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Fad Gadgets: cassette synth, DIY speakers and a Bluetooth tennis ball

Rhodri Marsden on three of the latest must-have gizmos currently putting the prog in progress…

OM-1 Cassette Synth

This is a lovely little toy, if you can call a $285 piece of kit a toy. Built in New Orleans by designer Scott Campbell, the OM-1 is a low-key mellotron-style instrument with a digital twist. You pop a cassette into the modified Sony cassette player, connect it up to the external synthesizer and use buttons and knobs to generate wheezy sounds that have a distinctive Strawberry Fields Forever quality. Some might question why you’d restrict yourself to an instrument that only has eight notes, but sometimes the best sounds emerge from the most limited resources.

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