Rockstar has announced the release of Rockstar Games and Timbaland present Beaterator for iPhone and iPod Touch.
A school in New York has decided to ditch pianos, guitars, woodblocks and xylophones and teach music with Rockstar's PSP game Beaterator instead.
Hip-hop's prime producer Timbaland has said he used PSP game Beaterator to make a pair of tracks for his upcoming album Shock Value 2.
Beaterator, as a piece of serious music software masquerading as a videogame, is not without precedent. In 1999, Codemasters' Music introduced a generation of PlayStation gamers to the world of digital music sequencing and, apocryphally at least, was in part responsible for launching the careers of Dizzee Rascal and The Streets. Beaterator, like Music before it, approximates the form and function of professional mixer packages such as Propellerheads' Reason, Apple's Logic and even ProTools, supplying a bevy of Timbaland-endorsed loops alongside the tools to write and even record your own music. The result is an extraordinary piece of diminutive compositional software, one that's primarily limited by user imagination and perseverance in mastering its somewhat labyrinthine menus and options.
For musicians familiar with the Nintendo DS' Korg DS 10 package, Beaterator offers a significant upgrade in terms of features and raw potential, despite its somewhat cartoonish frontend. At its core sits an 8-track sequencer allowing up to eight audio channels to be filled with loops of music and then played back simultaneously to create a song. The 'Song Crafter' interface will be familiar to anyone who's dabbled with digital music-creating software. Time's represented on the X-axis, divided into bars and subdivided into 16th beats. On the Y-axis you'll find eight rows, each of which can be assigned to a different instrument. By adding loops to these channels you build up your song, adding texture and form layer by layer.
To begin with, the simplest way into Beaterator composition is to pluck ready-made loops from its library of thousands of premade samples. You can search this brimming database by genre or by instrument and, generally, unless otherwise marked, everything is written in the same key as everything else in order to loosely fit together. So, on the first channel you might cue up a drum and bass drum pattern, before adding a dub-style bass on the second channel, a classical guitar on third and so on. All of the loops match to the .bpm of the song template (which can be easily changed at any time) and so, in next to no time, even beginners can have a rhythm and melody up and running.
As visitors to Rockstar's Kings Road office are constantly reminded, there are many benefits to producing the world's most successful videogames. You can afford an office on the Kings Road, for starters. You can fill it with giant plasma tellies, powerful surround sound systems and leather sofas bigger than most living rooms. You can put a special shelf up in reception just to hold your BAFTA trophies, and line them up in a long row to wink at visitors while they wait.
Rockstar Games has announced two of its titles are in development for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Rockstar Games has announced a 2nd October launch for PSP music game Beaterator. Or, as the game is now known, "Beaterator, presented by Rockstar Games and Timbaland".
Rockstar has teamed up with hip-hop big-shot Timbaland to bring Beaterator to PSP this summer.
It was originally created back in 2005 as a web-based music mixing program to help you hone your skills, or quickly mock up an idea out of studio. With a large bank of stock sounds, multiple usable effects, eight sequencing tracks, a two-octave keyboard and "loop crafter", it quickly made a mark as a handy and powerful little tool.
All of that magic will be squeezed into the handheld version, along with rhythm games, challenge modes, as well as original music and built-in sound kit from Timbaland himself.