The Midium

Dato Musical Instruments' description of the Dato DUO synthesizer

This is the Dato DUO — an instrument for making electronic music together. You don't have to be an experienced musician: we designed the DUO to be enjoyed by kids aged 3 to 99 and up — that includes you!

Two sides play together

This side is the synthesizer. Generate and sculpt gritty, bold or soft sounds. You play with filters and add effects such as a bitcrusher and accent. And add beats!

Loop eight notes on the sequencer side. Compose a melody using the keyboard — flashy lights indicate which tone is playing. You can randomize the sequence, speed up and pitch up and down.

Hook it up!
The DUO grows along with your skill. As you expand your studio, you can connect other instruments like Volcas and Pocket Operators or hook it up to your modular synth. The DUO has MIDI in and out, SYNC in and out and a 3.5mm headphone/line out.

Tech specs
We chose the parameters and ranges of the DUO carefully — it's hard to do anything wrong. And while the DUO might not have as many features as other instruments, the range of sounds you can create is huge!

• 8 step circular sequencer
• 2 octave minor pentatonic keyboard
• adjustable tempo
• pitch up and down in semitone steps
• adjustable note length
• effects: boost and random

• 12 bit monophonic synthesizer
• 2 oscillators: saw and pulse
• variable pulse width
• 2-pole low pass filter with resonance
• 2 drum pads: kick and snare
• effects: delay and bitcrusher

• 3.5mm (1/8") headphone/line output
• micro USB for power
• full-size MIDI in and OUT
• 3.5mm (1/8") sync in and out

• dimensions: 23 x 19 x 9 cm
• weight: 1.1 kg
• power: 5V DC (micro USB)
• built-in speaker

Made in Utrecht, NL
David Menting and Toon Welling are both parents, designers and synth enthusiasts. It was their wish to play synthesizers together with their kids. The Dato DUO started its life in a successful in 2016. All DUOs are hand assembled in our factory in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The Midium's point of view
Erin: The Dato Duo brings the joy, discovery and inclusiveness of exploring sound to the world of synthesis.  Being new to electronic music, I appreciate the playfully, beautiful, yet practically simple interface.  This pyramid shaped musical instrument invites the experimental artist to collaborate with others and even connect it with multiple synths and effects units, or a computer.  I have never seen a synth like this and it inspires me to think differently about how I craft sounds and rhythms.  I just think its totally cool!

Part of what makes the Dato Duo so inclusive is that it really is welcoming to artists of all ages and skill levels. Children who cannot yet read will appreciate the little instructional graphics on the Dato Duo and easily remember their meanings and functions (a cute "crushed" robot graphic represents the bitcrusher feature and a sheep and giraffe charmingly depict the length knob.)  One side of the Dato Duo features the sequencer, and the other is the synthesizer.  This brilliant design makes the Dato Duo a fun experience for any two players, but also allows an adult to teach a small child a few tips or make sure they are being gentle without hovering over the child's shoulder. 

Regardless of age and skill level, users can share a fun musical experience while learning and creating, effortlessly.  I am truly looking forward to the day in the near future when I can introduce our expected new baby, Melody Nightingale, to the Dato Duo her grandma bought for her!  Also exciting... Dato Duo can be linked to various other units so that a child can start with the Duo and expand their little studio or record their masterpieces in their favorite DAW!