The 2020 one-screen beat machine looks like the console on a spaceship

If you're sick and tired of software drum machines that conform to classic hardware paradigms, maybe you'll find your groove with 2020. This semi-modular beat machine works standalone on the Mac (there are no plans for plugin or Windows versions) and has a design all of its own.

Already funded on Kickstarter, 2020 is the rhythmic brainchild of Yotaro Shuto, a member of Japanese electronic music group DUB-Russell. He's been working on it for six years, and the software's development has been based on both his experiences as a performer and overall philosophy for beats and sounds.

There are two over-arching concepts: to enable users to generate "a million sound/sequence variations from a single, small idea," and to put everything on one screen. As you can see, this means that the UI is pretty packed, but also beautiful in its own way.

The interface is designed to look like the console of a spaceship, and is divided into sections (see annotation above). You'll find everything from a sample slicer to grid sequencers, samplers, FM synths, loopers and effects, while there are randomising features aplenty.

Check out the 2020 Kickstarter page for more information and to back the project. With the early bird offers gone, you'll have to pay €89 for a copy of the software (for €99 you can have the Max objects as well), and it's estimated that you'll receive it in May.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.