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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

BrandNewNoise expands celeb-endorsed sound gadget line

Richard Upchurch

Richard Upchurch at NY NOW

BrandNewNoise, manufacturer of handcrafted sound gadgets, displayed its latest device last month at NY NOW at New York’s Javits Center.

It’s called the Player One, and unlike the other battery-operated items in the BrandNewNoise line, it features large arcade-style buttons for small hands and “an old-school feel,” says founder/designer Richard Upchurch.

Otherwise, Player One shares the looping and pitch-shifting audio assets of the rest of Upchurch’s Brooklyn-based catalog, which utilizes voice-recording capabilities for engaging and entertaining “all kids, lovers, and aliens looking to explore and create,” according to a BrandNewNoise handout also listing Jimmy Fallon, David Byrne, Foo Fighters and Steve Reich among celebrity fans of the product.

The little wooden box-shaped BrandNewNoise gadgets enable recording of a 30-second sound sample and are characterized by looping switches, pitch control knobs and output jacks for headphones, speakers or recording gear. A bluegrass guitarist, Upchurch first built one for his five-year-old nephew in lieu of finding him a desired tape recorder.

Upchurch then built five more for his nephew’s teachers for show-and-tell, then 10 for his first online store—and took it from there.

BrandNewNoise models now include the Zoots thumb piano with tuned keys “for endless soundscapes,” the Lil’ Mib with a movable mailbox flag for indicating available recorded messages, the Frankie Frankenstein-painted voice recoder with built-in delay, the Krankie hand-crank music box, and the Phone-home xylophone box.

BrandNewNoise is also involved in providing internships for Brooklyn-based organizations that promote self-sufficiency and personal success for inner city students, including Good Shepherd Services and the Brooklyn International High School.



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