What would you like in a drum machine?

Discussion in 'Synths / Samplers & VSTi' started by Bakkster_Man, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. Bakkster_Man

    Bakkster_Man Guest

    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
  2. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    spam ?

    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
  3. Bakkster_Man

    Bakkster_Man Guest

    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.

  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    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.
  5. Bakkster_Man

    Bakkster_Man Guest

    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.
  6. jarrydn

    jarrydn Guest

    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.
  7. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    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
  8. I dont know much about this stuff but what would make me hapyy is an easy kind of way to make beats within the program rather than having to shell out money for a keyboard or something like that.
  9. I dont know much about this stuff but what would make me hapyy is an easy kind of way to make beats within the program rather than having to shell out money for a keyboard or something like that.
  10. If you need help i would love to create some free drum programs ( samples ) for your machine to get people started.
  11. DIGIT

    DIGIT Guest

    CK this one out...it comes with 8000+ MIDI files (drag & drop), kick ass samples and a humanizing engine that changes the samples on the fly.

  12. 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.
  13. MadTiger3000

    MadTiger3000 Active Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    FL Studio (or some other program capable of taking keyboard = MIDI input), and soundfonts.

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