1010Music has taken their versatile touchscreen Eurorack format onto the desktop in a nicely compact box. The patch bay has been replaced with some helpful buttons and Blackbox is all about sampling, loops and sequencing.
They are calling it a next-generation sampling studio but what we know is that it’s a small friendly unit that’ll sample in anything you want to throw at it and then slice, sync and let you build everything from one-shots, loops and sequences through to full songs.
The format is perfect for the desktop. It’s not going to take up much room, it’s USB powered and takes microSD cards for sample storage. It also has a regular USB port for attaching MIDI controllers so it can be very self-contained.
What I like about it is that you can sample on-the-fly and use the touch screen to fire off those samples instantly within your music. No fuss, no mess. But of course, it goes a lot deeper than that. You can slice up samples, sync them to each other, build loops with different tempos and perform it all back through the interface or over MIDI. It’s a great little workflow that lends itself to dawless tabletop music making.
It comes with over 800 samples ready to go although really you’re going to be wanting to make your own as you go – that’s what it’s good at.
There are 8 pages to deal with selectable from the 8 buttons on the front panel. “Pads” and “Keys”lets you play your samples in real time from either drum pads or a virtual keyboard. “Seqs” is for building sequences and “Song” lets you chain these together into songs. “FX” and “Mix” do what you imagine them to do, “PSet” is for browsing prests and “Tools” is where the sample editing comes into play. The info button at the top brings up information within the page, sampling settings and such like. Data entry is achieved via the 4 big knobs. Then with the three big Stop, Rec and Play buttons you are all set.
The only slight disappointment is that the stereo input and 3 stereo outputs are all on mini-jack but then it fits with the compact nature of the device and also it’s a not uncommon Eurorack style format.
I’m enjoying the ease of use, the obvious nature of the touchscreen and the way beats and samples come together so fluidly. The Blackbox is available in limited quantities now for $599 and they hope to ramp up production for May.