What people said
Staggeringly good fun! The design, portability and novelty value of the self-generating music patches were what first got me interested in the Gecho loop synth. This is no toy though. Aside from the synth voices, hidden inside the Loop Synth’s unassuming little box is serious studio potential for those prepared to experiment and dig a little deeper. Combine the line input and proximity sensors for example, and you have a powerful fx processing unit. The built-in microphones are of a surprisingly high quality and when coupled with patches from an ever expanding list of algorithms make a unique source for drums, pads and otherworldly samples that sound like literally nothing else I can think of. If that’s not enough, there is a truly trippy granular sampler, a chip tune patch, a gesture controlled drum machine and MIDI coming in the next version. Love it.
Mark Salisbury, Tetrahedral Kites 30th August 2018
What an unusual and unique product! I would first like to start by saying that I discovered this synth by chance randomly on youtube looking for reviews on small synths. After doing a little more research I discovered that this device was actually a successful kickstarter campaign in 2017 which happened to be so popular that the creator of this project - Mario was making more. Simply due to the unusual and uniqueness of this device I simply had to have one.
Now that I have the device purely by luck from a cancelled order as again they sold out in less time than it took me to realise, I definitely have no regrets about buying this.
First is the design: a lovely hardwood oak box with a carved logo on the lid not only looks fantastic on any shelf or mantel piece it also serves to house the little synth nice and safe and the box actually functions as part of the synth itself. Closing the lid whilst using sets the parameters to maximum and makes the mics super sensitive which can get interesting.
The rest of the bits you get when buying this are fantastic too – everything from the box design to the little cheat sheets and bits inside, this is a lovely one man band hand crafted item clearly made with a lot of passion.
Second, the synth: sat on a small (and I mean small) circuit board you turn it on, press a couple of buttons and begin messing about. That’s the only way to describe this synth. You have proximity sensors that will change live sound as you hum, breath, shout at the extremely sensitive microphones (and I mean sensitive. It will pick up on a mere whisper!) You have an input jack that you can fire sound into for audio processing (I have tried with pocket operators, an 0coast and a korg and you can get some really wonderful sounds out the other end). Then there is cord programming, a magnet sensor and various other weird and wonderful settings to try out. You have 2 output jacks (for headphones or straight into an audio interface and into a DAW). You can turn off external audio if using the input, or leave external on for even more odd effects! I especially like the granular sampler which changes your voice, a sound - anything into harmonics for some very interesting effects – or even just to sit with headphones listening to other worldly sounds around you for a means of “chilling out”.
So is this a useable synth or just a gimmick? It depends on what you are looking for and the definition of useable or gimmick is.
I have a Digitone which I would say is the most useable work horse I own. But I have other bits of gear that are on the cheap scale that I have always wanted to audio process without using Ableton’s effects or buying a specific pedal OR – more importantly getting a mortgage for a load of eurorack stuff. So for me and what I want it for it’s very much useable. The sounds that you can get away from the external processing for me are useable too: like for sound effects on a track or something else. And generally this synth begs to be played with and fooled about. It’s a great inspiration tool. This is not a gimmick – more of a niche product that is very unique. It won’t be for everyone tastes , however if you are looking for something totally different that stands out in a saturated world of companies making pretty much the same synths as they did 10 -20 years ago (digitone…come on it’s a dx7 really :0) ) then I can’t recommend this enough.
I can't be any happier with my little but BIG! Sounding Gecho. :) I have nothing wrong to say about this product this little guy sounds amazing! I instantly had the WOW! Factor. Mario, great packaging, art, case, sticker and itself the Gecho! Every company should package their products like this lol. Thank you for creating an awesome magical box, Great job! :)
Ps. Might just get a second one (:
Massimo, happy owner of a Classic unit. 21st May 2018
Proud owner here. This thing is amazing. Spent the first few days just getting lost in the ambience of all. When I sat down with it properly after watching some of your tutorials and found myself entering chord sequences from whistling, humming and using notes from a keyboard I was absolutely blown away by the scope of this magic box. It’s a thing of beauty, aesthetically and aurally!
Simon Gould, Cheese Shop Spoon on Bandcamp 11th May 2018
KS Backers, Early Adopters
I am the proud owner of the Gecho #077 and so happy to have this new friend! It is a lovely, adorable, little creature. Only NOW I can understand why you were saying that it is not meant to be played live... it is not a synth, it is really a living creature born for meditation and hypnosis! And it is so addictive that it is not possible to stop playing with it! :) Once again I have to congratulate you for your fantasy and imagination.
Stefano Azero, Music producer and performer at a034.it 7th November 2017
Backer #21 here from California. I just received my Gecho Loopsynth in the mail today and WHAAAAT?!?! I am having so much fun with this that I haven't put it down for hours. This is by far the coolest gadget I own or have ever owned in my 31 years here on Earth. I am not so tech savvy yet that I can program music into this thing but what you have already installed in here, and the attention to detail, the pick ups, the flippin design on your board and the box and everything just screams about your passion.
If there was anything that ever fulfilled that desire to literally escape while going nowhere, this is it! Everything about this shows that you truly put so much thought and care into the design and function and that's what makes me proud to have backed this project so early and I cannot wait to show it off and take it with me everywhere.
Jonathan Martin, Kickstarter backer of the first production run 24th August 2017
I got mine a couple of days ago and simply love it. I can't stop playing around with it and trying all the different channels. It's just so amazing sitting there and getting every noise translated into music. I'm not a musician, but I don't have to be. I already recorded a couple of tracks just with the sound of my kids playing and shouting. And on top of it, it is a real piece of art. The box just looks beautiful and no one would ever suspect what's inside.
Ronny Ecke, Kickstarter backer of the first production run 27th July 2017
The Sound is super beautiful... like you said better than the YouTube videos. Dedicated physical controls are still king in the musical world though. The Gecho's tactile tapping, scratching, whistling, and waving really are an innovative interpretation... I don't find myself wishing it had a knob or fader. I love the responsive LED levels for the proximity sensors.
Cameron Leggett, graphic designer, pressman & electronic music hobbyist 19th July 2017
Prototype Owners & Testers
I am very proud that I've been introduced to this Gecho project before you guys got to known this amazing machine at the very early stage of it and I can tell you that I know what is Gecho.
Can't talk about Gecho from your IT or DIY perspective having not being good at that style of kung-fu, sorry about that, but from the point of view a person that has to do with the music playing, I think I could say few words about it.
If you have ever had (and I am sure all of you did), moments when you feel like... leave me alone. I don't want to see anyone. I wish I could go to the forest or stare to the flow of the mountain river with just me and my guitar in my hands and go one by one through playing along all my favourite tunes and hear them sound from a different point of view ...you'd be surprised how Gecho helps to it.
I remember asking Mario (the inventor guy) to set me up with the background of J.Pachelbel's "Canon in D", and how I was amazed with the way it sounded! So real, no plastic tone! Totally undisturbed. Whatever you play, blends up with what you hear in the background in a very smooth and natural way. Later on, I had the answer to my question why it sounds so natural, it was simple at the end, because the level of the background tone is kept under -12db like in the old days before the loudness war started. I take my hat off, dear Mario.
By the way, hope you don't mind if I put in the link of what is the meaning of the loudness war just in case somebody is not sure what I am talking about here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness_war
So yeah, I am really hoping that this project gets through quickly and soon we'll be able to just grab Gecho, our instrument, headphones and shout through the doors: Honey, I am going to the woods for a couple of hours! Love you :-))
Aslanbek Dokhshukaev, guitarist & composer
I've personally tested an early iteration and it was pretty amazing.I'm not good with the technical stuff, but in layman terms it is a box that turns any noise into music. So if you bang on the table, whistle, touch a fork on the wall, turn on a forklift, operate a piledriver, it all becomes music together, somehow.
I tried my best at the beginning to make sounds out of tempo and as unharmonic as possible and it all became this sort of strange out-of-this-world melody. The funny thing is that the more I did it, the more I was entangled by it, like an ouroboros of sound, the brain eating itself in its meaning. I don't know how to explain it better...
Nicholas Amorim, hobbyist composer, singer, drummer & guitars maker
Gecho is deeply meditative and amusing at the same time. The experience enables you to explore your hidden feelings, which you have never been able to put in words. It's like classical instrumental music with you being in the place of a composer. It is difficult to put your finger on it, but as soon as you put your hands on it you'll realise it's unputdownable. So I guess the best way how to explain what's the thing like is to say - it's addictive. First time I took it to work, it was grabbed from me immediately and only returned towards the end of the day with great reluctance.
Pietro, music enthusiast, amateur guitarist and poet, proud owner of Gecho s/n.010
When I first saw the Gecho I was intrigued. When I touched it I was immediately mesmerised. My world just took on another dimension that I was in complete control of - it is amazingly cool.
Mike Dee, mobile games designer & enterpreneur