1010music give us bitbox mk2, bitbox micro, for wild sampling powers in Eurorack

Wires and voltage are great – now apply them to some powerful digital sampling for the best of all worlds. That’s the vision at 1010 – now their gear does more, and starts smaller and more affordable.

There are two updates from 1010. We were fans already of their Blackbox desktop sampler, but for now this is all about the modular sampling.

Both modules let you record right on the hardware, and load and store samples on microSD. You can even import right into Ableton Live, so the hardware works well with your software when you want to finish tracks and so on. And they’ve got some deep manipulation features that tie in nicely with CV and MIDI.

Shave and a haircut, two bit..boxes

Start smaller. bitbox micro is both a more compact and more affordable entry into 1010’s modular sampling options. Starting price is US$399 (instead of $599), and you fit into 18 HP.

That looks just about perfect to me, and you still get a touchscreen interface, the ability to record samples on the hardware or load from microSD, and CV and MIDI triggering. In fact, at this price and size – and inexpensive racks from companies like Arturia and Doepfer – some people might start to consider modular who hadn’t done so before.

Coming in June.

Sample further, get granular. The original bitbox gets an mk2 upgrade, still at US$599 / 26HP. You get a new touchscreen with crisper, clearer viewing angles (IPS tech), a new Granular Mode, and twice the processing power of the original.

So slice when you want to, or get granular when you like. Large samples can run up to 4GB each, right from the microSD. And yeah, this is a computer replacement if you want it to be (at least for the sampler).

That granular mode alone might be worth the upgrade from the micro. Also, I have to wonder, with all of us tied to our computer screens round the clock, I have a feeling that anyone who can budget for dedicated hardware may be glad to do so after nonstop Zoom meetings and whatnot. (Check back in about a year and let me know if I’m right.)

These specs look fantastic, so I’ve included them below.

Now it’s Superbooth week, so modular is the thing, and I do have to admit that all those patch points look fantastic. So maybe you just want a small skiff and the Bitbox modules. At the same time, though, I do wonder if we’ll see some parallel updates to the desktop Blackbox capabilities soon. See our previous review; our contributing reviewer really liked this device and went deep.

Given how nice those workflows were, though, both these modules look great.

Workflow and specs

Workflow screens. ” All of them apply to both of the new bitbox products, except for the pad screen as micro has 8 pads while mk2 has 16,” says the company.

bitbox micro features

  • Play samples with up to 24 notes of polyphony from 64 MB of internal memory or stream 8 tracks of stereo, 24-bit samples (up to 4G each) from microSD, supporting up to 256GB
  • Multiple clip Launch Modes, including One-Shot, Toggle and Gate
  • Create and instantly recall Presets and use 8 touch screen pads to play one-shot samples, loops or multi-sampled instruments with complete control of sample slice playback, granular processing, and modulation
  • Import bitbox micro Presets directly into Ableton Live as a 4×4 bank of samples complete with sample slice parameters
  • Trigger samples via 2” touch screen, 8 CV/Gate inputs, or MIDI input
  • Use MIDI for polyphonic playback of samples or slices
  • Import or export WAV files with your Mac or PC using a microSD card (included)
  • Free sample library including beats and other samples by producer Jason Donnelly (DJ Puzzle), Soundopolis and SympleSound
  • 24-bit/48kHz stereo input for high quality recordings, with stereo output and two mono effects sends
  • Stereo or mono recording with the option to synchronize start/stop times to clock inputs with a maximum recording time of up to 4 hours.
  • Playback can be immediate or synchronized to analog or MIDI clock to allow BPM sync and start/stop quantization to note values (measure, 1/4, 1/8, etc.)
  • Control of sample parameters, including start position, length, gain, loop mode, launch quantization, grain size, grain spread, grain count
  • Tweak synth playback parameters including pitch, gain, filter, pitch, modulation and ADSR envelope controls plus MIDI note and channel mapping with control mapping
  • Supports hundreds of User Presets
  • Accepts TRS MIDI Type A and Type B input compatible with Arturia and other MIDI controllers
  • 18 HP Eurorack compatible 400mA on +12V

US$399.95, first week June 2020.

bitbox mk2 features

  • Play samples with up to 24 notes of polyphony from 64 MB of internal memory or stream 8 tracks of stereo, 24-bit samples (up to 4G each) from microSD, supporting up to 256GB
  • Multiple clip Launch Modes, including One-Shot, Toggle and Gate
  • Create and instantly recall Presets and use 16 pads to play one-shot samples, loops or multi-sampled instruments – with complete control of sample slice playback, granular processing, and modulation
  • Import bitbox mk2 Presets directly into Ableton Live as a 4×4 bank of samples complete with sample slice parameters
  • Trigger samples via touch screen, CV/Gate inputs, or MIDI input
  • Use MIDI for polyphonic playback of samples or slices
  • Import or export WAV files with your Mac or PC using a microSD card (included)
  • Free sample library including beats and other samples by producer Jason Donnelly (DJ Puzzle), Soundopolis and SympleSound
  • 24-bit/48kHz stereo input for high quality recordings, with stereo output and two mono effects sends
  • Stereo or mono recording with the option to synchronize start/stop times to clock inputs with a maximum recording time of up to 4 hours
  • Playback can be immediate or synchronized to analog or MIDI clock to allow BPM sync and start/stop quantization to note values (measure, 1/4, 1/8, etc.)
  • Control of sample parameters, including start position, length, gain, loop mode, launch quantization, grain size, grain spread, grain count
  • Tweak synth playback parameters including pitch, gain, filter, pitch, modulation and ADSR envelopes plus MIDI note, channel mapping and control mapping
  • Supports hundreds of User Presets
  • Accepts TRS MIDI Type A and Type B input compatible with Arturia and other MIDI controllers
  • 26 HP Eurorack compatible 400mA on +12V

US$599.95, first week June 2020.

1010music.com

Um, yep, I lived in metro NYC for a decade and a half, this basically plays in my head each time I see this module. I hope you like minor seconds.

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