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  • Questions before I purchase

    The Black Box seems almost too good to be true, so I have a few questions before I buy:

    (1): Can I load my own loops? I have a massive library of audio loops and would love to use them. Is this only a drum machine or can it playback loops?

    (2): Can I load existing MIDI files with it? I have a large collection of MIDI files - specifically chord progressions and the like. I am not talking about MIDI songs.

    (3): Can I use a controller with it, such as a Novation Launchpad pro? A MIDI keyboard?

    (4): Can I sample/record from my iPad pro? I am pretty sure the answer is yes. I am doing so now with my Zoom ARQ AR-48 and it works perfectly.

    (5): If I have hardware like a Akai Force and a Zoom ARQ AR-48 do I even need one of these? I am looking at the Black Box as almost like a simple Akai Force you
    can take with you anywhere.

    Thank you for answers to these questions.

    Mike

  • #2
    1/ yes (through the sd card)
    2/ not yet (among highly requested features) but you can manually record a sequence
    3/ yes (you can use the USB host port or TRS MIDI I/O)
    4/ yes (stereo input)
    5/ I guess an Akai Force is more advanced but yes, the BB can be a substitute to one of these when in the go. Hopefully with a couple of more improvements like more FX, automation or a built-in synth source, this can become a substitute to a full fledged groove box.

    Comment


    • #3
      1. Yes, you can both load and sync your own loops.

      2. Currently, the blackbox does not import or read MIDI files.

      3. Yes. You can connect controllers via the TRS or USB MIDI

      4. Yes, in stereo or mono, or even a multisample!

      5. I work here. My answers are totally biased. Maybe other users can help with this one? You can take the blackbox almost anywhere. It is small and compact but feels substantial. It can power from a USB power cell. Find a low power USB controller and you can compose from anywhere!

      Check out our blackbox playlist on YouTube for more explanation of features, etc. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...L_BrN7tqwjBrwC

      Comment


      • #4
        So MIDI import could happen? I am looking for a device like this I can take with me and play with my band mate.

        He plays bass, guitar and sings. Could I record an entire vocal track with the black box. What is the recording limitations?

        What is the highest Micro-SD size it will take?

        Could I hook up a SSD or external drive to the USB input?

        Mike

        Comment


        • Steve
          Steve commented
          Editing a comment
          No USB support like that. You can record entire tracks. I have used a 1TB card with no issues.

        • Georges
          Georges commented
          Editing a comment
          You could use a MIDI player on ipad pro (eg roland sound canvas), import your files there and then input this into the blackbox as audio to record or to play along with the rest. Not exactly your original idea I guess but it remains a very portable setup.

      • #5
        Thank you for the answers. Any way to convert from .mid to Black Box's format? If I have sequences I already have in midi, i'd hate to have to re-program them.

        Mike

        Comment


        • #6
          Can I use a usb hub with the device port in case I want to use several controllers?

          Mike

          Comment


          • Steve
            Steve commented
            Editing a comment
            No, but you can use a MIDI merger/splitter/thru box.

        • #7
          Hi.
          I am thinking of purchasing a Blackbox and would like to ask about one feature. Is multisampling possible from computer - VST plugins?
          Example: A VST instrument that is pressure sensitive and releases different sounding sounds when pressing a key on a USB controller more or less.
          How to connect a Blackbox to record such samples - if possible.

          Comment


          • jayneural
            jayneural commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes it works. You need an audio interface with MIDI I/O or separate MIDI-USB adapter.

            Then you need to create the virtual audio and midi routing and it’ll work just like any hardware synth.

        • #8
          Yes, that's possible.

          If you have a good computer that will allow very low buffer settings would be best.

          I've found with my present PC which needs a bigger buffer, that fast instruments 'lag' after sampling because of the latency involved.

          You can of course chop the start of each sample afterwards, but it's tedious. I've added to the wish list to be able to change the start time globally of a multisample like you can for individual samples. It's a must I think to make the multisample feature perfect.

          Steve

          Comment


          • jayneural
            jayneural commented
            Editing a comment
            Would be cool if the BB had some post-processed auto-trim of begin and end silence for more optimized multi-samples.

        • #9
          BTW, you will need a midi interface as well as an audio interface on your computer to do this.

          Set and send midi out of the BB to an instrument track in your DAW from the bb multisample page. Then cable from DAW analogue out to BB in. It's really simple!

          Comment


          • #10
            Thank you very much for all your helpful answers. I am determined to buy.

            Comment


            • #11
              If you set your computer audio buffer to 32 ms (or lowest) you will see less than 8ms of space at the start of the WAV.

              Comment


              • #12
                Thanks Steve, yes a lower buffer is ideal, but if your computer is aged and it's trying to run a heavy vst, 32 won't cut it..!! Luckily for me I have a new mac on the way, so my buffer problems should disappear!!!

                Still would be nice to trim a multisample though

                Steve

                Comment


                • #13
                  I'm having a tough time buying this. I have a iPad Pro with lots of really good apps, DAWs, Sequencers, etc. I also have a Zoom ARQ AR-48 and a Akai Force. How is the Blackbox better than the iPad? What is the difference between the BitBox MK2/2 and the Blackbox? My goal is to make music and play music out with a very compact setup. I will tell you that while the iPad apps are powerful, getting quality sound out of the Ipad Pro (only has a C port) is nearly impossible and sounds terrible through an interface. The Force is definitely not portable enough and the ARQ AR-48 is a bit tough to learn/use. It has potential, but will likely not be the center of my outside rig.

                  What is your take on all of this? Why the Blackbox?

                  Mike

                  Comment


                  • jdg179
                    jdg179 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    If you're getting horrible sound from your ipad Pro, that would definitely be one reason to buy Blackbox. This device sounds great. Overall sound quality however, as is the case with any sample based drum machine, is largely based on the quality of sample you load on to the sd card. Be aware that the Blackbox outputs at line level so an audio interface with attenuation, or a mixer is crucial.

                    Don't expect the functionality, or features of some of those ipad pro apps you refer to, Blackbox is simple and the developers have expressed a desire to keep it that way. I suggest you research the capabilities of the BB sampler, and sequencer to make sure it will do what you need. In my opinion, BB works best with other devices. If you have a midi keyboard, midi capable synths, pad controller, etc, you will have lots of fun with Blackbox. If you are looking for compact, and portable, this is your machine. Connect it to a usb power bank, and take it anywhere with you. Make beats while on the go!

                    The single most important reason you should consider the Blackbox, are it's developers. 1010music has been very perceptive to the needs of it's clients. They listen to their customers, and as you may have noticed, are very active on this forum. You'll always have help if needed. They also implement features, and improvements that their customers want, not features that come out of left field and leave you scratching your head (hello akai?) Those updates, and improvements come often, by the way. 1010music has definitely displayed a desire to work hard for its customers!

                • #14
                  I bought a Roland MC-707 and have that, the Force and my new Arturia Microfreak all talking to each other in my studio. It's glorious. I went and bought the Black Box to have a nearly equal portable experience. It arrives tomorrow. I am very excited. As someone who creates virtual instruments and sample collections (www.supersynths.com), the multisample import/record function sent me over the top. I HAVE to have one of these now. I use software to do my multisampling and it's tedious at best. This will be a GODSEND to me.

                  Comment


                  • Steve
                    Steve commented
                    Editing a comment
                    The workflow is pretty straightforward. You can multisample MIDI and CV+Gate. I love this feature a lot.

                • #15
                  ... regarding your stash of MIDI files I can't see why simply ~playing them~ into the Blackbox MIDI input would be any different than ~playing in~ a sequence using a MIDI keyboard controller. That said, it seems like it would be worth trying. Connect MIDI out from your MIDI device (computer, tablet, everwhat) to the MIDI in of the Blackbox. Hit play on the MIDI device and record on the Blackbox (or whatever method of arming the Blackbox must occur) and the MIDI device will ~play~ those sequences into the Blackbox, just as if you were playing a MIDI keyboard into the Blackbox to write/record a sequence.

                  No?

                  Comment

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