First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Beaterator is advertised as a professional-level, portable music studio
- Thousands of loops and instruments allow one to create truly original music, songs can be exported to Rockstar's website where they can be shared, the sound quality is high
- The interface can be convoluted, steep learning curve
Learning how to navigate and apply the many different options of Beaterator will take some time and practice, and while I'm not saying that putting in the effort isn't worth it in the end, I am saying that today's market seems less likely to embrace a title that has a learning curve as steep as Brett Michael's declining rock-credibility.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
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At some point in our lives, the majority of us have flirted with the fantasy of being a rock star or musician, and when our TVs show us the low calibre of contemporary musicians, it only serves to embolden our misplaced delusions (I mean, if this guy can do it, why can't I?) Unfortunately, and as Beaterator demonstrates, creating quality music isn't always a walk in the park, and if you want to produce songs that don't kill pets, or send roommates jumping through windows, it's going to take some time and patience.
To the Beat
Beaterator is advertised as a professional-level, portable music studio, and while I'm not a professional musician, the depth of this title leads me to believe that their claim is pretty accurate. The title boasts literally thousands of different sounds/instruments that allows users to craft totally original songs while also offering many different pre-composed loops (a compilation of notes, already arranged to sound like a melody or beat), whose utilidation more easily allows for novice song construction.
For the music-producing virgins, compiling these pre-made loops serves as the best introduction to how song creation takes place in Beaterator. Add a melody loop, then add a drum loop, and maybe some effects and bass, and you've got yourself a simple song; however, I wouldn't start calling yourself John Lennon yet, and since you'll be most likely creating hip-hop or electronic-sounding songs, you probably wouldn't call yourself that in the first place. Still, it doesn't truly feel like you're creating your own music until you start constructing your own loops, and this is where the title takes a turn for the confusing. Loop creation is done in the "studio" section of the title, where a plethora of menus await the player. These menus will include a number of the aforementioned pre-made loops, as well as individual instruments, which a player can select. The player will then take his or her selected sound into the melody or drum crafter where he'll be able to place a series of the instrument's notes along a scale for several measures. And thus a loop is born! While this sounds fairly convoluted and complicated, like most things, practice and perseverance will slowly allow for the loop construction to become easier.
One More Time
However, for gamers who think they'd like to take their Guitar Hero skills to the next level, be aware that this really isn't a music game. In fact to call it a game at all would be a total misnomer. Beaterator is a music creator/mixer, and unless you're extremely interested in music production, don't expect this title to hold the same appeal or provide the same sense of completion that a conventional video game does.
Which brings us to this title's biggest question: How big is the market for portable professional music studios? The big draw for games involving music so far has been their universal accessibility, yet Beaterator is almost anything but accessible. Learning how to navigate and apply the many different options and variables will take some time and practice, and while I'm not saying that putting in the effort isn't worth it in the end, I am saying that today's market seems less likely to embrace a title that has a learning curve as steep as Brett Michael's declining rock-credibility.
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