Twisted Electrons has introduced BlastBeats, a hardware groovebox, based on a vintage FM chip, YMF-262, found in computer sound cards of the early 90s.
“These chips were notoriously hard to program and were rarely used to their full potential,” they note. “However, they can produce surprisingly rich beautiful and utterly dirty sounds with a bit of exploring…”
BlastBeats is a 10-voice groove box, offering 6 drum voices and 4 synth instruments. It features lots of hardware controls, to give you immediate tactile control over the parameters of the instruments.
- OPL3 (YMF262) FM chip featured in vintage sound blaster cards of the MS-DOS era
- Quad audio outputs with custom instrument routing
- High fidelity audio amplification with low noise floor
- mix and phones out each with volume control
- 6 drum tracks (bass drum, snare drum, tom, closed & open hat, cymbal) that can also be used for melodic parts.
- 4 synth tracks: two monophonic (2x2op or 1x4op) & two duo-phonic (4x2op or 2x4op)
- 100 kits
- 160 songs x 16 patterns x 64 steps
- patterns of of arbitrary step lengths
- Kits and patterns stored on included SD card for convenient management and sharing.
- 56 faders with per step automation and modulation
- 32 high quality illuminated switches
- MIDI input and output on DIN5 ports
- customizable MIDI input channels
- Analog sync in and out on 3.5mm jacks
- All Audio on 6.35mm jacks
- Premium sandblasted anodised aluminum chassis
- All instruments can be sequenced internally or played via MIDI allowing BlastBeats to be used as a 4-operator 8-waveform polytimbral MIDI synthesizer
- Probability per instrument
- Kit and pattern randomiser
- Fader wiggling (randomiser with adjustable depth) per step
- 3 tricks ( pitch bend aka spin down, freeze and stutter with step sequencing of all tricks.
- Synth pitch vibrato and tremolo with adjustable speed and depth
- Several waveforms and algorithms yielding infinite sound textures.
Here’s the official walkthrough video:
Pricing and Availability
BlastBeats is available to preorder for 599,00 €, with the first devices expected to ship in February 2022.