Timbaland backs Beaterator

There are plenty of portable music making apps already out there but yesterday we got hands on with one that's going to set a new benchmark for what's possible in your pocket. Beaterator is well worth a look for two reasons: One, it's by Rockstar, the guys who make Grand Theft Auto (so they know what they're doing) and two, it's got the world's favourite production god/braggard Timbaland supplying the beats.

It's coming to Sony's PSP out October with an iPhone version to follow pre-Christmas.

The presentation is chunky (in line with the ease of use at the system's heart) but get past the cartoony Live Play mode and check out the Studio Session and Song Crafter for DAW-style arranging of 1700 exclusive Timbaland loops and an equal number from the studio geniuses at Rockstar - aka the guys who make the best game soundtracks in the world.

The building block raw material is suitably 'dope' on first inspection but it's the ability to take hits and lines and sequence your own beats and notes for true originality that elevates Beaterator beyond mere toy.

Alternatively skip the material on board entirely and use the PSP (3000)'s mic to record your own vocals, or any sound, chop it up in the wave editor and make tracks with that instead.

Perhaps most enticing to FM readers however is the onboard synth - complete with three oscillators and a sound akin to the recent (superb) Korg MS10 emulation on Nintendo DS. Possibly worth the £25 entry fee alone.

Details of whether you can add your own WAVs via stick or file transfer are sketchy with Rockstar saying 'no' to us yesterday. But only allowing mic input access to Beaterator's world seems an unfair hindrance to a remarkably powerful music making tool. We're praying for a correction shortly.

Similarly true audiophile details such polyphony, multi-timbrality, the sample rates employed and the copyright freedom attached to those Timbaland beats are yet to be confirmed but if you want to witness it's power check out Rockstar's Beaterator pages to see multiple videos of it in action (including footage of the man himself fulfilling his endorsement duties to the letter).

We out.

Daniel Griffiths

Daniel Griffiths is a veteran journalist who has worked on some of the biggest entertainment, tech and home brands in the world. He's interviewed countless big names, and covered countless new releases in the fields of music, videogames, movies, tech, gadgets, home improvement, self build, interiors and garden design. He’s the ex-Editor of Future Music and ex-Group Editor-in-Chief of Electronic Musician, Guitarist, Guitar World, Computer Music and more. He renovates property and writes for MusicRadar.com.