Over the weekend I built this kit that I ordered from Bleep Labs, in Austin. It is the Nebulophone, a little synthesizer.

Having never soldered before, I did this skateboarder style — meaning that I bought a soldering iron, some solder, watched a youtube video on how to solder and then learned by doing it on this kit. That’s right. I didn’t even try the soldering thing out on some junk first. How dumb was that? ¬†Turns out that while it may have been dumb, I still managed to do a pretty good job of soldering the fairly tiny connections.

I have always enjoyed doing stuff like this. I built a lot of models when I was a kid, and yes, I painted lots of miniatures for D&D. So I like doing detail work of this sort. My eyes are not so good anymore, which makes this a bit challenging. BUT, with a little squinting and a lot of light I had success. Turned it on and it made lots of cool noises.

The Nebulophone does not have its own speaker. I plugged it into my Kaoss Pad KP3, which goes to my headphones and/or amp. For a $55 kit, this thing has a lot of functionality. For one thing, you can record 32 notes into its sequencer than play it back a varying speeds. Cool. Really just scratched the surface on Day 1 with this synth. Really fun to team it up with the KP3 effects and loops though.

Think all those gnarly synth sounds in the early DEVO albums. That’s what this synth is good at producing.

For more info on the gadget and it’s powers, click here.


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