miJamm Keyz miJamm mixx

miJamm lixx miJamm drums

Tiny MP3 players have become ubiquitous, but MiJam thinks you’ll want to use pocket-able toy-like music gadgets that make music. At about US$20 each (according to Technabob, these odd little devices purport to behave as musical instruments, down to what looks like either membrane or very slim buttons for keys:

miJamm Mini Lixx is supposed to be a guitar, with buttons for frets.

miniJamm Mini Drums has miniscule pads for drums.

Mini Keys is a faux-synth, with what looks like eight keys.

Mini Mixer pumps out a beat, digital effects of some kind, “scratch”, and whatever “voice” means, with tempo and volume controls.

miJam minis, via the handheld music making blog Palm Sounds

The idea with all of them is to plug your iPod through the devices, then jam along to tunes. For $20, it seems all they give you is headphone in and/or out and some sampled sounds. But I find myself strangely fascinated by how bizarre the whole concept is … and I wonder if it might be possible to create a device this small that actually was useful (albeit for more than $20).

All that’s missing: the world’s tiniest violin.

Stuff them in your pocket with last week’s pocketable device, the Pacemaker DJ MP3 player

This isn’t the first weird device idea to come from miJam. In December, they unveiled a $30 “scratch mixer” which also turned out to be just a device with some sampled sounds. iLounge reviewed the mixer, drum sticks, and “guitar.” Most were instruments in shape only, and the gizmos are intended as toys, but the ideas are still interesting. Of course, none is as surreal as the interactive iPod-compatible flower:

miJam Flower

  • thesimplicity

    Well, at least the industrial design is… trendy. Who am I kidding, for $20 I'll definitely be picking up the drum pad one. Now when my crew gets into a rap battle with some kids from the warehouse district while walking down the street I can just whip this baby out instead of beatboxing.

  • http://indiedanceparty.com DJ McManus

    By 2010 ALL things will somehow be iPod compatible.

    stylophone !!!!

    I'd love it if this had a very short EQ filterable sampling function where you could pull a note from the track playing through your iPod and jam along. Maybe have the synth continually pull random samples in real time and manipulate them in some magical way through the keyboard.

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  • http://ekseko.googlepages.com ekse

    would be neat if these things could be used as midi or osc devices, or even just HID devices (which could easily be mapped using a keyboard/mouse to midi/osc solution).

    the idea is very attractive to me, as the stale performances of laptop musicians who seem to have forgotten (if they ever knew) the relationship between a performer and an instrument. while all the abstracted tools of digital audio are very interesting, they dont do enough to help musicians make music actually accessible to an audience

  • http://ekseko.googlepages.com ekse

    would be neat if these things could be used as midi or osc devices, or even just HID devices (which could easily be mapped using a keyboard/mouse to midi/osc solution).

    the idea is very attractive to me, as the stale performances of laptop musicians who seem to have forgotten (if they ever knew) the relationship between a performer and an instrument has gotten tiring. while all the abstracted tools of digital audio are very interesting, they dont do enough to help musicians make music actually accessible to an audience

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  • wrq

    interesting………..