Beaterator Review

By Brian Trinidad - Posted Sep 29, 2009

Small as its packaging may be, Beaterator provides an incredible collection of tools you'd find in a professional music production suite in the palm of your hands.

The Pros
  • A deep sound library to choose from with thousands of samples.
  • Controls and menus are rarely confusing to navigate.
  • Surprisingly vast array of tools from which to create original beats and melodies.
The Cons
  • May appear daunting for casuals who lacks musical experience.
  • Tutorials are good, but lack any basics on genre-specific rhythms and melodies for newbies.

Over the past few years, music-based games have infected the gaming world with tremendous fury.  Rockstar Leeds adds another title to the fray with Beaterator.  Is it another incarnation of rhythmic Simon Says?  Nope.  Not even the slightest.  To even call Beaterator a game would be a disservice to its potential and what it really is.  Beaterator is, by all accounts, a music production suite and a surprisingly robust one at that.

Beaterator Review

THIS IS A JOURNEY INTO SOUND.

Beaterator comes with three different modes – Live Play, Studio, and Song Crafter.  Live Play boils down all the complexities of the latter modes into an easy-to-use interface that allows you to quickly experiment with pre-made song templates or songs you’ve constructed yourself.  Simply load a song template, press the buttons that correspond to the appropriate loops surrounding a head-bobbing Timbaland and before you know it, Beaterator is automatically playing a song.

A JOURNEY WHICH ALONG THE WAY...

Studio mode, on the other hand, functions much like Live Play, except it offers quite a bit more customization.  Using nine tabs representing eight tracks and a master track, the user can load four loops into each track.  Similar to Live Play, pressing appropriate buttons while a tab is highlighted automatically plays a loop.  The difference between the two modes, however, lies in Studio Mode’s ability to allow the user to modify, add, delete, or replace individual loops in each tab.  Incredibly, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

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...WILL BRING YOU NEW COLOR, NEW DIMENSIONS, NEW VALUES.

It might sound cliché to say that Song Crafter is where the magic happens, but seriously, Song Crafter is where the magic happens.  With over 1300 high-quality sounding loops and sounds from Timbaland and 1700 from Rockstar Leeds, the number of original loops users can create are limited only by the bounds of their imagination.  I spent hours creating and tweaking loops and melodies of my own creation without ever feeling lost in Beaterator’s menus. I never felt confused about how to exact those modifications.  More impressively, Song Crafter comes with a Synthesizer module that allows users to modify existing synth packs to create their own sounds and an effects editor to polish tracks even further.  Want to add a vocal?  Then hook up a mic and record your own.  Users can even share their creations with others through Rockstar Social Club.  To fit this many features into the palm of your hands is an impressive feat.

Beaterator Review

BEATERATOR PUMPS UP THE VOLUME

Although Beaterator won’t replace a fully equipped recording studio, it does offer a surprisingly remarkable array of tools, despite its miniscule package.  Is it for the casual gamer?  If you’re persistent and have a desire to create music, then yes. Otherwise, if you don’t have music production experience or an ear for music, knowing where to begin may appear daunting at first.  Fortunately though, Beaterator provides an extensive tutorial, reference guide, and glossary within the suite to guide the user through.  If, however, you do have the desire and the knowledge, but don’t have access to professional grade recording equipment, Beaterator provides an excellent and portable interim product to help would-be producing gurus the tools they need to express their genius.