Japanese electronic musician Yotaro Shuto has created a single-window, patchable, semi-modular beat machine packs an insane amount of functionality. And after a successful crowdfunding campaign, it’s now available on the Mac App Store.

Yotaro Shuto is half of the duo DUB-Russell, and 2020 looks and feels like a toybox built by someone who makes electronic music live. That retina-searing main screen is just full of rhythm-making bits. (There are other color themes available, pictured.) You can rewire it on the fly. You can slice up samples. You can synthesize, record. And like the work of developers like Giorgio Sancristoforo, this forgoes the DAW-and-plugin paradigm for a standalone (but syncable) application. Or as the developer puts it, “just imagine a single fragment that was forcibly torn apart by combining German DAW software, Swedish hardware beat machine, and a cable-tangled modular synthesizer system.”

You might need to buy a bigger monitor for the one-display system depending on your eyesight, but wow does it do a lot:

  • Sample slicer
  • Higurashi generator – that’s a frequency-modulated beep sound maker, basically. Don’t worry, I didn’t know what a Higurashi generator was, either, but they explain in the FAQ that – it basically doesn’t matter. “It’s a simple beeper inspired by the sound of Japanese cicadas heard in the woods at the end of summer. It doesn’t actually sound anything like their sound, by the way.”
  • 3x loopers
  • 12 samplers
  • Kick synth
  • 2x FM syntsh
  • Per-module filters
  • 4x grid sequencers with probability
  • 2x transposers
  • Effects: HP/LP filter, flanger, phaser, ring mod, bitcrush, 2x granulator, spin, glitch, repeater
  • Send effects: 2x delay, reverb
  • 2x level, 2x sender, 3x LFO

To that, add a bunch of control and customization:

  • Ableton Link sync
  • Randomization
  • Patchable effects, trigger, and CV
  • 6 buses + 2 master buses
  • Master EQ, filter, compressor, maximizer, FX
  • MIDI, OSC, keyboard control and learn
  • Color themes

US$119.99 on the Mac App Store:


Or visit the official site:


Yes, colors!

Actually, if that German DAW software is the one I’m thinking of, recall that Ableton founders Monolake and others in the scene used Max and Reaktor (then Generator) patches to wire up custom performance rigs. This feels a lot like a return to that – and is a natural step, honestly, as people diversify from one-size-fits-all monolithic DAWs to other solutions. There’s just a lot of power on the Apple Silicon platform, in particular, which because of its low power consumption / heat generation characteristics also lends itself to live use. (I think that’s a fair statement, having occasionally taken a PC with massive fans onstage.)

More videos:

Also, DUB-Russell? YES.

Flashing imagery warning.

Here’s their performance using just 2020:

And here are more reasons to love them: