Razzmatazz: A Tiny Drum Machine That Means Serious Business

The Nanoboxes such as the Fireball and Lemondrop introduced by 1010music in early 2022 are the modern-day mini-synthesizers that can match any full-featured synthesizers. The looks of the tiny devices can be deceptive when you hear the devices perform like any full-sized synthesizers albeit not adept in handling drums. To compensate for the deficiency, the company launched the Razzmatazz, a new device that looks like a pink box of crayons but is packed inside with the same hardware and an FM engine focused on percussion and paired with a sampler. The pink razzmatazz color lends a playful demeanor to the toy-like device meant for serious musical performance.

Razzmatazz is a Sound Machine

The device’s name seems far-fetched if you correlate it with the razzmatazz definition. Indeed, it can be hard to relate the name to a device that produces musical sounds. However, when you try to figure out what is razzmatazz by tracing the meaning of the word, you can make some sense behind the naming of the musical device. The razzmatazz definition clearly states that it means a showy, noisy activity meant to impress people and draw their attention. Now, considering the range of musical sounds and beats the mini synthesizer can produce to create a party-like ambiance, you should understand the logic behind naming the device.  The machine produces rich sounds of drums with a simple 64-step sequencer backed by a robust set of sound design features that defies the small size.

Design and Hardware

The synthesizer is so small, with playful looks accentuated by the pink color, that it will highly surprise you with its powerful performance. The box measures only 3.75x3x1.5 inches (WHD), and it can nicely fit into a large pocket or even the tiniest bag. A 2-inch touch screen, a pair of encoders, and navigation buttons are on the front. At the back are the connection outlets – MIDI ins and outs of 1/8 inch, the audio ins and outs of the same size, a micro SD card slot with a 32GB card in place, and a USB-C port for power. The SD card is for storing presets and samples. The new device stands out from the previous iterations of Fireball and Lemondrop because its hot pink color perfectly sets the tone for the boisterous performance matching the name.

The Sound Engine

Powered by an eight-voice engine, the mini synthesizer blends sample playback and FM synthesis. The unique aspect of the device is that each pad can be either or both, something that you will never find in any other affordable drum machine. You can layer the sample playback and FM synthesis and use actual timpani while allowing the synthesizer to fade in afterwards.

Those familiar with Fireball or Lemondrop will easily use the new device. Despite the similarity, the Razzmatazz is not a direct competitor due to the stunningly compact form factor and the depth of the sound engine.

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