BlastBeats Is A New SoundBlaster Inspired Groove Box From Twisted Electrons

BlastBeats Is A New SoundBlaster Inspired Groove Box From Twisted Electrons

Post date:

Fri, 12/17/2021 - 06:47


Naomi Bolton

If you grew up playing computer games during the nineties, the chances are good that you were very familiar with the YMF-262 chip, which was also known as the OPL3 FM chip. Despite being notoriously hard to program, it was a common component for computer sound cards of that era. Unfortunately, this also meant that they were rarely used to their full potential, which is something Twisted Electrons seek to rectify with their new BlastBeats Groove Box.

According to Twisted Electrons, the OPL3 chip can produce surprisingly rich, beautiful, and utterly dirty sounds with a bit of exploring. With BlastBeats, they sought to put all these parameters within easy reach for users and make it easy to crank out those signature DOS era sounds. With BlastBeats, users have access to a ten-voice groove box featuring six drum voices along with four synth instruments. In addition, it has numerous faders for complete control over the instrument parameters and can be automated and modulated per step. Twisted Electrons also believes that its high-quality illuminated buttons will make it a pleasure to program beats and melodies.

Check out the complete list of BeatBlaster features below:

  • OPL3 (YMF262) FM chip featured in vintage sound blaster cards of the MS-DOS era
  • Quad audio outputs with custom instrument routing
  • High fidelity audio amplification with low noise floor
  • mix and phones out each with volume control
  • 6 drum tracks (bass drum, snare drum, tom, closed & open hat, cymbal) that can also be used for melodic parts.
  • 4 synth tracks: two monophonic (2x2op or 1x4op) & two duo-phonic (4x2op or 2x4op)
  • 100 kits
  • 160 songs x 16 patterns x 64 steps
  • patterns of arbitrary step lengths
  • Kits and patterns stored on included SD card for convenient management and sharing.
  • 56 faders with per-step automation and modulation
  • 32 high quality illuminated switches
  • MIDI input and output on DIN5 ports
  • customizable MIDI input channels
  • Analog sync in and out on 3.5mm jacks
  • All Audio on 6.35mm jacks
  • Premium sandblasted anodized aluminum chassis
  • All instruments can be sequenced internally or played via MIDI, allowing BlastBeats to be used as a 4-operator 8-waveform polytimbral MIDI synthesizer
  • Probability per instrument
  • Swing
  • Kit and pattern randomizer
  • Fader wiggling (randomizer with adjustable depth) per step
  • 3 tricks ( pitch bend aka spin down, freeze and stutter with step sequencing of all tricks.
  • Synth pitch vibrato and tremolo with adjustable speed and depth
  • Several waveforms and algorithms yielding infinite sound textures.
  • Dimensions: 29.5cm x 16.5cm x 4.5cm (11.6" x 6.5" x 1.8")
  • Weight 944 g ( 2 lb)

A limited first batch of BeatBlasters is expected to ship by February 2022, with pre-orders now available on the Twisted Electrons website ( Check out the BlastBeats sound demo below to hear this upcoming synth in action.

Twisted Electrons have also released this walkthrough of BlastBeats that runs through everything users can expect.