This is one for the sound designers, field recordists and experimentalists
Boutique electronic instrument maker KOMA Elektronik has started selling its new Field Kit to the general public, having now fulfilled all the orders that resulted from the device smashing its Kickstarter target back in December.
The Field Kit is a one-box solution that allows you to mess around with sound in all manner of strange ways - we can't think of any other piece of kit we've seen that has an AM/FM radio tuner and an LFO in the same box! The Field Kit can take signals from microphones, contact microphones and electromagnetic pickups, receive radio signals, power DC motors and solenoids and more. You can take a sound from a mic input, from the radio or from the three-waveform LFO, then warp and tweak it via the Tone control, Envelope Follower and other onboard trickery. You can use Field Kit to take input from atmospheric sensors (for light, humidity, temperature and so on) and turn that signal into a control voltage, which could be useful for those working in the field of sound installation. It's ideal for making field recordings - if, say, you get the urge to 'do a Matthew Herbert' and make an album out of the sounds of a pig's life.
There are doubtless dozens of other applications we haven't thought of, but let's be clear: if you're looking for an all-in-one box that'll let you knock out club-ready dancefloor tracks, this isn't it. This is for those who like to push the boundaries of sonic science, and who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty with a little electronic tinkering. The fact its inventors cite the likes of John Cage and Stockhausen as inspiration gives you a clue as to the kind of noises you might expect to get out of it!
The Field Kit is available now, priced €229 (£192 approx) for the ready-made version, or €179 (£150 approx) if you buy the DIY kit and build it yourself. There's also an expansion kit containing contact mics, patch cables, a DC motor and other bits 'n' bobs, and every order ships with a booklet called 50 Ways To Use The Field Kit to get you started.
This video should give you a bit more of an idea of how it all works...
For full details, see KOMA Elektronik's own website