Voice Recorder

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Handcrafted from sustainable wood in Brooklyn, NY, brandnewnoise sound recorders let kids explore their voices in a decidedly non-plastic, non-digital way. They can record a message or music, then play it back at regular speed, or at a faster or slower pitch.

Artist Richard Upchurch came up with the idea during a large, rather
loud family vacation. With each child in the group came a noisy, plastic toy. The experience inspired Richard to design a different kind of noisemaker for his nephew—one that required nothing but his nephew’s own voice and imagination. During show and tell at his nephew’s school, Richard’s creation created quite a buzz. All the kids wanted one. The rest is brandnewnoise history.

The Lil' Mib is a message recording box complete with pitch control and a flag to indicate that a new message awaits. Loopy Lou is a sound recording device with a loop switch, pitch control, and output.

Modern and minimalist, with a touch of nostalgia, brandnewnoise gives voice to a new generation of sound.
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brandnewnoise - Voice Recorder

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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Richard

    Cheers Grommet-folk!

    I’m Richard Upchurch, the founder of brandnewnoise. These little sound recording gadgets all started as a gift for my nephew. I wanted him to have something to play with that didn’t have pre-recorded beeps and buzzes, something he could explore his own voice with, where everything he created was brand new. Each recording device is handmade in Red Hook, Brooklyn with sustainable wood. We are also a proud internship provider for local organizations for inner-city students.

  • Monica
    10/28/2014 12:29 PM

    I'm smitten. What's the output port on Loopy Lou? 3.5mm or 2.5, hard to tell from the video. Also, is there any volume control?

  • Amy
    Amy – Grommet Team
    10/28/2014 12:33 PM

    Hi Monica,

    Good question - Richard will be along shortly and can answer any specific questions. Glad you love it - it's very cute and so fun to play with :)

  • Robin
    10/28/2014 1:20 PM


  • Robin
    10/28/2014 1:21 PM

    What are the basic differences between the two?

  • Amy
    Amy – Grommet Team
    10/28/2014 1:34 PM

    Hi Robin,

    Good question.

    The Lil' Mib is a message recording box complete with pitch control and a flag to indicate that a new message awaits. Think of it as something you'd use to leave cute messages for your loved ones.

    Loopy Lou is a sound recording device with a loop switch, pitch control, and output. This could be more to play with and discover how you change around your own voice.

  • Richard
    Richard – Special Guest
    10/28/2014 1:39 PM

    @Robin Hi Robin! Thanks for checking us out! Lil' Mib has a red flag that you can raise whenever you want to leave a new "voicemail" for someone. It's a real charmer. Loopy Lou (the one with the turntable eye design) has a loop switch, which means you can play whatever you record on a continuous loop.

  • Richard
    Richard – Special Guest
    10/28/2014 1:41 PM

    @Monica Hi Monica! Thanks for the question. The output jack is standard headphone jack 3.5mm (or 1/8"). Can use with speakers w 1/8" jacks, too! That's when things get really fun :)

  • Richard
    Richard – Special Guest
    10/28/2014 1:50 PM

    @Monica - Oh and I forgot to answer your other question! There is no volume control on the unit itself, but if you plug into speakers with volume control, it will comply.

  • Rachel
    10/28/2014 1:53 PM

    Does Loopy Lou have a "flag".

  • Amy
    Amy – Grommet Team
    10/28/2014 2:11 PM

    Hi Rachel,

    Since Loopy Lou is meant for voice recording / looping and playing with your voice, it doesn't have a flag. The Lil' Mib is more designed for messaging and that's why the flag is there.

  • Richard
    Richard – Special Guest
    10/28/2014 2:13 PM

    @Rachel Hi Rachel! No, Loopy doesn't have a flag, but it does have loop switch, whereas Lil' Mib doesn't have the switch. They both have pitch control though.

  • Paul
    11/2/2014 7:39 PM

    @Richard The video says that it adjusts both tempo and pitch controls but all of the Q&A comments here only talk about pitch. Can you clarify about what the controls do?

  • Richard
    Richard – Special Guest
    11/2/2014 10:49 PM

    @Paul Hey Paul! Thanks for the question. There is one potentiometer (housed under the knob) on each unit. When the knob is turned to the right, it speeds up the tempo of the recording, which in turn automatically ends up raising the pitch. Likewise, when the knob is turned to the left, both the tempo and pitch go down simultaneously. Hope this helps!

  • Jesse
    Jesse – Grommet Team
    10/28/2014 2:02 PM

    I just had to note that after testing these with my kids (age 6 and 9), I'm convinced that either model would continue to be a favorite for years - they both loved them. They are also perfectly sized for kid hands, making it easy for them to play with.

  • Richard
    Richard – Special Guest
    10/28/2014 2:13 PM

    @Jesse Thanks, Jesse! That's so sweet and great to hear!!

  • Parker
    10/28/2014 3:12 PM

    How is this powered? Please tell me there's a rechargeable battery on board. All the kids in my life have parents who have instituted "no batteries required" rules for their kids' gifts.

  •  Janis
    10/28/2014 3:24 PM


  • Richard
    Richard – Special Guest
    10/28/2014 3:27 PM

    @Parker Hey Parker! These little guys are powered by 2-AAA batteries. They've got a nice life span (as long as the loop switch doesn't accidentally get left on overnight!) and you can change them out when they're done. Unfortunately at this time there is no way to run these with an alternative source.

  • Ava
    11/1/2014 9:39 PM immediate reaction to your comment is "I love you Richard!" ("Internship Provider" I love it!) Where are you all located? Thank God someone 'gets it'...I'm a business education (CTE) teacher -"Professional Internship" & "Business Internship" courses were 'capstone' classes for me. My students had opportunities which could greatly impact their future. As a previous home-educating mom (4of7 daughters) -I ADORE your 'brandNewNoise" product. My girls are ALL grown up now! Congrats on your launch, AND your educational ingenuity. I'll be back for newborn 'babyGrands' in the future!

  • Richard
    Richard – Special Guest
    11/3/2014 8:35 PM

    @Ava Thanks for all the support, Ava! Our operation is in a tiny wood shop located in the Red Hook borough of Brooklyn, NY. Cheers!

  • connie
    11/3/2014 7:16 AM

    can it record CD or music from radio? thanks

  • Richard
    Richard – Special Guest
    11/3/2014 8:39 PM

    @connie Hi Connie, if you hold down the red button, either one can record whatever you like up to 30 seconds at a time. You would just have to aim the microphone close enough to the source you wanted to record. Hope this helps, thanks!

  • Alice
    11/5/2014 8:52 PM

    Can Loopy Lou withstand being dropped from wheelchair height -- many times?

    If so, it would be perfect for a cerebral palsied friend that loves to manipulate the knobs on radios (to hear sound go up & down & change ) but can't hang on all the time.

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.