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Review: Geist 2 Beat Machine by FXpansion


FXpansion Geist 2 Review

In this review we are going to be going over Geist 2 the new and improved advanced step sequencer and sample based drum machine by FXpansion.

Geist 2 come packed with 8 sound engines under the hood, each being able to hold full drum kits or 64 multi-layered slots of sampled sounds that you can then modify and add FX to on multiple levels then take all of that and sequence it into 24 different iterations and arrange it into a full song…and all of that in one plugin and that is pretty damn awesome.

FXpansion Geist 2

Geist 2 Engines

In Geist 2 you are going to find 8 engines each of these engines is basically one full version of the Geist 2 environment. Each engine can hold up to 64 pads of sounds which each pad can have up to 8 layers – great for creating round robins for a drum kit that you can record straight into Geist 2 or load in samples that you have lying around on your drive somewhere.

FXpansion Geist 2 Review

On each of these pads, you can put up to 6 different forms of FX like Distortion, Dynamics, EQ, Filters, Reverb, Delays, Flangers and FX of that nature. This applies to each of the layers in the pads as well and if that was not enough FX for you can stack six more to the full engine as well.

Finding kits and samples in Geist 2 is made nice and easy with the browser with the content that you get when you purchase Geist 2 right at the top for easy access. If you do purchase Geist 2, you get to choose 2 free libraries on top of the factory content that comes with Geist 2.

FXpansion Geist 2 Review

As you can see I chose BFD remix and Best of guru, both of which I really like especially the acoustic kits in “Best of guru” but to be honest they all sound really good and can be made to sound even better by adding the FX. Searching your own drives is a breeze as you can set your favorite folders so you don’t have to go through the whole C: or D: folders every time you want to dig in in your sample folders.

The pads themselves have a multitude of control options to play with allowing you to set a sample as a One-shot, Length bound, Gated or Looping and having mix control, Tuning, Filters, Looping, Time stretching, Amp and Free envelopes…

FXpansion Geist 2 Review

…all for one sample makes sure that you have full and total control over each and every sample across all of the layers. This makes Geist 2 extremely flexible and powerful beat machine able to create or recreate any type of drum set you want.

But it doesn’t have to be all beats and drums as the pads also have an option to be put in chromatic mode so that you can throw in a piano sound or something and play it all across your keyboard or record any source with the sampler, like another soft synth you might have and then add some FX and mangle it up a bit and use that.

Controlling the layers in your pads is really important when you want to be able to create music that doesn’t sound the same across every hit of the pad which keeps your music interesting – as there is nothing more boring than listening to the same snare each and every time. This is made easy in Geist 2 with the Velocity split, Round Robin, Round Robin reset and random controls.

FXpansion Geist 2 Review

Using Geist

When you start to use the layer controls and change the tone of each layer in a pad you can say keep your snare sounding fresh on each hit or you could make one pad that has a melody all on its own which is really fun.

When you realize that all of these controls are for one pad in just one of the engines you can start to see just how powerful Geist 2 really is and we haven’t even gotten to the really fun part of Geist 2 yet.

The “Transmod” section in Geist 2 is where you can really create an alive and evolving beat and is in my opinion the most fun thing in Geist 2 because being able to get 16 different slots of modulation going on all of the controls for each pad and multiple modulations for each control really makes Geist 2 come alive and allows you to pull of some pretty cool techniques to get not only drums to come alive but melodic samples as well.

The Pattern Sequencer in Geist 2 is really quite impressive being able to write 1024 steps in one sequence and make 24 different versions of those sequences can be fun enough but all the ways that you can control each and every step is awesome with Velocity, Panning, Repeats, Shift, Reverse, Octave, Course pitch, Filter cutoff, Resonance and more allows you to make the right choice for each and every step in your arrangement.

FXpansion Geist 2 Review

Mixing in all of your different iterations and samples is done quite easily in Geist 2 with the Layer mixer, Pad mixer and Global mixer tabs these tabs allow you to set the gain and panning as well as the FX you want to add along each step off the way you can also set aux sends tracks with their own FX chains to send multiple engines to a send so you don’t need to load it on each separate layer saving you processing power.

All of the controls in the FX chains on every level of your sound can be modded with the Transmod feature as well so tons of fun to be had there too.

Once you have made all of your different sequences you can arrange them in the song section of Geist 2 turning all of your precious iterations into a full song with a few clicks this gives Geist 2 something extra over other Samplers/Drum machines as it kind of turns it into a mini DAW of sorts which is great seeing as this is also a standalone program you could use it as such if you didn’t have a daw available or you want to use it for live play.


In conclusion, Geist 2 is a very powerful advanced step sequencer and sample-based drum machine. There are so many controls and ways for modulating those controls that it can be a bit confusing at first but like with all good things a bit of practice does wonders and within no time at all, you will be cranking out better beats and funkier basslines and melodies than before.

All this makes Geist 2 my favorite advanced step sequencer and sample-based drum machine I have in my collection so far and FXpansion have really done well with this plugin in my opinion. It’s is “a must have” plugin for sure!


  • So many controls allowing you to pull of some great techniques an actual drummer uses as well.
  • Almost every control is modulatable with the Transmod feature allowing you to create evolving beats and melodies with ease
  • Get 2 extra free libraries on purchase
  • Resizable interface from the modules inside the window to the whole window itself.


  • A little bit confusing at first especially with the FX and what layer of your sound you are working on but give it a few minutes and you will have the “aha” moment soon enough.

Geist 2 beat machine is available for €179 and works on both MAC and PC as AAX (64-bit only), 32/64-bit VST, AU. Also, it is available as a ‘standalone’ versions. Check the link below for more details and buying options.

More Details/Buy Link: Geist 2

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