That said, of course, the
sounds were limited offering just the bare bones - kick, snare,
hi-hat, lo and hi tom and a cymbal. The sounds were also very 'analogue'
and made up of simple sine waves for pitched drum sounds (kick,
toms and the pitched element of the snare) and white noise for the
snare, hats and cymbal.
But those individual outputs allowed these basic sounds to be transformed
into something altogether different and in fact, the Stix may well
have been the first budget beatbox to allow such facilities. It
was modestly priced as well at around £100.
What became of the Stix is anyone's guess. I know I wanted one
but couldn't quite stretch to it and by the time I could, the more
capable TR606 was on the market for just a few £££
more. Although that didn't have individual outputs, it was a simple
matter to add them yourself if you were handy with a soldering iron
(as I used to be!).
I imagine that the Stix disappeared into relative obscurity due
to poor brand image and, of course, being eclipsed by the TR606
but its sounds are highly reminiscent of the 80s and, as such, might
find a place in your work.
I am extremely grateful to Chris Wright for the donation - he stumbled
upon this, his first drum machine, whilst rummaging around in his
attic recently and thought they'd be ideal for Hollow Sun.
You can see more of Chris's activities at his whimsical and humerous
80s tribute band's website: