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1010 Music Bitbox mk2 review

Does this updated sampler box of tricks contain any more surprises?

  • £549
1010 Music Bitbox mk2
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

Want an events-style workflow, flexible sampler, or multifunction screen-based module that can also be a synth/effects unit? This is it!

Pros

  • Familiar workflows.
  • Massive file sizes available.
  • Excellent heart of an event-based system.

Cons

  • Multi-sampling not available on this version.

MusicRadar Verdict

Want an events-style workflow, flexible sampler, or multifunction screen-based module that can also be a synth/effects unit? This is it!

Pros

  • + Familiar workflows.
  • + Massive file sizes available.
  • + Excellent heart of an event-based system.

Cons

  • - Multi-sampling not available on this version.

1010 Music Bitbox mk2: What is it?

The mk2 version of 1010 Music’s Bitbox is much like its predecessor, with a 3.5” touchscreen dominating the 26HP fascia, below which are 16 trigger inputs, audio inputs and stereo outputs, as well as a type a and b-compatible TRS MIDI port and micro SD card. 

To the sides of the screen are buttons for navigation and parameter setting, allowing users the choice of knobs, touch or CV control for the module. 

A nice trick is that 1010 Music has recognised that modular users often have an area of their rig for hands-on performances, so has included an option to flip the screen, to make access easier on a front row, avoiding patch cables. 

Despite its large screen, the module still feels solidly built and controls all have good resistance, lending an air of quality.

1010 Music Bitbox mk2: Performance and verdict

Bitbox Mk2 can be viewed in a number of ways but the obvious and probably most popular workflow is similar to other event based samplers, so users of Ableton or MPC-type tools will feel right at home and new users won’t face much of a learning curve. 

Each of the 16 triggers can house a different sample, launched by touch, MIDI or CV, with external or internal clocking for syncing to your other gear. Samples themselves can be recorded by the Bitbox, or loaded from elsewhere on the Micro SD card in WAV format. 

Sampling is simplicity itself, with the only drawback being a lack of multi sampling, which is supported by 1010 Music’s Bitbox Micro. This function allows for more realistic playback across the range of a sampled instrument and would make a great addition. For many it won’t be an issue, as the Bitbox still excels at everything else.

Choose a pad, click the info button and you gain access to all the parameters, along with waveform viewers, one each for total overview and one zoomed in, both scrubbable with the swipe of a finger. A further click of the info button brings up that pad’s level, pitch and routing options, alongside its filter and ADSR envelope controls and looping, quantising and sync controls. 

This might sound like a lot of menu diving but in use it is a logical setup that takes little effort to learn or use. Editing a sample is intuitive and responsive with visual feedback from the bright clear screen. Finding start and end points, adding envelopes, or adding some breadth with reverb and delay is all a short process.

Not content with just simple sample duties, the Bitbox offers granular options and if that wasn’t enough, you can load different firmwares onto SD cards and use the module as a multieffects processor, or a wavetable polyphonic synth in its own right. This adds substantial value and versatility to an already excellent module and you’d be hard pressed to find such a range of usability at this price (or hp cost).

MusicRadar verdict: Want an events-style workflow, flexible sampler, or multifunction screen-based module that can also be a synth/effects unit? This is it!

1010 Music Bitbox mk2: Hands-on demos

1010 Music

Loopop

1010 Music Bitbox mk2: Specifications

  • KEY FEATURES: I/O: Up to 24 sample polyphony, Event trigger from CV, touchscreen or MIDI, Stereo Eurorack level sampling (up to 4 hours), Alternate firmwares for effects or wavetable synthesis.
  • CONTACT: 1010 Music