus album.
posted by jessamyn at 11:06 AM on November 6, 2005

Second glibhamdreck's suggestion. You can get a grab-bag of electronic components, a soldering iron, and maybe a digital multimeter from most online electronics stores pretty cheap.

Then go around to a couple thrift stores and pick up any toy keyboards or fun-looking toys with electronic sound that you see.
posted by cloeburner at 11:08 AM on November 6, 2005

My friend does custom circuit bent synthesizers -- see archaeal.com...
posted by twiggy at 11:32 AM on November 6, 2005

My girlfriend got me a Theremin a few years back, and I love it. Although it doesn't really beep, it might fit the bill.
posted by ktrey at 11:40 AM on November 6, 2005

Get him Boppit Extreme 2 and you should have a happy man.
posted by rongorongo at 11:41 AM on November 6, 2005

Whoops, didn't see the theremin mentioned in the post.
posted by ktrey at 11:42 AM on November 6, 2005

A Suzuki Omnichord is kind of like an electronic autoharp. They can be picked up on eBay, but are priced for collectors rather than players. The modern day equivalent is the Qchord. I offer my hand in marriage to the first person to present me with an Omnichord.
posted by caek at 12:26 PM on November 6, 2005

You should be able to find a decent Phat Boy on eBay - they produce some really interesting sounds (great for basslines) and are loads of fun to play around with.
posted by blag at 2:02 PM on November 6, 2005

maybe an optigan? "In the early 70's, Mattel devised this OPTIcal orGAN to play back the sounds of REAL instruments, encoded on celluloid discs like concentric rings of movie soundtrack. The result was pretty crappy sounding and soon forgotten by the world at large..." A cursory look around makes 'em out to be around $300, give or take a few hundred.
posted by carsonb at 5:38 PM on November 6, 2005

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