This one looks irresistible – a mini drum box with both FM synthesis and sampling. Meet the $399 nanobox | razzmatazz, the latest from 1010music. Our review is inbound, but here’s the bite-sized look at this pint-sized gadget.
1010music has already made a name for itself in little boxes – but the nanobox goes even smaller. Controls are primarily on touchscreen, or use your own MIDI input for whatever layout you want. This one loads WAV files, too, so funny enough, it just earned itself a place next to my Elektron Syntakt which is missing that – or as a dead-simple accompaniment to modular that fits in a dop kit alongside the skiff.
The main draw here, though, is synthesis – with the ability to mix FM with those PCM bits. It really is a sampler, too, with up to 30 seconds sample time, so it can also be a pocket sound design tool alongside your other gear. Blah blah, presets for different genres, 120 kits … useful to someone, I’m sure, but I can’t wait to dive in there in make some sounds.
I literally just walked in the studio with the box and can’t wait to get to it. It’s USB-C powered, so I can also mess with this in bed.
- 8 pad slots
- FM synthesis + WAV drum samples
- Visual sequencer – they call this Super Stepper, and it’s all tap/swipe-based, with step sizes ranging 1/64 to 8 bars x 64 steps (so yes, you could make ambient music with this)
- Macros for each drum model
- Per-pad (slot) tools: filters, envelopes, distortion, a resonator, snap transient generation, bit crushing, and rate crushing
- Effects: delay, reverb, and a cabinet distortion
- microSD WAV file loading (YES)
- Map MIDI to macros and mixer settings
- USB-C power (which means you can also tote a standard power bank)
- 5 cm touch screen, 2 knobs and 4 buttons in a 9.5 x 7.6″ x 3.8 cm package
These are all mini TRS connections, of course, but MIDI in and out, clock in, lite out, and line in are all covered.
1010’s blackbox is still the one you want for more advanced slicing and sample skills; this is more minimal. The slicer is one-shot (though you can just use that as a start point and continue playing). Clips automatically loop when they’re in toggle mode. But you can use the sequencer to loop/retrigger. I’m intrigued by the simplicity, actually, so that’s one of the things I’ll look at.
You can stream live recording; sample playback is loaded from internal memory – if you want to stream samples, that’s also blackbox.
I’ll go into more detail in the review.
Pics and pics:
CDM contributor-at-large Andreas Roman has done some beautiful hands-on reviews of 1010 gear for us in the past. This time, I’m lucky enough to have the honors, but you should check out all those past reviews: