Pocket Beatbox by Koka Nikoladze is a cute multi-sampler that thanks to its unique surface invite you to expressive beat producing, in your studio or on the go.
When the big manufacturers (Roland, Korg…) are quiet, the music tech stage is available to the small ones. From this silence benefits Koka Nikoladze from Nikoloadze & Sons today. He has introduced the Pocket Beatbox, a lovely portable multisampler.
From the outside, it is reminiscent of a handmade, wooden version of the ROLI Lightpad Block. It is, however, not a MIDI controller, it’s a very expressive standalone instrument with great attention to detail.
Pocket Beatbox is a portable 16-voice polyphonic multi-sampler with a tappable interface that consists of 4 pressure-sensitive pads. There are also three momentary buttons, a switch, and a rotary encoder that serve as engine controls. Koka Nikoladze, the creator designed a unique tap-detection algorithm for the surface that offers a very high degree of dynamic accuracy. So you can play the instrument very expressively, soft taps, sound soft, hard taps sound loud.
Beatbox has a complete sound engine. It can host 16 multisample banks of mono audio samples per kit, recorded at different dynamics. Each of the multisample banks can contain up to 256 mono audio samples.
The sample management is very flexible. You can choose to load fewer samples for one pad and more samples for another pad. So a kit can have up to 4096 samples. Beatbox can also stream audio directly from a microSD card. In this case, you can easily navigate through them via the encoder and a small display. Alternatively, you can use your computer and modify your kits by editing JSON files stored on your SD card. Plus, you get an internal sound engine with 12 “808 inspired” synthetic sounds for each kit.
Pocket Beatbox also features a built-in microphone capsule that lets you instantly capture anywhere. The device uses 3 AA batteries for power that gives you up to 12 hours of mobile music-making.
You can only play the box with your fingers triggering sounds from individual pads or a combination of pads. The engine has up to 16 note polyphony with a priority mode that can be activated for longer samples like cymbals and bells. This feature lets the samples sustain without being affected by voice stealing.
Further, you get different inputs and outputs including MIDI In/Out, footswitch, expression pedal, audio outputs, and microphone input.
PB looks very exciting. The small sampler is not cheap. Unfortunately, there is no sequencer in the device with which one can record grooves. However, the device’s strong playability makes it very unique.
Pocket Beatbox is available now for pre-order. You can reserve it now for 10€ and it shouldn’t cost more than 555€ plus shipping says Nikoladze & Sons. They had plans to ship it last year but due to the current pandemic and chip crisis, they are looking at April next year.
More information here: Nikoladze & Sons