January 22, 2010 in Music (F)
[prMac.com] Seattle, Washington - Sometime late last night the FunkBox Drum Machine dropped on the iTunes App Store, bringing some much needed fun and funk to grateful humans across the planet Earth. The latest release from iPhone developers Synthetic Bits, this app brings all the sound, feel and features of a vintage drum machine to your iPhone, without letting the slick iPhone interface detract from the quirky charm of the original boxes blinky lights, clicky buttons, and sticky sliders.
"Putting in all the most useful parts of a classic beatbox was important, but what we really wanted to do was capture the real feel of using these things. They aren't cut and dry and precise - they are quirky, they're dusty, they're funky." says Art Kerns of Synthetic Bits. "Mostly we tried to make something that people could have fun just playing around with, because it can have all the features in the world, but if it isn't fun you'll never actually use it."
The idea for FunkBox came while Art was working on recording a retro-styled electronica album (Submodern's 2009 release "Slowburn") where he used an assortment of old vintage drum machines from the 70's and 80's. Rather than mousing around with the latest drum plugins, or triggering samples from within a modern digital audio sequencer, he sat down and recorded all the beats for the album using those original dusty, finicky, and funky decades-old beat boxes, giving him a new appreciation for their quirky interfaces, classic sounds, and limited but inspiring feature sets. Synthetic Bits' goal in making the FunkBox app was to create something similarly fun, funky, and easy to use.
"It's cool because you don't have to be an electronic musician to enjoy this thing," explains Synthetic Bits' co-founder Chris Kerns. "I didn't have any experience with drum machines and still had a lot of fun messing with the different beats and boxes in there, even if I didn't understand what everything did at first. And then when you're ready, you can also get a little deeper and really tweak things."
FunkBox brings everything you need to make your own dirty, funky beats on your iPhone, anywhere you go. A variety of preset beat patterns, tempo adjustments on the fly, classic drum box sounds, a live mixer, and for those who want to really get in there a classic x0x style drum programming grid. Beat heads everywhere can use the Funkbox to drop dirty beats sampled from Synthetic Bits personal collection of coveted vintage drum machines: the Roland TR-808, Roland TR-909, Roland TR-606, Roland CR-78, Maestro Rhythm King MRK-2 (the drum machine that Sly Stone nicknamed "the Funkbox"), and Korg ER-1. Yep, all the classic beatboxes that were used on all your favorite old school electro, techno, hip hop and synthpop tracks, and that are still being heavily used and namedropped to this day by artists like Beck ("Bangin' like an 808..."), Outkast ("I know y'all wanted that 808..."), the Beastie Boys ("...nothing sounds quite like an 808!"), and others.
"I was just trolling around the iTunes App Store this morning, and realized something was different," observed Chris. "Do you smell that? I think someone just brought the funk."
iPhone and iPod touch 3.1.2 or later
Pricing and Availability:
FunkBox Drum Machine 1.0 is only $1.99 USD and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Music category.
Synthetic Bits builds iPhone apps that solve problems, entertain, and make lives easier. Our apps include seasonal favorites (Halloween Costume Generator, Christmas Advent Games), apps for parents (babyCalm), musicians (FunkBox Drum Machine), and more. Our apps have been featured by The Huffington Post, Macworld, ABCNews, and many more. Copyright (C) 2010 Synthetic Bits. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone and iPod are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.