Sunday, February 21, 2010

Dubriq Stylophone Beatbox

I received my long-awaited Dubreq Stylophone Beatbox yesterday and just could not resist making a short video featuring it. This one features the Stylophone Beatbox for bass and drums, and three overdubs of my Reverend Warhawk played through my Korg Pandora PX5D as computer interface, effects processor, and amp simulator. As usual I used the Vox AC30 patch. The lead guitar part features one of the Pandora's phasers quite prominently and I think it sounds quite analog and good. It was all assembled and effects were added in GarageBand on my Apple MacBook.

First impressions of the Stylophone Beatbox? Well I LOVE the cheesy samples it contains, There is something about that bass that is just perfect! I can see using it for a lot of stuff in the future. That's the good part. The bad part??? The loop function is almost useless. You have to hit the record button on the downbeat so you have to leave that off to get anywhere close to a one bar loop going in whatever time signature you are playing in. The good part is you can fill these missing notes after you "close the loop" by hitting the "rec" button again. The bad part is even if you manage to do this the loop almost always sounds slightly off time. Who knows this may appeal to some folk but not me. Perhaps with a ton of practice one can learn exactly how to time the open and close of the loop to get the Beatbox to play a tight loop.

So what about Brett Domino and his so-dorky-its-cool "Hip Hop Medly" featuring the Stylophone Beatbox on youtube? I just have to imagine it was not played live. The only other possibilities there could be is mine is broken or there is some trick to getting it just right, but believe me I tried for several hours and I think it's just off. The thing that would reinforce this opinion of mine is all the out of time Stylophone Beatbox videos there are out there on youtube where someone makes a loop and it is completely off. I originally though this was just because it was non-musicians who were using it, but now that I have one and I am a musician and someone who has worked with looping devices before I think its just dumb luck if you happen to get a loop perfect on this thing. The other strange thing is even if you get it close to perfect you can mess it up by overdubbing.

So my advice to would-be Stylophone Beatbox buyers is don't expect to get much use out of the looping function. Just plan on playing the Beatbox live


  1. Such a fun little ditty. I love the dividing of the screen each time you strum. I can't wait to hear what else you make on this thing. :)

  2. I agree that the loop function is a major disappointment - such a shame because it really limits the usability.

  3. @ Pauncy yes basically you can't use it as a drum machine which is most of its appeal. Thanks for your comment!