BACKBEAT G2 FEATURES

We're excited to announce the next generation BackBeat!

BackBeat G2TL;DR

✅ BackBeat G2 in pre production.

✅ Redesigned based on customer feedback and new tech.

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What's The Story?

We made BackBeat for you, the musician, to feel your music and own your performance. Since we launched the original BackBeat (Generation 1 or G1), we've received hundreds of comments and great ideas on how we could take BackBeat to the next level.

We assembled a focus group of BackBeat users to get their input on improvements we could make to the original design. The details we looked at included rumble, audio, power, controls, cable management, strap attachment, user experience, and many other items.

Then we decided to take the next step, discontinue the BackBeat G1 production, and place all our efforts into producing the next generation BackBeat.

The result is a completely redesigned BackBeat that we're calling G2 (Generation 2). The revised design provides the same basic functionality as BackBeat G1 but with MANY new features and improvements that we'll detail below.

BackBeat G2 will be initially available on a Preorder-only basis from our website. Our estimated shipping will be summer in 2022, dependent on factors such as chip availability, logistics, and international shipping.

 

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Features

1. Basic Functionality

BackBeat is a tactile device with a transducer that shakes on a spring. In principle, it's a speaker without a cone. You plug a 1/4" cable from your bass into it. If you play the "A" string on your bass, the moving mass will oscillate 55 times a second. You'll feel this through your body, and your mind will instinctively know you're playing an A.

The feel makes your bass sound loud without providing any volume. If you're on a quiet stage, play without an amp, or use in-ear monitors, your bass will feel HUGE regardless of the mix on stage.

Oh yeah, G2 also thumps stronger than G1!

Like G1, BackBeat G2 has two 1/8" TRS jacks.

One is for Headphone output so you'll be able to hear what you're playing.

The other is an Auxiliary input. You can connect any audio (for example, from your phone) and simultaneously hear your bass and a song for a portable practice experience.

You can also run an in-ear mix through the Auxiliary input. You'll be able to rumble the whole mix and have stereo mapping to the Headphone output.

G2 will allow you to independently mix and adjust the inputs/outputs from zero to max.

 

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2. Power

Like G1, BackBeat G2 uses a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery to power the whole system.

What's new? G2 is designed around the standard 18650 battery. We went this route because:

➡️ the 18650 is a simpler and more reliable battery design.

➡️ charging a single cell is less complex than 3 cells.

➡️ the 18650 is more energy dense.

➡️ 18650 batteries are available worldwide.

Should G2 ever need a battery change, you'll be able to access replacements anywhere and make the change yourself.

Here are the stats:

G1 G2
battery type Li-Ion rechargeable Li-Ion rechargeable
capacity 900mAh 3000mAh
voltage 11.1V 3.7V
cells 3-cell 1-cell
size custom pouch standard 18650 cylinder

 

Another benefit of standardizing around 3.7V power is that 5V can charge BackBeat G2 via a standard USB-C charging port.

Yes, you won't need a special voltage brick or any country-specific power adaptors!

Plug the USB-A rectangular plug into your own brick/USB port. You are even able to charge from your PC/laptop in a pinch.

The USB-C connector that plugs into BackBeat is reversible. G2 will also accept Apple charging cables.

A charging cable will be provided standard with BackBeat G2. And again, should you lose it, they're available everywhere.

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3. Physical Changes

One of our goals with redesigning BackBeat was to make it smaller and lighter than G1.

Along with a more efficient battery solution, we have optimized the circuit board and the transducer in order to get more thump out of a smaller package.

➡️ G2 will weigh approx. 12 oz, about 70% the weight of G1.

➡️ G2 is almost an inch shorter than G1.

As part of reducing weight we made the enclosure from an ABS+PC engineered thermoplastic (G1 was made from aluminum).

This allows more flexibility in design and manufacturing while keeping the strength of the product.

NOTE: BackBeat is a tactile device. It transmits force mechanically and not acoustically. There is no acoustic/material resonance (think acoustic guitar) that contributes to the "thump" you feel when you play. The enclosure material does not affect the rumble.

G2 also has rounder edges and will be easier to grip and hold.

The entire top edge will have a TPE Durometer rubber layer to help protect your bass.

BackBeat G2 will have a flat profile; there are no on/off button or knobs sticking up like G1 had. 

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4. Touchpad Controls

A big step we've taken with G2 is to enter the digital realm.

G1 had analog potentiometers to control thump and volume, as well as a physical on/off switch. Some users found they could unintentionally change the knob settings if they bumped into something.

So we decided to incorporate touchpad controls:

The touchpad includes 4 buttons:

On/off. By pressing the BackBeat logo, you'll be able to turn the unit on and off.

Mode. The Mode button will cycle through settings that will be highlighted by the blue Mode indicator LEDs. The settings are:

     ➡️ Headphone output

     ➡️ Auxiliary input

     ➡️ Pad control

     ➡️ Battery life/charging

     ➡️ Signal input

Increase and Decrease. These buttons will control the volume/thump for that particular setting. The amount will be shown by the green Level indicator LEDs.

The buttons are tactile in nature and will provide a clicking resistance feedback.

The flat profile will mean storage is neater and there's no components to accidentally break off.

The B logo will have backlit RGB LEDs so you can personalize your BackBeat to match any color you want.

 

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5. Attachments

5a. - STRAP ATTACHMENT

We heard from several G1 users that the attachment clips were really tight to get on to a thick strap.

But tight clips assure the strongest BackBeat vibration is transmitted, as well as keeping it from falling off the strap.

So we've kept the tight clips AND designed G2 with a rotating quick connect/disconnect feature.

 

The bracket can be left on the strap while the G2 can be easily detached and reattached.

Several advantages of this design are:

✅ It's easy to remove BackBeat for storage/charging.

✅ You can have a couple of different brackets on different straps and easily swap out BackBeat from bass to bass.

✅ useable for either right- or left-hand players.

 

5b. - 1/4" CABLE ATTACHMENTS

BackBeat G1 signal path (shown here) has a pass-through configuration where the Input and Output 1/4" connections are electrically hard-wired together as a "Y" connection inside the BackBeat.

G2 is the same in principle, but different in execution. See schematic below:

G2 will use a Signal cable with the following features:

1️⃣ - male TS mono 1/4" jack will plug into your bass.

2️⃣ - female 1/4", into which you can plug your regular bass cable, wireless pack, etc.

3️⃣ - 90 degree male TS mono 1/4" jack will plug into the side of G2.

We updated this design for several reasons:

✅ reduce cable management and cable weight. There is only one cable running up to the BackBeat.

✅ prevent inadvertently pulling out a cable. We looked extensively into locking jacks but that would have made G2 larger and heavier. Having a 90 degree connection on the side of G2 will prevent any pull outs.

✅ you can unplug from your instrument cable at the bass, and not have to reach behind your back. This is a more natural location to plug in at.

The BackBeat end of the cable will fit organically, offering a smooth, form-fitting profile.

G2 input impedance is greater than 1 MOhm, so even the most passive basses will not experience any tone degradation.

Note, we're also considering several designs and options that will allow you to use your own cables.

 

5c. - 1/8" CABLE ATTACHMENTS

As with G1, BackBeat G2 will have regular 1/8" TRS (stereo) connections for Auxiliary input and Headphone output.

We increased the centerline distance from 8.5mm to 13mm to accommodate larger 1/8" connector bodies.

 

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6. Digital Processing + Bluetooth 

BackBeat is designed to rumble any input signal in the subwoofer frequency range. It does this through filtering the input signal and sending only a narrow range (~20 to 200Hz) to the transducer for the rumble.

G1 achieved this filtering through resistors and capacitors physically arranged on the circuit board, which are preset and therefore fixed to rumble in one set way.

G2 will use digital signal processing (DSP). We'll be able to adjust rumble response, equalize frequency range, and apply effects through software.

Each G2 unit will be programmed to work stand-alone via its touchpad controller. They will also be Bluetooth compatible allowing the following capabilities through a future app:

➡️ remote control of G2 to mimic touchpad control.

➡️ download firmware/software updates.

➡️ extended control and functionality through a BackBeat app.

Note, both DSP and Bluetooth hardware will be STANDARD on all BackBeat G2 units.

The future BackBeat App will allow you to manipulate HOW you feel. The App will unlock numerous capabilities that we'll go over in the next newsletter.

 

 

D🥁R🥁U🥁M🥁M🥁E🥁R🥁S

Know any drummers? DSP will allow adjustment of drum-specific frequencies for your drummer friends.

They can feel the kick drum or lock-in even better with you on bass using G2 as a portable and economical alternative to buttkickers.

 

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7. Future App Control 

In the first 6 newsletters you've seen what G2 can do right out of the box.

When it becomes available the BackBeat G2 App will allow you to manipulate HOW you feel. With control from your phone you can make changes on the fly:

➡️ slider/knob control for volume and rumble.

➡️ pad control.

➡️ battery status.

➡️ RGB LED color choice.

Each G2 unit will come internally programmed to work standalone via its touchpad. The future BackBeat App will unlock the following capabilities:

FILTER any low range, spike certain frequencies, and in general have a greater control over the rumble experience. For example:

you may want a stronger response on the D or G strings.

you may want to lower the B string response.

SHAPE the shake response. For example:

✅ keep the attack of a note and not the sustain.

✅ shape the response from a regular wave to a square wave.

Additional features the App will allow are:

➡️ EQ the headphone output. Adjust your listening experience from your headphone/in-ear monitor by adding bass boost, tone control, etc.

➡️ Blend G2's inputs and outputs. Want to hear your bass Signal input along with the Aux input, but only rumble the bass? No problem.

➡️ Presets. Save multiple settings knowing you'll have ready access to your favorites.

➡️ Metronome. Select a tempo and G2 will thump in time for you to practice along to.

➡️ Tuner. Tired of losing those clip-on tuners? You're already attached to BackBeat so use it to tune up!

 

We're excited to get BackBeat G2 into your hands. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at hi@getbackbeat.com!

 

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