Although it’s been around for a couple of years, if you want to flex your creativity beyond the usual vintage drum machines, then check out BreakTweaker, the “Future Beat Machine.” Designed by Producer and Grammy-nominated Composer BT, BreakTweaker hopes to change your concept of rhythm, beat, and drum programming. It’s a drum sculpting and beat sequencing environment that blurs the lines between rhythm and melody.
Breaktweaker consists of three main modules. The Generator synthesizer gives you the power to craft your own killer drum sounds. The 32 step Sequencer then lets you layout your created sounds on a grid. And then the MicroEdit engine takes your sounds apart and infuses them with micro-rhythmic content.
Your sounds can be created using either morphing wavetable synthesis or the simplicity of one shot samples. It’s a full-on synthesizer with multiple waveforms, modulation, envelopes, filtering, and editing. It comes with a ton of sample content and presets so if it seems all a little daunting then you’ve got plenty to play with right from the get-go.
The Sequencer is isorhythmic, meaning each track can have its owns tempo and step length. The beats will then begin to evolve and transform the longer it plays. You can have up to 24 patterns synced directly to your DAW where they can be launched, triggered, latched, and switched. Each track can route out individually for optimum mixing and processing through your DAW for a completely finished production.
And finally, the MicroEdit engine takes it down to the granular level. It can slice up your sounds to a ridiculous level and sweep through with pitch, arpeggiation, and texture control. And this is all per step. Add in the randomization button, and you’ll never be short of new ideas.
BreakTweaker is very blue and very full-on, but it will take you in very different directions to your standard 808/909 emulations.
Without a doubt, Reaktor will be mind-boggling to the novice who just wants to bang out some beats. But for the discerning and musically invested individual looking to expand their music making horizons then Reaktor is where you should be spending your time.