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What would you like in a drum machine?

Hi, I'm currently working on the development of a (soon to be) open-source drum machine, and am looking for input on necessary features.

The machine will run on a MIDI file which has been externally created and will (hopefully) create a more realistic drum sound by using multiple samples for each drum based on velocity of the drum hit (a snare sounds radically different just based on how hard you hit it). The goal is to make it possible for smaller, independent recording houses to have realistic and clear drums for not a lot of money (free in fact).

What I would like to know is: what features are necessary for this to be useful? What input and output options would you like? What kinds of dynamics to traditional drum machines lack that you would like to see?

Any input would be appreciated, and I will post a link to the project once I have an alpha/website. Thank you.

-Andrew Bakke

Comments

Kev Wed, 01/11/2006 - 00:40
spam ?
:roll:
yes/no


Linn Drum Machine with sample playback and USB stick support
change sample on the fly while receiving midi notes

external trigger inputs perhaps

I could think of much more
but then I'd find myself designing the PCB and writing the manual
just kidding
:D

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 01/11/2006 - 11:33
I'd hope this wouldn't be spam since I'm not selling anything. Since this is open-source software I'm not making money. I'm just looking for input.

Could you explain a little more what you mean? I have very little knowledge of the hardware end of things. My current plan is to take a MIDI file as input, so I'm not expecting ardware to enter into it too much, but I could be wrong.

Thanks!

pr0gr4m Wed, 01/11/2006 - 11:43
From the sound of it, what you want to create is basically a sample playback device. There are many different types of these out on the market and quite a few of them were designed specifically for drums. You might want to look at a few of them to get your ideas of where to start. Battery, DFH and Drumagog are some popular ones. The applications themselves pretty much all work the same (although drumagog is also a trigger device) and they have the same type of features. The real value is in the multi-sampled drums.

If you want to offer something new/different, for it to be worth anything it would have to have a great sample library.

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 01/11/2006 - 12:24
Thanks for the info. Those are basically what I'm trying to do, the difference is that mine is open-source freeware and targeted toward small, independent artists. Basically, anyone who can't spend more than $130 on their drum sound or doesn't have the technological prowess to run those other programs.

Now the question becomes: what features are "essential" (samples are a given), which can be automated, and what features are helpful yet optional?

Thanks again in advance.

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 02/03/2006 - 09:53
All I need is a piano roll :)

A few things though...if it's going to be a VSTi, it must have multiple outputs. If it doesn't, then you'd better include a compressor, EQ and reverb for each separate track >:)

Instead of doing what Toontrack did, and making a separate channel for hard snare hits, make it that whenever a velocity of 127 is played on the snare channel, it randomly chooses a hard hit, as opposed to having to go through by hand and randomly alter the velocities so it plays different hard hits.

Kev Sun, 02/05/2006 - 12:32
trouble here is that the software based units like BFD are setting a very high standard in both sound and features

any hardware
like a controller or a drum machine
needs to have hands on features that the software just doesn't

you need to want to put your hands on it and it needs to be fast and intuative

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 12/02/2006 - 03:26
It would be cool to be able to create real sounding drum tracks using your computer keyboard rather then an external midi devise. So you play the drums in real time with the keys. Then an easy to use interface to edit the tracks (or to create them that way if prefered) with your mouse. Features to quickly fix timing mistakes and such should be included.

MadTiger3000 Sat, 12/02/2006 - 06:19
hardrockandblues wrote: It would be cool to be able to create real sounding drum tracks using your computer keyboard rather then an external midi devise. So you play the drums in real time with the keys. Then an easy to use interface to edit the tracks (or to create them that way if prefered) with your mouse. Features to quickly fix timing mistakes and such should be included.

FL Studio (or some other program capable of taking keyboard = MIDI input), and soundfonts.
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