It’s the lunchtime juice box of samplers – and an answer to the complexity of both hardware and software without sacrificing power. We’ve gotten our hands on this one; let’s have a look.

1010music has added other handy ultra-compact boxes in their nanobox set before, but the tangerine seems to do the impossible. It’s got 24-voice polyphony, 16 velocity layers, and streams 576 samples simultaneously via microSD.

So it’s a totally capable, full-featured multi-sampler. (See those full specs below.) But it’s also still tiny and simple to use. And it’s also got a Multi-sample Wizard to sample and map other gear automatically.

  • Hook up the line input, and you’ve got quick access to single or multi-sample recording
  • Trigger one-shots, launch synced clips – with the touchscreen, with the internal sequencer, via MIDI, as you like
  • Each preset can sequence up to 16 patterns, and you can tap pads for access to 500+ samples
  • There’s even a 1.7G multi-sampled piano library pre-loaded, so it’s a pocket grand piano module, too, when you need (or whatever else you want to load, obviously!)

You can see the use case right away. Sure, software like Logic Pro can do the auto-sample tricks. But just like iPhones and compact cameras – the best camera you have is the one you have with you. You can go to a studio with the tangerine in your bag and multi-sample someone else’s rare gear. You have a capable multi-sampler you can easily drop into a live set without worrying about onstage space or carry-on travel weight.

And they’ve nailed the usage, too. I mean, let’s be honest – has anyone really bested the experience of sampling on a Casio SK-1? The joy of sampling we first experience is just – wow, I can grab a sound and play it back. What 1010music has done here is to give you that feeling but with high quality and multi-sampling to back it up.

Okay, and full disclosure – I swear I started writing this before I read the press release, and I immediately had the “juice box in your school lunch box” feeling, so they nailed it with this one. The product says that even without the press release. Here, uh, your value-add or they can quote this on their website: sampling has all the satisfaction of stabbing a Capri-Sun package. Hmm… Uh, you’ll want to make that slurping sound when you get the last juice out of the … erm… multi-sample.

I should go find an actual job someday.

Check these specs – for US$399 with availability this November:

  • Ultra-compact streaming sampler (3.75″ x 3″ x 1.5″, 1/4 lb)
  • 24 voice polyphony
  • 16 velocity layers
  • 576 simultaneous streaming samples via microSD
  • Multi-sample Wizard for automatically sampling and mapping other MIDI synths and drum machines
  • Uses WAV metadata and file name conventions so multi-sampled instruments are a breeze
  • Multi-sample and melodic playback via touchscreen, internal sequencer or MIDI 
  • Stunning 1.7GB piano from makers of well-known, industry-standard piano libraries
  • 4GB of versatile one-shot samples, loops, sampled instruments and sound effects
  • Automatic sample slicer with editing with synced clips/loops
  • Sequencer with real-time recording and input quantization
  • Reverb + delay effects
  • 2″ color touchscreen
  • 8 touchscreen sample pads
  • Color-coordinated USB cable
  • 1 stereo audio input and output
  • MIDI In with MIDI Clock via 3.5 mm TRS Type A or B
  • MIDI Out with MIDI Clock via 3.5 mm TRS Type B
  • Analog clock input

CDM’s little-box-tester-at-large Andreas Roman is back with another hands-on musical creation with this device. Take a listen to this gorgeous track:

Here’s what we’re hearing:

It’s made up of eight stereo loops, which in turn come from different sources – my Prophet 12, some Chase Bliss resampling, one-shot drums, older field recordings, and so on. All of them are made into non-synced, free-running loops, trimmed and mixed inside the Tangerine with its filters and onboard FX to trim the output. The actual performance is just me launching and stopping loops with long envelopes, to keep those smooth fades between transitions.

There’s something with the output quality of this one that just sounds more like the bluebox, less like the blackbox, to my ears.

I expect that may not be his imagination, the last point, but I’ll check with 1010 about that comment.

The use case, though, is dead on here – you’ve got a handheld gadget that can happily slurp up gear and other sounds into richly layered creations.

Here’s another cute micro-jam from X:

Now, since I know I’m late (why can’t every day be the, erm, 10th of October), I think I owe you a string of vintage juice box ads, because I’ve never seen a metaphor I didn’t let me get completely distracted and stretch within an inch of its life, and the Internet just has so much space…

Someone I think bought Video Toaster.

And for children of the 1980s – uh, yes, whoever’s mom is here is right, we will just literally consume anything put in a disposable package with zero concern for health or whether it actually qualifies as human food. But I’m sure there won’t be any lasting health effects. Gosh, this screen sure is blurry and I need to lie down…