New Orllewin apps turn the Playdate handheld into a looper, granular sampler, FX, and more

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Playdate is a lovely handheld gaming console that can be turned into a looper, granular sampler, FX, and more with the new Orllewin apps.

Teenage Engineering is known to be involved in many products, from Ikea lamps, Nothing earpods, stylish tables, and more. One of their projects that will probably attract the most people is Playdate. It’s a cute handheld gaming console that they developed in collaboration with Panic. Teenage was responsible for the yellow design.

The core of the Playdate is fascinating.  This is open; other developers can develop new apps using the available SDK—also, music-making programs. Orllewin, one of these developers, has released some exciting programs for the Playdate, with which you can turn the game console into a versatile instrument and FX processor.

Orllewin Playdate

Orllewin Playdate

There are currently six music-related apps from the developer.

Starting with MAS (Musik aus Samples), a sampler player/live drum machine. Samples can have different modes (hit, play, loop), and can be imported from other devices. You can trigger them by navigating around an on-screen screen, or assign to each of the Playdate’s six buttons (up, down, left, right, A, B).

Additionally, you can attach an Android phone to the Playdate, allowing you to trigger larger samples.

Hexagram will be an effects pedal-style processor that is currently in development. No information what effects this will contain.

Granular is an experimental grain sampler app. It plays short samples from a recording creating an ambient texture with full controls and effects. According to the developer, it is inspired by the old Reaktor Travelizer instrument.

Orllewin Playdate

It includes various modifiable parameters and effects to change the sound which produces a beautiful glitchy ambience that can be used on its own or as a background for other instruments.

More Apps

Then Field Recorder is a simple audio recorder that supports recording in 16bit which makes it capable of recording high-quality audio, especially when using an external microphone.

Playdate Field Recording

Further Tape Looper is a mini audio recorder that lets you load samples recorded from the built-in microphone or from an external microphone.

You can modify the playback speed, reverse direction, set loop points, and add delay effects. Once made, you can easily save your recorded samples to the device and import them back later. Plus you can save to a computer via USB.

Playdate Tape Looper

Last but hopefully not the last app from the developer is a white noise generator that plays soothing meandering white noise. According to the developer, it helps you sleep, or as an ambient background while you word.

YouTuber Perplex On has released an impressive demo of the granular app.

First Impression

The Playdate handheld is a very exciting development. Especially the design catches the eye. The fact that it is possible to code music apps for this via the SDK makes the whole thing more exciting for musicians. Okay, the connectivity is extremely limited, but the apps look super fun.

The Playdate hardware is available now but is out of stock. You can pre-order a unit from the upcoming new batch for $199 which will arrive in late 2023. The app starts at $4,50 each.

More information here: Orllewin / Playdate 

Hardware Synthesizer News

1 Comment

  1. The Playdate is absolutely stunning in person (my son pre-ordered one ages ago and received it last month), I love the weird homebrew community it has spawned.

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