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Is the blackbox underrated?

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  • Is the blackbox underrated?

    There is a lot of hype for a lot of gear that can do a lot of things. I usaly get most music gear info from youtube. When it comes to samplers, grooveboxes and all of that, there seems to be the a lot of hype for gear like the OP1, octatrack, mpc. Products that are great fore sure, but were is the hype for blackbox?
    I got the blackbox as my first hardware sampler after only making beats in FL. I then 2 years later got the MPC live2. Its an awesome device fore sure, I love it. But... I dont love it like the blackbox. The blackbox is were the magic happens. Anywere, at work, on the buss in the pub like now, I can pull out the blackbox, go in to my sample folder of about 100gb of albums. I can scroll though everything listening to every song beeing processed with pitch, granduliser, filer, reverb.. What other sampler can do this? The sd card strraming is for me one of the best things about the bb. No loading times, its crazy fast. The mpc cant handle more than 8 audio tracks. BB can read 16 albums at the same time or more... alright time to put a plug in it. peace out

  • #2
    The Blackbox is a marvelous machine, especially for the size, with a very clever screen+rotary based user interface that makes it simple and pleasant to use in most scenarios.

    But don’t forget it’s price, which is similar to an MPC One. So a few more features to be closer to the very exhaustive feature set of an MPC would be so welcome. It currently lacks some FX, a better song mode and some utility features such as stem + song master exporting to my opinion. I’m sure Aaron and the team are well aware of these lacks and are working on the improvements.

    So I don’t think it’s underrated or overrated. For those looking for a compact device to take on the go, the BB is ideal. I wish it took a few AA batteries for full portability though. Or if someone could make a stand we can fix on that includes a battery.

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    • #3
      I think it is underrated.
      Haven't bothered with song mode really, and it seems a bit...convoluted ....not quite the word I'm looking for but...so far it hasn't seemed intuitive enough for me to bother with until I run into a situation where I feel like it will fill in something I'm trying to get done.
      It was exactly though what I was looking for in a sampler. I've been out of doing music for a bit and jumping back in I made a list of what I wanted out of a sampler if I could make one, and that's how I found the blackbox, it checked pretty much every box. I say it's underrated though because in a lot of comparisons, it often isn't mentioned. And when I throw a ten or 12 minute sample into it I wonder why it doesn't pop up the radar more.
      Yeah it is priced a bit close to like the MPC but I'd end up either not using most of the MPC features, or I'd sit and be stuck in it and wonder why I'm not just sitting at the computer instead.

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      • #4
        Yeah, I also think it's severely underrated. Lots of people are so focused on what the Blackbox doesn't have that they don't recognize that the Blackbox has so much going for it. I wanted an external sampler to compliment my 208HP eurorack system. Most people suggested that I get a Digitakt or Octatrack. I passed those up because of their sample length limits, limited IO, and tiny screen. The Blackbox can play samples of arbitrary length at eurorack levels across 3 stereo outputs, can send and receive a clock signal, and has a fast/intuitive interface. It will serve me as a patch diary, a song sketchbook, and a means of driving a whole performance through my modular system.

        Honestly, I really think the Blackbox is one of the coolest samplers around, but most people haven't even considered it.

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        • #5
          Quite frustrating because more visibility and sales would provide more means for 1010music to add the few lacking features and improvements more quickly for this to be perfect: few fx, side-chaining, improved song mode and stems export.

          I agree with the point it's underrated, but it's price probably makes that some aren't considering it because competition has more features at this level of pricing (best example being the MPCOne ).

          I say that because I suggested a few friends to get one and they took the MPC One instead. Personally I do have an MPC but it's the bigger brother the Live II and so I have the Blackbox as a portable groovebox solution (MPC Live 2 is quite big for when I'm on the go/travel).

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          • #6
            i think, depending on your ultimate sampling needs, Blackbox is underrated or . . . rated. for me, ultimately, as easy and powerful as the functions currently are, limiting them to 16 pads across everything (Clips, Slices, Multisamples, One-Shots) and the way i was finding that correlated to use of MIDI channels, it just wasn't quite enough for what i need a sampler ultimately to do. so the extra couple hundred dollars for an MPC One seems to get me there and then some (BUT! even just a few days in, with great power comes great menu diving, tutorials, and a MUCH steeper learning curve -- Blackbox is great for just plugging it in, sampling some stuff, and going from there right out of the box if you want to). and as someone who is running everything from an external sequencer, i found getting Clips to sync up to my Pyramid's clock signal in a seamless way frustrating, for anything that isn't a perfect loop -- MPC One i find a cleaner workflow for just dialing in the loops more tightly, quickly. i think if i'd stuck with Blackbox, I would have gotten better at it but also could see that the friction points with other things like file management and trying to map multiple Multisamples on the same MIDI channel just wasn't going to work. but when i have to spend an hour figuring out something super basic on MPC One that took me like five minutes on Blackbox, can't say i don't feel a twinge of nostalgia

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            • jayneural
              jayneural commented
              Editing a comment
              It is true that the Blackbox UI is far more clever than MPC's. You eventually get used to the MPC but on the Blackbox, I've never felt any learning curve, it's so natural, and the combination of touch screen and ergonomically placed knobs is like magic as far as usability is concerned. That's a big point for the Blackbox definitely.

              They just need to bake-in the minimum of features for this to be usable as a really standalone unit. Right now it is perfect to complement a synth or modular setup. It is a bit frustrating because with this form factor, you want to take it on the go, or on the sofa, but you always feel like your track will be a bit limited/basic.

              If at least it had stem export, you could consider starting on the BB and finishing the mixing, adding FX/side-chaining and master on DAW or with other hardware without having to manually record every track through the outputs. That's why I'm begging for that stem export feature, it will partially resolve the problem of its limitations as you can easily then transfer the stems and continue on a more advanced environment, still retaining that ease of use that unleashed your initial creativity.

              For me it's a key feature it is lacking right now, should be standard on any groovebox (Roland also tends not including this feature on theirs). Most of my sketches made with the BB have remained inside it so far. I did record a few of them on the DAW though, and I did finish a few of them on the unit.
              Last edited by jayneural; 06-22-2022, 06:13 PM.

          • #7
            hella underrated

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            • #8
              Would it matter?

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              • #9
                Wouldn’t it matter?

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                • #10
                  It actually doesn’t matter. The only way for products like Blackbox to gain more traction is by 1010music developing and selling more products. Adding feature x or y will not change anything about this, even though it does increase zeal within the current user base, which is certainly not a mistake.

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                  • #11
                    Newbie question. With my Blackbox on the way from Sweetwater to Israel (stuck in Germany for now so it’s probably just days away), I can’t test this theory.

                    Aren’t the stems present as .wav files on the SD card? If so, how hard would it be to import these into a DAW from that self-same SD card?

                    I’m very much in agreement that this remarkable tool should be compatible with others.

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                    • Georges
                      Georges commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Clips recorded within bb are indeed easily imported into a DAW.

                      Any sequence or song tracks you compose with those samples within the blackbox can’t be exported, unless you resample them one by one or you record them into your DAW of choice. All the same, any processing you apply to any clip (filters, granular, effects, lfo, etc) can’t be exported either. In addition, you require a free pad to resample and pads are precious due to the 16 pads limit.

                      The main issue is that the blackbox sounds pretty good (and probably too good for just a sketch pad), so once you’ve found your workflow with it, you will be tempted to go beyond sketching.
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