The DJ world is a weird place filled with some even weirder people. And before everyone gets upset with us, we mean some people – even this industry has a couple of vaguely normal sorts working in it. But there’s no denying that some strange beliefs do the rounds within the business.
For example, there’s this idea clinging around that vinyl is somehow better than digital – despite the fact that from technological and environmental angles, it clearly isn’t. Or there’s this other curious idea that you need lots and lots of big equipment in order to make music – when all you really need is a laptop, some basic music software and a couple of little samples to get you started.
Why do you think that certain producers sometimes stick something up on Instagram showing off a grand display of a music studio, along with promises that “big things are coming”? They usually aren’t, of course – and frankly give the impression that they’re just trying to compensate for smaller appendage in another department.
One person who certainly doesn’t subscribe to the bigger is better philosophy is Tim Alex Jacobs, also known as Mitxela. Since 2015, he’s pretty much cornered the market in miniature synthesisers all by himself – mostly because, according to even the man himself, no one else wants to.
His latest creation is a USB-C MIDI synth that’s about the same size as a raspberry. The device literally has three components within it – a miniature circuit board, a USB-C connector, and a piezoelectric buzzer. And as for its features? Er, it has the grand total of one – a monophonic square wave.
Jacobs himself told Music Radar that “You might be thinking that this is utterly pointless, and you’d be right. There is no device we could plug this into that doesn’t already have a speaker. There are no USB-C hosts that couldn’t already run a software synthesizer […] The only thing it can do is a monophonic square wave”.
Here’s the device playing the theme from 1996 video game Super Mario 64. We’ve heard worse, to be honest – and here’s Mitxela himself going into a lot of detail about his project…