1010music Blackbox


For sure. Though I wonder, with the workflow and options the Black Box opens, if it would be better served with someone who’s more on the other side of things.

Right now, I’m pairing it with my Tempest. I run the Tempest through the Heat and sample the input into the Black Box.

Yesterday, I went from nothing to a sixteen bar beat with bass and a funky arp, in an hour and loved the result of it. There’s nothing like the Tempest, but even if you know it inside and out, it doesn’t really shift into gear until you pair it with something. This current match is pretty sweet.


Curious – what do you mean by ‘on the other side of things’? I’ve been interested in the Tempest for a while now :slight_smile:

I have a Digitone and a bit of modular as well, so here I’m speaking more about the sampling part of my setup – the idea would be that DN&modular: synths and drum sample fodder, Digitakt – drums and one shot samples, Blackbox – longer samples and maybe the occasional sliced sample


Well, the Black Box is all digital - with the details that count in all the right places. Sounds great, smooth and no hassle recording, solid fx for what’s there (including the compressor) - a classy studio product of the modern age.

The Tempest is a rowdy, crunchy and messy beast of analog drum machine. It’s all over the place. You can almost smell the electricity, as it throws punches to the left and right when you work with it. No digital instrument can ever come close to what the Tempest can do when you go deep and far with it, and while the Digitakt certainly pushes the boundaries of the digital realm, it still remains in spirit closer to another digital product.

My favourite move with the Tempest is to work out a beat I’m happy with, then switch to Beat mode where pitches, filter cut off and resonance, the amp and feedback and so on, affects all patches at one, while playing live. The sounds you get from that, sounds cooler than anything I’ve heard from any drummer. And the sequencer is so funky. I know Roger Linn has said there’s nothing going on in the MPC groove that you won’t find elsewhere, but we all know he’s just modest. Whatever magic’s in the Tempest sequencer, it doesn’t translate to anything else I’ve heard.

I love Elektron’s stuff but when I want to go as far away from them as possible and don’t turn to modular, the Tempest is my bet.


The Blackbox’s piano roll gives a global view so that you can sequence 16 tracks simultaneously, with no nudging and adjusting values. This 2-dimensional view’s speed is sometimes what you want, like a Deluge, but with a bigger global look. OT is only 1-dimensional, which is why I sometimes prefer the BB or Deluge, though the BB can’t currently parameter lock its cells.


Yeah, I mean, the view itself, I prefer. But I can’t do much with it, and that which I can, is sometimes messy.

Though it has a few neat tricks, where I think it even beats the Dellie, actually. Shifting up and down with the knobs to snap to the right track, then scroll and punch in a trigger, and extend or cut it with another knob, has a nice and tactile vibe to it.

The groundwork is there to make something interesting out of it, for sure.


That tactile shifting up and down on the Deluge is sometimes too much of a good thing. Sometimes I just want to see everything (when it’s more than 12 tracks), though maybe I’ll get more used to the Deluge so that I won’t get disoriented. I’m optimistic that the BB’s firmware will develop to make zooming in and out less burdensome, even if it can’t be as tactile.

As an afterthought for the BB’s hardware design, I wonder if they could have given it haptic feedback to give the touchscreen the illusion of tactility.


That’s actually why I gave up on the Deluge, after over a year of owning it. It’s so ambitious, it sometimes seems to forget that being creative isn’t about all your ideas - just the ones right for the context


Nothing to pique the interest like something like this :slight_smile: Will have to dig up some Tempest videos now. Not that I have the dough.


Deluge is so practical, though: half the weight and thickness of an OT, plus the built-in battery. I’m really hoping I don’t get tired of it or the BB because the OT goes over my comfort threshold for portability. Still, all the stuff I’ve heard made for the Deluge seems dull to me—pleasant, but dull with no edge like what’s produced on the OT. But that’s just, like, my opinion man.


The main gripe with the Tempest is in the sound design. They didn’t put much effort into the sweet spots, so it takes some getting used to its character before you can make solid patches, and then again to make them work together without just overloading the internal amps with a mess of sound.

But once you get there, it’s glorious. I needed some help, bought a set of patches from Tim Mantle, and that certainly helped with my Tempest groove.

EDIT - threw in a couple of links to Tim’s sounds:
Synth sounds on the Tempest - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NziPLnX5Do8
And drum sounds - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NuhfjR_TqE

EDIT - And an anecdote, to wrap it up - Olof Dreijer, one of the two original members in the Knife, once asked if he could buy my Tempest :slight_smile:


Totally agree. The OT’s inherent character has so much more punch than the Deluge. And yep, the OT’s touching on being a brick when it comes to carrying it around.

But it’s the OT. We gotta love it for what it is, warts and all :slight_smile:


Definitely lots of room for 1010 to improve the piano roll.
Plenty of knobs and buttons to make it work well.
However nor do I want to see them going down a rabbit hole with the sequencer detail when primarily the design should be about easy quick fun with wavs

A QY100 ‘jobs’ menu of midi processor functions would be great though!


Since I’m going on about the Tempest now, I could add that it works pretty well as a controller for the Black Box as well.

I got the Black Box midi out into the Tempest, for clock and timed recordings on beat, not audio threshold. I create something on the Tempest, a beat or a loop or something, and record it into the Black Box. Usually between 16 to 32 bars, to capture all those organic shifts and changes even in just a four bar beat, for example.

But I also run the Tempest midi in, into the Black Box. Through some routing, I can use the Tempest to work as a velocity sensity (and bangin’ awesome) pad controller to play the one shot samples of the Black Box into its sequencer - but also use the Tempest’s B sections to launch complete clips, for live triggering of complete sections.

So the Tempest is now a source for beats, loops and one shots fed into the Black Box. It also works as a pad player when I want to play Black Box one shots in a funkier and more velocity-sensity way, and also to launch complete sections for longer live jams.


Man would love to see a video of some of your process/beats! I feel the exact same about my tempest (even bought some of those same sample packs) and it’s an absolutely incredible and unique jamming machine. Your posts about the deluge have resonated too. I sold it as well for more or less the same reason.

I played with the BB at perfect circuit for a few minutes, it feels fantastic. The knobs feel just right and the build and screen are great. I dunno how I’d like using it for hours at a time but the first impression was great, and the MPC live is starting to feel like the deluge where the BB is like the circuit. Much more rudimentary but also more fun immediate and hands on in many ways!


Never really done a proper video. Maybe it’s time :blush:


Ok, so the sequencer’s starting to bug me, but I’ve done some experimenting to make the most of it.

I sequence sections for parts where I don’t need to get all that complicated with the sequence. A bassline, a kick and snare, such things.

But when I want to experiment more - shifts in velocity, conditional trigs, multiple sound on one track, nudging - I now use the Octatrack for those parts. Given that I can parameter-lock note values within the Octa, I can use the Octatrack’s sequencer to launch sections, apply multiple sounds on one track and just sequence others in the more traditional way. It really opens up the Black Box.

It’s not that its sequencer is bad. It’s that the Black Box itself is so much more capable than its sequencer allows it to be.

I wonder what kind of mayhem the OP-Z could cause if it ran the Black Box from its sequencer. Or the Squid, for that matter.


Can the black box be fun from the op-z? I have a op-z and it’d be so cool to sequence it from that!


i agree - i don’t really want to conduct keyhole surgery through the pianoroll with my fingertips. Don’t get rid of it, but don’t overdevelop it either.
There is room for improvement - on screen lanes of trigs and pages would be useful and easy to touch tap, using the knobs to dial in note, length and modulation for example.
A way simpler version of this could be navigated quite nicely:

Far prefer to see them assume an external sequencer is at work for people who want to get really detailed, and instead enhance/build in more functions for sample/sequence control over midi.

endless potential if they design it well. I don’t want a touchscreen cubase … that’s why the MPC Live never convinced me.

I’ve said elsewhere: QY100-style jobs would be great too



This is spot on. Nice to have some sequencer on board, but the beauty of this is in that it’s a compact sampler/sample player, not so much a groove box.


For me, the portability is paramount, so I don’t care so much about integration with an external sequencer. Not that I’d mind such capabilities because I’d no doubt use them, but I’d first like to see some basic enhancements to the on-board sequencer: more clever grid resizing to fix the fat finger issue is a must, then velocity and conditions, and perhaps nudging all implemented in clever ways that make them easy to do.