BeatMaker 2 pre-purchase questions

edited March 2011 in General
I'm currently trying to decide on a primary sequencing workstation to get into, and I'm also about to buy my first i-Device. I have a couple of questions about BeatMaker 2

1) The user's manual and videos and online resources don't mention or demonstrate the range and depth of the included sounds/presets. For example, I compose a very wide range of music--from orchestral scores to electronic, metal, industrial, jazz, pop, folk...etc, and I'd like to have an idea what kind of sounds are included. Music Studio and NanoStudio both do a pretty good job demonstrating what they have, such as the instrument pack videos from Music Studio, and the download version for PC and Mac for NanoStudio. BeatMaker 2 seems to be more like Music Studio being sample-based, as opposed to NanoStudio or Xenon, both mainly synthesis-based.

2) I'm trying to decide between iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4, and the main difference is really the double sized RAM of iPhone 4. So, how would the RAM of iPod Touch 4 and iPhone 4 impact BeatMaker 2's performance (especially that they have the same CPU)? More RAM means more samples can be loaded at once, but which is the real bottleneck? Would the CPU max out when running 256 MB of samples before it even gets to access additional RAM (let's say all the samples loaded into the 256 MB RAM are playing moderately intricate notes)? Or is the bottleneck really the CPU, and the full 512 MB of RAM can be fully loaded with samples and playing back moderate amount of data, and the CPU still won't max out? (This is considering moderate use of effects as well.)


  • edited 3:12AM
    1) the included sounds are pretty good. But one of the powerful things about BM2 is that it's easy to import your own samples. Because of that the possibilities are endless. BTW in Music Studio you are stuck with the sounds they give you, which are few and limited. These programs are very cheap (compared to desktop programs) so most people own two or more of them. With BM2 if there is a sound I like in Nanostudio, or even Music Studio, I just sample it an use it in BM2....

    2) if you need/want a phone, get iPhone 4. If not get an iPod touch, or better yet an iPad <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->
  • edited 3:12AM
    I will add my version of the story...
    The sounds included are mostly really weak, as are most sounds that come with iOS music making applications... Some sounds in Nanostudio are good, but it's still hard to give them any presence and drive, due to extreme limitations in processing power, which obviously has a bad effect on fx usage...
    The good thing about Beatmaker is that it is indeed possible to import your own sounds, but... It works the way it used to work 20 years ago on the Akai S950... You load a sound, assign it to a note, set the keygroup, load a new sound and so on... So you will have to know very well in advance which sounds you wanna use and this can only come from experience or extreme trial and error...
    My advice, since you obviously already have a computer, get some software for that for the price of an iPod and BM and you will have a 1000 times better start... Have a look at Native Instruments' Maschine (a little more expensive but well worth it, if you wanna get into "beatmaking") or Cubase/Logic/Ableton Live (a light version shouldn't cost too much and still provide you with all you need, maybe not the case with Live) and get a cheap MIDI keyboard and there you go...
  • edited 3:12AM
    1) The answer here is to import your own sounds and never rely on included presets and samples.

    2) BM2 is pretty RAM hungry, so if you can afford it, get an iPhone 4. If you can wait, iPhone 5 will be released in June or July with the same amount of RAM, but also a better CPU. Otherwise, get an iPhone 4. Its screen is better than the iPod touch's and the camera is fun to play with, since there are a bunch of cool camera apps out there.
  • edited 3:12AM
    Thanks for helping--really appreciate it.

    I understand that I can import my own samples, but that's a lot of extra work, especially for someone like me who needs to cover a very wide range of musical styles. I'd have to audition a bunch of samples on my computer and organize them into categories, upload them, map them, and so on. If there's a good soundset already included, then that would save me a ton of work. Part of the allure of Music Studio is that it already contains a wide range of styles, and the samples are pretty decent for a mobile app. But it doesn't have a sampler or synths (although a sampler is coming in the next update). NanoStudio has synths, a pad sample, but no keyboard sampler, so it's not as flexible to me. I don't use loops or sampled phrases, so I must have a keyboard sampler. Audio tracks are also coming to Music Studio, so it's looking like the next update will really help it take over competitors (not to mention they are now working with Image-Line, and FL Studio Mobile is based on Music Studio, and the new features IL has developed will also go into the next version of Music Studio). Garage Band is now also going to provide some really stiff competition. The market is really heating up!

    I'm getting an i-Device purely for mobile composing, and then export the MIDI data to a full-blown computer rig (I'm running Sonar X1, in a pretty well equipped music production studio). I need the i-Device to be small and hand-held, so I can take it anywhere and compose (waiting for a flight, standing in a long line, on the train, answering nature's call...etc). I'm pretty much set on the iPod Touch since I really don't want to pay more than double for the iPhone 4 with equivalent storage capacity. I don't need a cell phone or the better camera (already have both professional DSLR system and high-end compacts, as well as camcorder, and they all turn on far faster than any i-Device, as well as have far better image quality). The better screen isn't important to me either, since I'm not going to do serious visual art on it (I'm also a professional artist, and if I ever use the i-Device to do sketches/paintings, it'll just be fun little doodles--nothing complex). It's really only the extra RAM that is enticing to me, but paying double for that is not worth it, since it's just 256 MB more, but will cost me another $200 or so. iPad is very alluring but it's just not as portable--can't stuff it into my coat pocket, and costs also double or more.

    It's likely I'll buy more than one sequencing workstation app, but I'd like to use just one ideally, so the workflow/environment is more consolidated.
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