Music creation gets its game on at the Beat Machine arcade
Combining onscreen gaming with the hard graft of learning to play an instrument can inject some fun into the process, but it could also help with creativity. To that end, Endlesss has launched the Beat Machine – a full-size arcade machine rocking its collaborative music creation tools.
The company has been testing the waters for "the world's first beat-making arcade machine" at special events in London, New York and Lisbon over the last year, and has already delivered a custom prototype to ex-NBA player Baron Davis, while pioneering artists Imogen Heap is also among early recipients.
"The Beat Machine is like a portal to my flow state," said Heap. "It’s incredible the places it takes my musical exploration. The only thing that I would ask Endlesss is perhaps it could have a feature where it switches itself off before 3am or I’ll never get any sleep!"
Now the pre-order books have been opened for Launch Edition units, which will be limited to a production run of just 25 at a cost of US$9,999 apiece.
The full-size music-creation arcade machine welcomes user interaction with a 24-inch touchscreen display, a bunch of arcade buttons sit below for control, there's a joystick as well and a 5-inch contextual touchscreen too.
Three "play" modes are available, two for public use and one for private. An Arcade mode serves up "game-like music-making missions" to keep visitors to your groovy pad entertained, Open Mic mode invites musicians to log in using a smartphone and tap into a live music creation tool, plus the Endlesss apps and social networking.
A Studio mode makes music creation personal, and allows the arcade machine to be integrated into an artist's studio setup – "adding the ability to host VST3 plugins, connect acoustic instruments, map MIDI controllers, collaborate live with other musicians around the world and import / export audio from other devices through the companion iOS and MacOS apps."
The unit comes with a "vast library of built-in sounds" and can play nice with any software, hardware or acoustic instrument. It sports its own speaker system plus low-latency audio ins and outs via XLR/jack instrument inputs, MIDI-compatible USB ports and TRS audio outs.
"Right now each Beat Machine is hand-made with a lot of love and bespoke componentry which is why we’re introducing a small number of units as premium collector’s items," said Endlesss founder, Tim Exile. "It’s an opportunity for 25 people to receive the first ever Beat Machines, be part of the genesis story and support us in our mission to transform music from a product we consume alone to an activity we gather to do - online, in real life, in real time."
The 25 Launch Edition Beat Machines are up for pre-order now for $9,999 each. Endlesss is promising over-the-air firmware updates for the lifetime of the product. You can see and hear one in use in the video below.
Product page: Beat Machine