Being a heavy user of groove software and controllers, I find the Beat Thang to be a pleasant alternative approach to groove sequencing. It's not simply a controller, but does everything right from within the device itself. More than that, it can be taken anywhere thanks to the 12v rechargable lithium-ion battery. Portability is the most surprising feature of all, which means I can create with Beat Thang anytime and anywhere inspiration hits. I find myself sequencing at parks and even the occassional coffeehouse. It offers a good amount of kits and instruments, and easily loads my own samples via its two SD slots or the mic input.
Coming from a music production background, when I first started using the BKE Tech BeatThang, I was pleasantly surprised with how simple it was to use. From the ease of navigation throughout the control panel to actually recording tracks from a selection of over 3,000 amazing sounds, I was able to create a beat, synth lead, and epic bass line all within a few minutes!
I'm an owner of an MPC2500 and a Korg Electribe and I have to say the BKE Tech BeatThang fits right in the middle of these when it comes to ease of use and complexity. It's as easy to use as an Electribe and it's as in-depth as an MPC. The sound quality is TOP NOTCH! BKE is in Nashville, and having access to high-end studios is more than prevalent in the recorded samples.
I run the Beat Thang at home through my monitor setup - subs included of course! The included packs and kits have great sound quality - the bass hits really hard, even before any EQ or compression is applied. The playability is also fantastic because of the hypersensitivity of the pads - simply running my fingertips over them will trigger each key. And the piano-style organization makes it intuitive to go from my keyboard/synth station to this device.
As a professional gigging drummer, I know when I hear great drum set presets. And this groove production machine not only has an extensive library of them, but also 3,000 different sounds and instruments!
I have had my Beat Thang for a while I am still like YO!!! I Give it a serious 5
bke tech beat thang
Great production station,
Endless Options With Zero Confusion.
A simpler way to make harder hitting beats and grooves on your Mac or PC
BEAT THANG VIRTUAL
THIS IS THE BEST PLAYER FOR ANYONE. FOR JUST $99.00 YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THIS VIRTUAL TO YOUR LAPTOP AND BEGIN BANGING OUT IDEAS. YOU CAN ALSO USE IT AS A SAMPLER. GO TO YOUTUBE AND GET TRAINED ON THE VIRTUAL. I HAVE THE WHOLE LIBRARY...ALSO (DRUMROLL) IT CAN BE USED WITH YOUR FL STUDIO AND OF COURSE PRESONUS STUDIO ONE. THIS IS A NO BS INFO FOR TRACKMAKERS. DRUMS ARE HOT!!!
Beat Thang is no let down
I was worried about buying such a fantastic object from a new company. After a few months of sitting on the fence I finally bought the Beat Thang without having ever seen one, (I found no demos in the Chicago area). The construction, the sounds, the process of writing, the whole thing is rock solid and ready for you to write great sounding stuff from the bottom up. Super design, sounds, and interface...It is a sampler that puts you in very musical control......the only limit is the imagination.
Beat Thang has changed the game!
I love this thing! It is intuitive and can do so much. The pads are designed like a keyboard, so playing synth/samples comes naturally.
Lithium ion rechargable battery is so nice, I was getting tired of needing new bateries for my Akai XR20 every 3 hours. This machine is a dream come true for me and the price is very reasonable compared to Mpcs.
Contacted their support about the free software that came with the machine and they took care of me quickly and in a friendly manner.
This Thang has classic written all over it!!
The Beat Thang is the Jon "Bones" Jones of "Beat Machines". It takes the best of past and present drum machine/samplers and combines them into one. The look and feel reminds me of the classic ASR-X Pro and it comes with 3,000 industry sounds built in. The Work Flow reminds me of NI Maschine. No scrolling through endless menus! Everything is RIGHT there with a click of a button or twist of a knob but unlike NI Maschine is completely portable! Finally the sampler features reminds me of the great Akai MPC series samplers. Sample editing is very easy and it gives you many features to QUICKLY chop, time stretch, add effects etc. In conclusion I must say this is a very well put together unit. It delivers everything you need for whatever style. So what you waiting for? Go ahead and add this to your cart and get to banging out some hits!! Big ups to the Sweet Water Team and BKE!
The beat thang is awesome and the production is limitless. The sounds it come with a great sounds plus the sounds they have for down load are awesome too. But if you want to put your own sounds you can do that also. I have already made 4 beats in the month I have had it. The best part is that I can leave my studio with it and work on a beat. And being able to plug my keyboard controller into it along with a condenser mic. I can sample any sound I want when I want. BKE made a product for the pros and the beginners. GREAT JOB BKE!!!!!!!
I can not only control other banks with a keyboard controller i can route stereo sound "thru" it (owners and users will understand the pun). Needless to say the grooves i've made are very simple but that was with no prior experience, the workflow supports much creativity, BUT when dealing with multiple patterns it might get difficult to remember the names and order of them...STILL BLOWN AWAY!!
Beat Thang Hardware
Love It, Love It, Love it
This is an incredible drum machine! Easy to use and sooooo futuristic! Other companies better step their game up soon and big time!
This machine is going to change the music production and DJ scene in a major way. I say this because of the following:
1. This machine is so user-friendly that my 5 year old son and 4 year old daughter have both composed beats on it. Not great beats, but nonetheless they created real and complete 4 bar beats.
2. The stock samples are absolutely incredible and it comes standard with over a thousand and then you get the free Dallas Austin Sound library upon registering it. You also now get a $100 dollar soundpack rebate too. I have the Alonso Choza, A Freedom Lyles and LayLaw packs and they are incredible.
3. The unit is portable and has a rechargeable lithium ion battery.
4. They are always issuing firmware updates which add new features.
5. The sound quality of the samples do not need any processing.
6. Multiple Storage options which can be via usb stick, external HDD, memory cards or to your computer.
7. It integrates with your software version of the unit (Which You Get Free in the box with the unit along with an extra license that they encourage you to share with a friend or relative).
I caused a very popular DJ out of Seattle to delay his mix-tape release because I gave him one of the 2 licenses you receive with the software and he instantly became obsessed with the software and is treating himself to the hardware version as a gift since it can be used as a controller for the software both in standalone mode and when the software is used in a DAW as a Plug-in.
By far "the" best product on the market! I purchased this incredible machine and cannot be more amazed and satisfied than ever. As was stated the workflow is wonderful. The Beat Thang is so 2014 and beyond. These guys really put together the best production machine on the market. You're sleeping on this if you don't already have it.
Slept On hard
There are so many people that want to dislike this product. The truth is that if you overlook the name and dive into its work flow, you will be AMAZED!! I purchased this about 4 days ago thinking i will give it a try and if I dont like it, i'll return it and get a hyped up laptop. Was I ever surprised! The quality (built like a tank) , sound (some of the best I ever heard) and performance (it is so easy to use) of this kit!!! I have been producing for many years using an Sp1200, Mpc, ASR X (which this reminds me of aesthetically) and all the way to the Native Instruments Maschine and this is by far one of the most powerful tools Ive been exposed to. I haven't used it in conjunction with the included software yet because Im so used to the Maschines interface, but this weekend I'll delve in. What sets this apart from other instruments like this is its ease of use, portability and its sound. You could move with this gear easy! Pick it up and go.....Produce in the car while you're waiting to pick up your wife from work, take it home and dump in the computer! Anyways this is a slept on piece of gear. Highly recommended!
Stop Hate on Beatthang
Blown away..I have tons of hardware like the fantom x6, 505,303,sp202,and the mpc 60 so I think my review is true this piece of portable hardware is packed with high quality sounds and built like a tank..easy to use and it inspires instantly. .I'm happy and I haven't even put btv in my pc yet or downloaded the Dallas Austin sounds..
Your Drum Machine on Steroids!
I watched the development online and then, when Sweetwater began carrying them, played with the Beat Thang in-store for quite a while before finally buying one recently. I also spent quite a while speaking with the BKE rep at Gear Fest and was impressed enough with the upgrades at that point in time that I decided I would put it through its paces in my home studio. I'm glad I did!
Unlike others, I've had no problems with crashes or glitches. For grins and giggles, I built a 4-bar pattern with samples on every beat on eight tracks (pure noise) and the BT worked like a charm (if you could listen to it!). Sounds load quickly, unless you're going from the internal samples to your SD card, which then adds a bit of delay. However, if you're working on a song, the load time is instantaneous.
I have little experience with MPCs, though I am a huge fan of the XR-20. The Beat Thang is like the XR-20 on steroids! It's not only great fun, but hits on all six for what I do. It's easy to get into, the included sounds and available sound kits are terrific and I've started sampling drops for use in my own music; something I didn't enjoy much with any of the other machines I've had (and I've had a few - just ask my rep, Jeff Green!). I wanted to get away from being tethered to the computer, but I wanted more options than most other instruments offered. The Beat Thang is 95% there for me.
Complaints are minor: individual outs would be nice, but would mean a larger footprint and I can easily output files into a DAW for further editing, etc. on each track. The effects are workable and will do what I need them to do without me tweaking for hours as I am want to do. I was hoping for a piano roll sequencer with the 1.3 OS update, but that's still in the works. Once that comes through, the Beat Thang will be a definite 5 out of 5 stars for me.
Honestly, I feel many have a negative view of the Beat Thang due to their original marketing scheme and as such go out of their way to find fault with it and the company. That's too bad, as it's quite a powerful machine and all my contact with BKE has been incredibly helpful and positive. I hope they - and their instrument - have a very bright future.
Finally, my kids say it looks like a cross between a Transformer and Darth Vader!
Recently got Beat Thang. It's my first stand alone MPC style beat machine. I have NI Maschine and mainly produce in a DAW. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by Beat Thang. Don't let the name or look (which I love) fool you. I have produced on many a MPC's and this holds right up to it in terms of ease of use and it gives you that hip hop sound. I produce a lot of pop, pop rock, dance and urban tracks and when I need to do a straight up hip hop sounding track this will be my device. Chops samples really well too. Being able to unplug it and go is something that MPC and all other beat machines should include.
Beat Thang Hardware
I have an old copy of BTV (software AU/VST) i absolutely love it. Sounds are unbelievable, and I'm not just saying that, they really are. The new software has been upgraded for the better and put in this hardware beatbox. Initially I was turned off by the former $1500 price compaired to NI Maschine but $1000 is more like it. Nice Beat Box.
This Thang is simply a beast!!
Pros: Great Sounds
Simple to use
Robust chassis (can take a beating)
Cons: Can be glitchy (sometimes yields audible pops)
Crashed 1X and erased all of patterns that were saved via the internal drive (over 1500+ tracks)
Advice: Even though I had some issues with the Beat Thang, I would still recommend it. Just make sure to save your patterns either to an external hard drive or to the USB cards that can be added via the rear SD slots.
Unstable But Very Creative
I previously owned an MPC 500. Very glad I made the upgrade. The hardware is sturdy and the layout is intuitive. Pads are very responsive. I have an audio engineering background, and my girlfriend had only ever used Garageband, but the BT is both easy and powerful for both of us.
Only two downsides are that there is very little documentation. And there are some instability issues. The website claims it will be fixed with version 1.3.0. If you prefer stability a DAW would be better. I prefer the tactile feel of hardware, and instant response of being able to turn the thing on and make noise.
Overall it's a very fun machine to create on and even though it locks of from time to time, it's positive features far outweigh it's instability.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Overall a very good piece of gear, but there are so serious issues which stand in the way of me giving it higher marks.
I should begin by saying that I've been working with drum machines since the beginning, since the early 80's when they became available.
I've owned loads of hardware, from many manufacturers.
This unit is truly built like a tank, and most of the controls feel very solid.
Many of the sounds are excellent - having tons of character and nice stereo field use. It is quite easy to get a handle on and begin programming - no question.
The downside: It is quite 'glitchy'. This thing operates more like a small computer than a regular piece of hardware. It gets locked up and sometimes crashes for no apparent reason. Some of the samples/kits take quite a while to load, which can be a pain in live performance.
Also, no volume control??? Really?? Using it in a live situation, this can really suck - especially because it sometimes makes noises that you don't want coming through a massive sound system.
Another big issue is that in trying to get from one sound to another, or scroll through and name sounds, etc. is really poorly designed. In a studio setting it's a bit frustrating, but live, a real pain.
I am hoping that BKE can resolve a few of these issues in the future as software updates.
I had some problems using it to import audio via USB - but I just may have to delve into the manual a bit for more insight.
The sampling works quite well and some of the controls are very well laid out and intuitive.
Also, I had a problem downloading the 'virtual' version (so that I could more easily edit, organize and name, etc.) but the website shut me down, saying that I didn't have an account (not true). There seem to be some issues with their site at the present (June 2014) When I tried the 'Contact' links, neither of the 2 on the website worked at all.
I got this thing used on Ebay for just over $400.
That's what I truly feel this unit is worth. Great potential, but some serious bugs and flaws.
I also found that, even with 3,000 sounds, there are lots of drum hits missing. I'm sure it's very well suited to the Hip/Hop/Rap/Urban styles, but I found LOTS of omissions when trying to use it for other styles. I realize that you can add your own sounds, but with such a large library, I expected more. Also, on the site, you can purchase many sound libraries to use with this, but I haven't found anywhere that I can hear them first. Who's going to spend $99 on a description? Not me.
Oh yeah - the lights are awesome (I'm a sucker for illumination)
A great idea - almost realized...
Some Problems lurking
This thing is built like a tank. Metal case, sturdy knobs & buttons and a great look. Most functions are easy and straight forward to navigate and the big color screen is a blessing for editing. The sounds are 24bit and are clear and punchy. The built in 2 hour battery make this unit a real pleasure for a musician on the go. The pads have the best velocity feel of any drum machine I have every played. File storage is a unbelievable 64GB using two SDHC cards.
My biggest complaint is the buggy software. I have owned the BT for one week and it has crashed over twelve times. File storage is a little strange and can be confusing at times. Midi implementation is very weak or completely missing so it does not play well with any DAW software. The pads doen't even transmite midi note messages. Beat Thang does not come with a manual so you need to view uTube video's to learn any of the functions.
The BT is a great step forward in sample beat production. With it's 64 GB storage, big color screen and battery power there is nothing like it on the market. The looks are fantastic and is well laid out but the buggy software and lack of midi functions are a big problem for me in the studio. You would think after 5 years of production this unit would be flawless. I have no time or patience when it comes to waiting for updates so I will be returning my BT.
User un-friendly. no manual available. start-up guide doesn't help much after start up. you will spend hours pulling your hair out till you figure it out. still leaves much to be desired. buy something else instead.
Doesn't measure up
I wish I could give this my recommendation - but I really can't. I've had mine for about 1-1/2 years. On the list of pros, this thing is built like a tank (it really can take a beating), has an excellent library of sounds included, very good battery life and a very nice display.
That said, it is NOT easy to use - while the basics are fairly straight forward and are explained through the library of tutorial videos they have online, the UX (user experience) leaves a lot to be desired. Navigating through displays is extremely cumbersome. Also, the software is still buggy and I run into annoying problems with it. There's no useful reference manual which, IMHO, is a HUGE mistake. They were sadly mistaken in thinking Beat Thang users would get all they can out of it from the videos.
One other huge downfall is how slow it is to load sound samples (kits / instruments) from the library. Trying to navigate through the library to choose sounds is maddening,
I wish I could give it a better review. The shortcomings are not outweighed by its positive aspects. I would strongly suggest you look other options before laying down the cash.
freezes when loading new sounds a lot, pads are slippery, heavy
First, the effects are horrible and create unbearable noises. Second there is very little in the way of sample editing; LFOs, Filters, Envelopes. The sounds it comes with are average at best. There are no modulation options and there is nothing sonically unique about this piece. If you want to just use the sounds that come with it and not design your own material, then I guess it could be good for that. It just does not act professionally. The sound is not thick and powerful. I had it for a couple weeks and sent it back. Maschine is way better and MPCs are so much more complete pieces. It does have potential, but should not have been released in its current state.
Be warned, this thing is essentially a low powered laptop dressed up and sold as a musical instrument, a computer that only has one glitchy program it can run.
You can sample on a laptop?
You can sequence?
There you go, the one you already have does the only thing this does BETTER
And I could NOT say the same about the MPC, enough work was put into the MPC for it to have crossed the threshold into legitimate instrument. it does what it does BETTER than your laptop. Beat thang? Not so much....
If it didn't crash every 5 minutes...
This piece of kit would be great if it was stable in any way. Unfortunately as of 1.3 it's not. Its completely unusable. Crashes every time you copy a pattern, midi slave drifts badly after 20 seconds etc. etc.