This is how I do equipment reviews

Look, even if you're the kind of magpie who has to buy every electronic gadget you hear about, you don't want an Otamatone.  

It's cute, but even in the hands of a skilled musician with a good ear it sounds terrible.  It's fun to play the sad-trombone sound on and that's about it.  Do not buy one of these.  And if you do, in the name of all that is holy don't bring it to work.

I'm serious.  If you bring this thing to work there's a strong probability that your body will never be found.

The Otamotone is a Japanese musical toy.  It's about the size of a bottle of Windex.  It looks like an eighth note.  Or a quaver, if you will.  (I don't.)  

The head is a tomato-sized rubber sphere with two little eyes and a mouth-like horizontal slit, containing the noise-making thing, or "speaker."  Running down the length of the note's stem is a a touchpad, or more accurately a press-hard-pad.  The note's flag is purely cosmetic, though for some reason it rotates without breaking if you twist it hard enough.  It takes three AAA batteries, which don't run out fast enough.

Switches let you set its range, from too low to too high, and its volume, from too loud to uncomfortably loud.  You squeeze the stem of the note, and based on where you squeeze it, the cheap speaker makes an unpleasant sound of an uncertain pitch, which you can articulate by squeezing the rubber ball, so that the slit parts, like the lips of Kenneth Branagh's mouth, and the unpleasant sound now becomes an unpleasant, creepily voice-like sound.

Do not buy one of these things if you have pets, or children, or roommates, or live in a city, or have a shred of self-respect.

All that said, the video I've attached is a deranged work of genius, especially (okay, maybe only) if you're familiar with the source material.


Popular Posts