Insane modular beat-machine! Check out 2020 from Japan


Developer Yotaro Shuto apparently set out 6 years ago to realize a dream in modular beat creation – the result is now live on Kickstarter under the somewhat anonymous name 2020. What actually triggered Yotaro to develop perhaps the most complex next gen beat-machine ever, or at least the most crammed UI, is not fully clear but perhaps it was a result of some identified limitations that became apparent in his band DUB-Russel.


The concept of 2020 is very simple:

1. Generate a million sound/sequence variations from a single, small idea.
2. Make entire beats in just one screen.

The level of simplicity remains to be seen we guess, but it is clearly an intriguing user interface with more or less limitless possibilities. 2020 has many randomizing functions built in, allowing over 500 parameters to be manipulated freely. By controlling the probabilities and variation ranges of these functions, you can perform and produce, according the developer, as ‘a live conductor’.


Below is a demo of the platform in action:

As one can see the user interface is designed like the console of a spaceship – all functions can be controlled in one simple screen. All in all there is a sample slicer, grid sequencers, 12 one-shot samplers each with dedicated controls visible all at once (and their own bit crushers and ring mods and filters and so on), FM synths, a pitch transposer, send effects, and mixing, plus something named the “Higurashi Generator (some sort of beeper).

2020 is available to project supporters for US $99 and the project is already funded, with 28 days left. See the project site for full details. Going forward – Yotaro speaks of future upgrades/versions; You can easily record your performance (WAVE, AIFF). I am also planning a new recording format with stem sounds and clock data – this will take a few months before it is featured, but once this is done, you will be able to overdub to you (or your friends’) records, perfectly in sync.

Initially we spoke of Yotaro’s band DUB-Russel so why not check out what they sound like and perhaps get some clues to the background of 2020. Yotaro describes his band like this: DUB-Russell is a Japanese electronic music group, started in 2010. All of our original sounds are created with Cycling ’74 Max software, and alongside our live performance, we use real-time computer improvisation – non-reproducible music.

迷因城市:骇进现实 第一届媒体艺术节
Meme City: Hacking Realities Media Art Festival@Hangzhou, China(2015/12/24)

Live : DUB-Russell
Visual : Daihei Shibata

Hello, My name is CC.

produced by BRDG