1010music Blackbox - Compact Sampling Studio

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DruidTek
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1010music Blackbox - Compact Sampling Studio

Post by DruidTek » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:21 pm

1010music announced their new product "Blackbox" at SynthPlex today. It's a standalone tabletop unit that combines the Toolbox sequencer and Bitbox sampler firmwares, with stereo Reverb & Delay and some additional features, such as 128 step sequences, per cell filtering, a Song mode, touchscreen keyboard and mixer page. It's USB powered, so if you have a power bank you can make music anywhere. The audio I/O's are all stereo 3.5mm TRS, so you have to use splitter cables with it. I've been beta testing this for a couple of months and I have to say it's pretty awesome. The price is $599USD.

Stay tuned for more demos!

https://1010music.com/product/blackbox

[video][/video]

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Last edited by DruidTek on Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by taylor12k » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:53 am

nice to see a demo for this, very intrigued... but i hope it's capable of less "sequenced" and rhythmic use... such as:

- can you trigger samples to just play and loop indefinitely without having to "sequence" them?

- can different samples be different lengths not quantized to any bars or rhythmic structure?

- if the first question above is true, how many samples can you play at the same time? (ie: what's the voice polyphony of the unit?)

maybe the make of the above video knows?

thanks!

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Post by DruidTek » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:31 am

taylor12k wrote:nice to see a demo for this, very intrigued... but i hope it's capable of less "sequenced" and rhythmic use... such as:

- can you trigger samples to just play and loop indefinitely without having to "sequence" them?
Yes, Clip mode is the one to use for loops and when loop mode is on and a sample is triggered, it will continue to loop indefinitely.
- can different samples be different lengths not quantized to any bars or rhythmic structure?
Yes, if you turn off the quantize settings, samples run in a freeform manner.
- if the first question above is true, how many samples can you play at the same time? (ie: what's the voice polyphony of the unit?)
Depending on the mode, each of the 16 cells can have up to 4 voices. I haven't tried maxing out the polyphony yet, but it's a more powerful processor than the series 1&2 modules, so it's quite a lot.

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Post by taylor12k » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:38 am

thanks! all great answers..

one other question... in CLIP mode, can you trigger a sample with a key? so you can transpose the loop down (varispeed style, not stretched or pitch corrected)... and/or does the pitch parameter affect both speed and pitch simultaneously (i hope it does) old-school style, varipseed, tape, etc.. ie: no stretching...
DruidTek wrote:
taylor12k wrote:nice to see a demo for this, very intrigued... but i hope it's capable of less "sequenced" and rhythmic use... such as:

- can you trigger samples to just play and loop indefinitely without having to "sequence" them?
Yes, Clip mode is the one to use for loops and when loop mode is on and a sample is triggered, it will continue to loop indefinitely.
- can different samples be different lengths not quantized to any bars or rhythmic structure?
Yes, if you turn off the quantize settings, samples run in a freeform manner.
- if the first question above is true, how many samples can you play at the same time? (ie: what's the voice polyphony of the unit?)
Depending on the mode, each of the 16 cells can have up to 4 voices. I haven't tried maxing out the polyphony yet, but it's a more powerful processor than the series 1&2 modules, so it's quite a lot.

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Post by DruidTek » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:55 am

taylor12k wrote: one other question... in CLIP mode, can you trigger a sample with a key? so you can transpose the loop down (varispeed style, not stretched or pitch corrected)... and/or does the pitch parameter affect both speed and pitch simultaneously (i hope it does) old-school style, varipseed, tape, etc.. ie: no stretching...
Doesn't Varispeed keep the pitch the same but let you change the tempo? I know that's how the old Roland units used to work. Clip Mode works this way, but you can't go more than a few semitones in either direction before it starts to sound weird. The Slicer mode is much more practical for doing that kind of thing. Sample mode behaves in the traditional way, where going up in pitch makes it play back faster, and going down makes it slower.

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Post by taylor12k » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:34 am

no, varispeed is the "traditional" style of pitch shift.. the term taken from tape machines... and as simple as playing a lower (or higher) key on a traditional sampler... pitch and speed shift together.

ie: lower = slower

sounds like "sample mode" is the one I'm after, but, is one able to just fire off loops and have them play indefinitely in that mode? (like you said was possible in CLIP mode)

(sorry for the super specific questions!)


DruidTek wrote:
taylor12k wrote: one other question... in CLIP mode, can you trigger a sample with a key? so you can transpose the loop down (varispeed style, not stretched or pitch corrected)... and/or does the pitch parameter affect both speed and pitch simultaneously (i hope it does) old-school style, varipseed, tape, etc.. ie: no stretching...
Doesn't Varispeed keep the pitch the same but let you change the tempo? I know that's how the old Roland units used to work. Clip Mode works this way, but you can't go more than a few semitones in either direction before it starts to sound weird. The Slicer mode is much more practical for doing that kind of thing. Sample mode behaves in the traditional way, where going up in pitch makes it play back faster, and going down makes it slower.

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Post by DruidTek » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:18 am

Sorry, I was confusing it with "VariPhrase". Yes, you can use Sample mode, set the Loop Mode to Forward and the Release time to 100% and you're good to go! :tu:

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Post by borututu f. » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:38 am

Looks nice, although I'm not a fan of touchscreens at all. I guess you can launch clips with a MIDI controller like the one on the picture, but can other things like clearing a pattern or adjusting slice points of a sample also be edited via MIDI?

Also how does the sequencer compare to the one of a MPC? On the page about the Toolbox module it says the you can edit "note duration for all events" - independently for each note or all at once?

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Post by chorus7 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:57 pm

DruidTek what effects does it have besides delay and reverb? How many effects per clip? Is the filter a multi mode?

Looks amazing... makes me want to sell my MPC :hmm:

Many thanks...

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Post by DruidTek » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:32 pm

borututu f. wrote:Looks nice, although I'm not a fan of touchscreens at all. I guess you can launch clips with a MIDI controller like the one on the picture, but can other things like clearing a pattern or adjusting slice points of a sample also be edited via MIDI?

Also how does the sequencer compare to the one of a MPC? On the page about the Toolbox module it says the you can edit "note duration for all events" - independently for each note or all at once?
All of those parameters can only be accessed via the touchscreen at this stage. It's common for people who aren't fans of them to be pleasantly surprised when actually using them in person, though. Yes, the individual note lengths can be adjusted independently. Each of the 16 sequencers can have a different step length.
chorus7 wrote:what effects does it have besides delay and reverb? How many effects per clip? Is the filter a multi mode?

Looks amazing... makes me want to sell my MPC
There's only Delay and Reverb, and they are assigned on the output page, so only one effect per cell. The Filter is a basic Low Pass/High Pass, -100 to 0 is the LP and 0 - 100 is the HP. I wouldn't be in a rush to sell your MPC just yet. 1010music's modus operandi is to start off with a rather basic firmware and develop it over time, based on requests and user feedback, so there's quite a lot of features that are lacking in comparison to a MPC.

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Post by taylor12k » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:41 pm

very very happy to hear it has a high pass filter.... is there resonance?

any LFO or internal modulation of loop/slice/start parameters?

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Post by DruidTek » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:25 pm

No resonance on the filter but it's quite steep, so it's useful as a Low Cut/Hi Cut. There are modulation slots for Level, Pitch, Start, Length, Loop Start, Loop End, Slice and Slice Seq, and the modulation sources so far are: Trigger, Velocity, Pitch, Mod Wheel, MIDI Volume and MIDI Pan. No external modulation via CV yet, but here's a quote from Aaron on the 1010music forum:
Regarding CV, blackbox does have DC-coupled inputs and outputs. This opens the door for CV functions at a later date. Right now, it is is capable of CV sampling and playback.
Just to clarify, I'm not the developer or an employee of 1010music, just a beta-tester and user of their products.

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Post by geremyf » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:22 pm

Any notion of bit or sample rate reduction? I think this looks pretty neat. I think I would jump with the ability to go lo-fi, and maybe some added, sync-able LFOs per channel...or at least the ability to record (or p-lock) manual modulation of the dials per step. I'm not looking for something crazy fancy, but I would like to LFO into sample pitch occasionally.

Also, it would be really great to be able to sample itself. I'm getting that we can do with with a cable, but maybe on the record screen adding 'internal' would be useful.

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Post by chorus7 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:43 pm

DruidTek many thanks for answering all these questions :hail:

One more if you don’t mind...

Can you cue mix with it? ie send signal to headphone out instead of main outs? So to audition before introducing to main outs...

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Post by anselmi » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:20 am

stereo sample playback?

I mean: to load stereo samples and play them in stereo, not L/R panning of mono samples

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Post by DruidTek » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:41 am

chorus7 wrote:DruidTek many thanks for answering all these questions :hail:

One more if you don’t mind...

Can you cue mix with it? ie send signal to headphone out instead of main outs? So to audition before introducing to main outs...
No trouble at all.. Yes, the headphone output monitors all of the outputs, so you could use output 1 as your main output, and set the cell you're cueing to output 2 or 3 and monitor it through the headphones, then change it back to output 1 when you want to introduce it to the main mix
anselmi wrote:stereo sample playback?

I mean: to load stereo samples and play them in stereo, not L/R panning of mono samples
Yes, the audio engine is stereo.
Last edited by DruidTek on Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by DruidTek » Sun Mar 31, 2019 1:49 am

geremyf wrote:Any notion of bit or sample rate reduction? I think this looks pretty neat. I think I would jump with the ability to go lo-fi, and maybe some added, sync-able LFOs per channel...or at least the ability to record (or p-lock) manual modulation of the dials per step. I'm not looking for something crazy fancy, but I would like to LFO into sample pitch occasionally.

Also, it would be really great to be able to sample itself. I'm getting that we can do with with a cable, but maybe on the record screen adding 'internal' would be useful.
I'll let Aaron chime in and answer those questions. I agree some LFO's and internal resampling would be great additions.

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Post by 1010music » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:08 am

DruidTek wrote:
geremyf wrote:Any notion of bit or sample rate reduction? I think this looks pretty neat. I think I would jump with the ability to go lo-fi, and maybe some added, sync-able LFOs per channel...or at least the ability to record (or p-lock) manual modulation of the dials per step. I'm not looking for something crazy fancy, but I would like to LFO into sample pitch occasionally.

Also, it would be really great to be able to sample itself. I'm getting that we can do with with a cable, but maybe on the record screen adding 'internal' would be useful.
I'll let Aaron chime in and answer those questions. I agree some LFO's and internal resampling would be great additions.
DruikTek, thanks for all the answers above.

Resampling is a common request so far. I have also heard a fair number of requests for some kind of automation and internal modulators. Bitcrushing and sampling mangling has come up-but not nearly as much.

We appreciate all of the questions, comments, and suggestions. This is a new category for all and we look forward to improving the firmware over time.

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Post by DruidTek » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:42 am

My pleasure Aaron! Congratulations on the release and thanks for all of your hard work on this. I’m sure it was a massive undertaking! I have a feeling this unit may be quite popular. :nana:

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Post by anselmi » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:10 pm

1010music wrote:We appreciate all of the questions, comments, and suggestions. This is a new category for all and we look forward to improving the firmware over time.
great product! will fit a lot of rigs...mine for sure

I don´t think I would use the sequencer since I have a Digitakt and the Blackbox seems to be the perfect expander for it

the stereo operation is a must, I really need this and it´s a strong point since the Digitakt is all the way mono samples

wishlist:

1. resonant LP/HP filter in the way of the OP-Z one (LP counterclockwise, HP clockwise)

2. filter EG

3. LFO (better x2)

4. more fx

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Post by shellfritsch » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:32 pm

Will you be able to easily map most parameters to midi cc controllers?

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Post by anselmi » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:39 pm

shellfritsch wrote:Will you be able to easily map most parameters to midi cc controllers?
:tu:


"performance" preset list of 20

option for power on in the last preset that you was worked on

ASCII keyboard conpatibility for text enter (samples and projects names, etc)

support for USB hubs so you can plug more than 1 controller at the same time (and 1 ASCII keyboard too)

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Post by Muse FTW » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:44 pm

This looks really impressive for a standalone box. I'm usually wary of touch screens on instruments but I'm still interested despite that.

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Post by wavejockey » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:35 am

what are the audio engine specifications?

KHZ?
bitdepth?

is it capable to locking onto MIDI clock and/or MTC ?
(as a slave)

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Post by VanEck » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:38 am

is there any way to do "ableton" style clip launching with this? that is something my pioneer toraiz lacks... if black box can do it, i think it would be the perfect companion.
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