Few things are as universally awesome as a cheap keyboard or drum machine. As a child of the '80s, I can vividly remember the first time I got my hands on a toy Casio keyboard and spent the afternoon sampling obscenities into the built-in microphone and playing through all the different preset sounds (I can still hear the Casio demo song in my head).
The Stylophone Beatbox ($25) is a retro music toy of a slightly different breed than my Casio, fusing together the design of a 1967 Stylophone pocket synthesizer with the sampled percussion layout of a modern day Akai MPC or Roland HandSonic.
However you choose to categorize it, the Stylophone Beatbox is exactly the sort of weird, noisy, cheap piece of tech I go nuts for. It's surprisingly sophisticated, too, allowing you to record loops of sounds, route in an MP3 player, and even adjust pitch and tempo. Check out some clever demo videos after the break.… Read more