updated 11:55 pm EST, Thu January 22, 2009
Beat Production Machine
MOTU has announced its Beat Production Machine (BPM), a rhythm production tool which combines drum machine-style operation with virtual instrument technology. The BPM allows users to combine drum kits, sliced loops, sequenced patterns, and instrument sounds to create a variety of different beats. With a 15GB integrated library, users receive over 10,000 individual samples and over 1,000 new drum and percussion loops -- all recorded at 24-bit 96 kHz resolution. BMP also includes importing and exporting capabilities, music recording abilities, a graphic mixer, and a live performance mode.
A main portion of the BPM's library is organized into "construction kits", a set of presets that give access to individual components of the preset. This feature makes it possible to deconstruct or reconstruct a beat using a series of elements. Each kit consists of a bank of 16 pads, However, BPM provides four separate banks per scene, each with individual step sequencers, for a total of 64 pads that can be played simultaneously.
In the live performance mode, users have access to sixteen different scenes simply by clicking on one of the sixteen pads in the BPM, or by sending MIDI from a controller keyboard or sequencer. Scenes consist of patterns that the user has assigned in specific combinations. For the Import and Export features, users are able to drag and drop entire banks, or sliced loops as audio or MIDI. Instruments and loops can also be loaded from any MOTU or UVI sample library.
Recording and overdubbing can be done in real time from any MIDI controller with support for pad controllers such as Akai MPD32. The BPM sample feature allows users to add audio directly into the pads and to drag and drop selections from one pad or layer to another.
When it comes mixing the music, BPM's graphic mixer provides features such as a channel strip with level meters, and FX controls for every pad and part. To give more detailed control, channel strips were also added for each bank and rack to let users adjust entire kits or racks of instruments. Effects can be added at almost every point in BPM's signal path, with unlimited adding capabilities to individual pad layers, and whole kits.
Beat Production Machine is being displayed at the NAMM show, has a suggested retail price of $300; it is compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 or higher.