1010music Blackbox


I personally don’t think the black box is a good enough alternative to the digitakt for more serious work… it might be ok for some light sampling, but I might be wrong.

Like the digitakt it doesn’t have eq per channel, but on the other hand sequencer is a bit bare bones and the digitakt with overbridge allows you to fine tune and track with all your daw power after you hardware jam… If the takt didn’t have overbridge however then the value proposition is low


something like this would have pushed me over the edge.

function buttons to assign macros and features to
16 pads for better sequencing


I don’t know. It’s the all around factor that appeals to me. Portable, sampler, sequencer, enough fx to shape the sound, solid streaming. A small system, but complete in its own right.

I always went with the MPC Live like geez, I don’t need all these options. Let me sample, sequence, trim it if need be and let’s get on with it.

Black Box fits that idea perfectly for me. But I’d miss the immediacy and tactile funk of a more elaborate hardware interface. So I already know how this would end. No box for me.


Still liking it @blipson? Seems I never cancelled my pre-order and was just asked if I still want it :slight_smile:


Yeah, it’s cool. I’m still in the first few days of using it, so the newness effect hasn’t worn off yet, but it’s a keeper if only for the portability. It’s been described as bare bones, which isn’t wrong and does make it a bit spendy if portability isn’t a must-have for you. But I also got into it anticipating a firmware development adventure as we’ve seen with the Deluge. If I didn’t have confidence that 1010 wouldn’t evolve the Blackbox significantly, I wouldn’t have bought it, but that’s not a feature that everyone wants to be sold on.

I’ve spent time comparing with the OP-Z, a similarly over-priced super-cool ultra-portable device. I want the ability to make professional-sounding audio, though, and every demo I’ve ever heard of the OP-Z–and there are many–produce a sound quality that I just can’t use anywhere in my music or enjoy making for very long. The OP-Z looks to me like the coolest toy ever, but with a sound that can only ever be a novelty, a pale analog of the music that it’s emulating. Its sound is great when you see where it’s coming from, but when you close your eyes, its toyish charm is only fun for a brief time, as a pennywhistle is to a flute. The Blackbox, on the other hand, produces real music, even if we can’t yet modulate it as we’d like and the user interface for the sequencer still needs work.


Right. I’m back on. You’re really helpful with your replies, I absolutely appreciate it.

I’m experimenting with my rig right now, trading and swapping stuff to see what works, but I’ve now landed in a Digitone Keys and a Moog Sirin, which would work stupid well together. I’ve removed the Octatrack for the moment, mainly because I’ve found that I want to go deep in my compositions and their structure, rather than warping of the audio content itself.

But samples for loops and additional beats, atmospheric glitches and scratches, the additional layer of ambience when needed - I’m thinking I’m gonna try a rig where I’m pretty bare bones in HOW I work with samples, but not with the content itself.

And portability and convenience is absolutely crucial to me. My space is stupid small. Just the fact that it sounds pro and fits on my tiny book shelf, makes it appealing.

I’m starting to hear some good sounding demos from it here and there now, hence my swaying back towards maybe getting one after all.


That’s the thing to do. The best config is personal and always evolving, so I’ll try anything (within my budget) that at least seems plausible, and chalk up the cost to experience if I end up selling it off. From the needs you describe (quality sample playback in minimal space), the Blackbox looks like a must-try for you. My OT is also on the shelf for now, but the Blackbox will never do what it does, so it’s not redundant.

I would do the buy-try-sell thing for the OP-Z if I could imagine using it more than a few days. I’ll try anything, but only if the waste factor isn’t staring me plainly in the face.


I had the OP-Z for awhile, and came to the same conclusion as your estimation of it - it’s a great kit, and it doesn’t sound bad, but in the end, the sound just didn’t have the body I was looking for. As something to run and control other gear, like a small brain in a complex studio, I see more opportunity, but that’s not for me.

On the OT, that’s exactly as I see it. I won’t ever part with the OT, but I’m more and more leaning towards using it for results finished somewhere else - for a track once done, to record it, split it up and make it interesting for live performances. But not include the OT in the writing itself. Essentially, it’s too much fun, too many possibilities, and I end up spending too much time thinking about if a sample should be reversed, pitched, p-locked with crazy shit, and not going anywhere with the track itself.


I ordered one. For me the blackbox seems like the perfect tool to record my ideas, jams etc. in a fast and easy way, without the need of a computer.
My ideas mostly start with one instrument or some combined. The problem with it is that during playing I do mostly do not record these. No midi or audiofiles, I simply get lost in playing, twisting knobs etc. I can spend hours with my NordlA1 or Digitone, Norddrum and TT303. I want those ideas to be transferred to the DT (drums, percussion) and OT. All those loops, recordings and other samples should then really come to live in those last mentioned. Of course I could record my jams directly into those, but when doing it that way I was spending to much time recording and jamming directly with a recorded loop… and on and on. I need a device which with I first can record a lot of stuff and give it already a bit of structure (roughly) without having the distraction of that very addictive Elektron sequencer. That fun part begins when I have all the pieces organized. I really think the Blackbox can help me out with that. Also the portability - functionality all in 1 small box - is really one of its big selling points for me. No laptop/ipad/iphone and extra soundcard needed anymore.


You say it like it is. That’s the way I see it too. Hoping the Box will resolve this for me as well.

I used the SP404 for this purpose and got a taste for the workflow, but in terms of resampling and sequencing, I asked it to do things it wasn’t meant for. We’re still friends, though.


I’m not gonna lie, after seeing this I immediately thought, man this thing has those few things the Digitakt doesn’t have that I wish it did at a very attractive price. Not a major fan of the touch screen, and the fact that the few buttons it has could’ve also been used to sequence. Also wasn’t to crazy that some basic features like headphone volume require menu dive. I’m things like that can be addressed in firmware update.

With all that said, i’ll wait around and see how the updates play out. For the time being, I went with an OT :slight_smile:


I wouldn’t call it a dive. No matter where you are, it’s always only a single (physical) button press away.


interesting, that’s not what I saw in a demo. Maybe that changed?


Exactly. Menu dive means that you have to read–at least minimally, but sometimes accompanied by drilling down–to get where you want to go. Your flow gets interrupted by a different kind of cognitive task (like mousing through menus on a Mac), and there’s no muscle memory. Blackbox’s interface isn’t like that: when playing, it’s all button-wiggle, or buttons-wiggle. Not even button-hold-wiggle as on Elektron devices. There are only four knobs to wiggle, and it’s total muscle memory. You can do things without menu-divey reading, without a break in your flow. There are some touchscreen single-level menus for setup kinds of tasks. As long as 1010 sticks to clever UI design, I don’t see a problem here. There are already enough people on their forum to let them know when otherwise logical UI design choices just doesn’t feel good when playing music.

For example, pinch-zooming the touchscreen to navigate around sequences might seem like logical UI design, but several of us have been pointing out on the 1010 forums that, in actual practice, frequent pinch-zooming is a PITA and we need instead a few fixed zoom level buttons. It will be telling to see how responsive 1010 is.


The blackbox has been with me a week or so, it’s exactly what I liked about abeltons clip launchers, and the fact you can live loop is a plus mixed in with slicing and what not, it’s extremely competent, I can take wav files from my multitrack recorder and sync them all up, haha I’m getting rid of some stuff now that I have this.


Also the slices create Rex files when you look at your sd card.


These are proving difficult to find if you’re in Europe. But I found one in Berlin and it’s on its way now. Will post my thoughts on it, once it’s arrived.


What could be done is to create a wav file with a bunch of different samples linked together, you slice them up like in renoise and they’re mapped to the keys, and each pad can have looooong samples so…


God lord almighty, that was fast. Put in the order this morning and apparently, I’m getting the box already on Wednesday.

Makes me wonder what them Thomann people are up to, taking days just to get a shipment ready sometimes.


I never had a problem with thomann, it always arrive within a week, which for a shop that BIG is pretty fast i believe…