Will Rockstar’s Beaterator Change the Face of Pop Music?
Another rap-inspired video game, haven’t we been down this road before? But Beaterator, the video game collaboration between Rockstar Games and superproducer Timbaland hitting stores today (on PSP), is different. There is no narrative, no rap character to play with (and ultimately no silly premise to be later mocked in a blog post) Instead, the game, which is launching today on the PSP and the Playstation network before being made available as an iPhone app later this year, comes with a full suite of tools to get your novice beatmaking career off the ground.
As is standard standard fare on these sorts of games, there’s a sequencer, a library of included loops and sounds, as well as a way to record your own vocals, sound editor… etc. What sets Beaterator apart from its competition, however, is the game’s layout.
If the image above seems familiar, it’s because it looks very much like Apple’s popular Garageband program, which can be credited for the current crop of laptop producers running amok in the record business today. Like Garageband, Beaterator is simple and easy to navigate, perfect for someone new to creating digital music.
But it’s not all beginner stuff here. The synth loop screen (pictured above) allows you to tweak settings so you can create your own individual sounds. That’s more professional than that Casio you got for Christmas.
Still, while messing with loops Timbaland created for the game is cool, you want to take it a step further, you want to make your own melodies. And that’s where the piano roll (picture above) comes into play. You can tape out a melody on the grid, loop it, and now you’ve got the foundation down for a full on production.
Let’s not kid ourselves here, the professional producer is not going to trade in their MPC any time soon. Beaterator isn’t for that crowd, even though they too might find use for it. Beaterator is for the kid who wants something a little more constructive to do (besides homework) while he’s riding the bus to school in the morning. It’s about introducing kids to beatmaking through their PSP, then leaving the magic up to them.
Originally published at Streetlevel.com