It's been a long time coming, but Beat Thang by Beat Kangz, a professional-level beat maker/drum machine/workstation has finally arrived.
And while some think it may have shown up late to the party (as the cool ones do), it's not bringing just chips and dip; it's a complete music production workstation combining the functionality of several units, including signal processing, mixing, mastering, MIDI sequencing, computer recording, and music sampler.
Beat Thang is poised to do battle with NI's Maschine beat-maker, Akai's MPC 2500/MPC 5000 beat-makers, and Roland's MV-8800 beat-maker (now a legacy product). The question is whether its beats can stand up to that kind of heat . . .
In this series of articles, we'll talk about Beat Thang's features, design, ergonomics, sound quality, and ultimately, explore whether the kind of beats you'd expect from a world-class studio can be produced just with Beat Thang and a set of headphones--wherever you are?
We're also going to challenge the Beat Thang's 15-minute beat-maker guarantee: If you're not making beats within 15 minutes of opening the box--whether you've produced beats before or not--Beat Kangz will offer a "no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee." Plus, we'll give you some production tips for dropping serious beats with Beat Thang.
What's in a name?
As the great bard Shakespeare once said, "A beat-maker by any other name would still drop the beats like an ugly baby." . . . or maybe it was DJ ShakezPeer . . . (Well, I thought it was Shakespeare).
I have to admit, at first I was a bit put off by the name Beat Thang, but then again, there was a time when the greatest American action hero was named "Arnold," and spoke with a thick Viennese accent--and that seemed to come out okay (nobody beats Arnold). So, if The Beat Kangz want to stay true to their roots and culture like Arnold did, then more power to them.
My concern is that they might be pigeonholing Beat Thang. People might think that it's a beat-maker for rap and hip-hop beats only. Not true. Its 3,000-plus onboard sounds are able to span multiple genres, including dance, pop, dubstep, electronica, and more. Plus Beat Thang's functionality is what you would expect from a professional studio tool.
As long as we're on the subject of names, let's talk about some of the names behind Beat Thang. Two in particular jump out at me: beat-maker extraordinaire Dallas Austin (Michael Jackson, TLC, Madonna, Pink) and producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel).
As a bona fide studio geek who speaks in reverent tones about Bob Ezrin--his and Dallas https://www.facebook.com/bestdubstepmaker - music maker dubstep - Austin's involvement tells me that not only can Beat Thang span multiple genres; its design incorporates the experience of studio professionals.
There's a big difference between studio gear designed by the people who use it to make hit records and equipment designed by electrical engineers who've never dropped the beats. The names Ezrin and Austin tell me that Beat Thang is a serious beat-maker that "understands" how the creative flow works.
And that's the subject we're going to discuss in the next article in this series: The physical design of Beat Thang and how its controls keep you in the creative mind.
By: Darius Van Rhuehl
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Darius Van Rhuehl is the owner of Backhouse Productions and also a producer of pop, rap beats, hip-hop beats, and R&B beats for TV. He attended the Juilliard School of Music and has studied music production from multi-platinum producer Michael Wagener.To learn more about Beat Thang, go to beatthang.com.