Select one, set the number of bars and time signature and off you go. Instrument mode is the same as Kit mode but deals with pitched instruments mapped across the pads. And it's built like a tank!

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Strangely, there is no main front panel volume dial - all the volume options are sadly hidden under the volume menu, which disrupts workflow. Meanwhile the built-in rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery which can give the Beat Thang up to six hours of use without mains power means it can be used anywhere.

It also has a unique variable PPQ feature for getting a more accurate or sloppy feel, while the continuously variable swing percentage is less restrictive than the set percentage values on an MPC. It's easy to sample one note and spin it out across several octaves using the keyspan feature.

However, a software update would fix most of these gripes. Last but not least, there are roll and hold functions. And it's built like a tank!


The fixed angle colour LCD screen is easy to read but there's no brightness control and the arrow-shaped pads which are laid out in a piano-style octave and remind us of the Ensoniq ASR-X are very responsive and register even the smallest tap, but they're so close together it's a little too easy to hit more than one at a time. The Beat Thang does the job and can sound great particularly when using your own samples but little niggles make it frustrating.

You can access up to eight banks of 13 sounds from the bank buttons here too, enabling you to access a vast range of sounds, especially if you have an external hard drive, USB flash drive or SD card s connected with your sounds on. There's MB of RAM standard and sampling is simple, though if you want to do stereo sampling you'll need a stereo lead, as there are no separate left and right inputs on the back.

We also found ourselves having to use the exit button a lot when we simply ebatkangz to change from one mode to another and I sometimes encountered hanging notes when changing banks.

Each track can have its own loop length and you also change the time signature on the fly, to twist things up. Creating a new pattern is simple enough. Again beattkangz can only speculate that a raft of fixes is on the way.

Neatkangz sample, press the sample button, create a new sample preset, set the input level, beatkanzg arm and press play to start sampling. Sound-wise, the onboard kits and instruments are geared towards hip-hop production and there are some great patterns onboard.

This all works pretty smoothly and the time stretch and pitch-shift algorithms sound good. Many suffer from clicky sample end points too. Each pad can also have its own delay, reverb and 'freak' send level. Our Verdict It's a mixed bag but we wish it well.

The blue backlighting is over the top but very practical for on stage with the 'Blang' button controlling its level. Song Mode facilitates pattern chaining to form song structures - something familiar to most MPC users - and it's very simple in operation and works well. Thankfully, the Beat Thang hardware is very much real. The beatoangz downside here is that there is no step edit mode, though we're told this is coming.

Ever since the Beat Thang was first announced back inthere has been a lot of speculative chatter about it on forums, mainly due to its over-hyped marketing campaign. Instrument mode is the same as Kit mode but deals with pitched instruments mapped across the pads. The unit is compact yet heavy and made from black steel with tough rubber buttons, side-mounted pitch and mod wheels though the mod wheel can't currently be assigned and a 3. Beatkahgz can assign up to 16 layers sounds to every pad, which gives you a lot of scope plus note polyphony.

Now onto the main modes. There's also no screen notification to reassure that things have saved.

Beat Kangz Beat Thang review | MusicRadar

All-access artist interviews, in-depth gear reviews, essential production tutorials and much more. The effects are a little mediocre and disappointingly, switching them into the signal path often causes clicks. For starters it takes 40 seconds to start up, plus it can take 10 seconds to load a new kit or pattern. While the presets on offer are obviously designed to entice young urban producers, it's the sampling side that makes the Beat Thang into a versatile production tool.

Samples can be 16 or bit and patterns can be exported to your DAW as audio using the 'export' function. Instead you have to turn the data dial, scroll through the list, press the data wheel and then select a new sound.

1 Comment on "Beatkangz"

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