Tag: drum machine

what about… Drum machines in Eurorack format?

Breathing some more rhythm into the rack is not that difficult these days. Besides countless interesting single-voice drum modules, there are also complete drum kits in Eurorack format. That’s exactly what we’re looking at today – modules that can play multiple percussive voices at the same time. From adaptations of established classics, from fully analog to fully digital, everything you could wish for is here.

Tubbutec / LPZW – 6m0d6

Let’s start with the exciting new development 6m0d6, which we could already test extensively at SUPERBOOTH21. The 6m0d6 by Tubbutec & LPZW is based on Roland’s TR 606, a much sought-after classic. However, the original offered virtually no way to edit the sounds, no individual outputs and a very basic sequencer. Tubbutec / LPZW have simply removed the sequencer altogether and offer a matching new development separately, in addition, the module has a MIDI input, super handy.

The remaining “drawbacks” of the TR 606 have all been eliminated and the sonic variety has been expanded by quite a bit. There are a total of 7 instruments, the original circuits of the 606 were recreated and modified with additional parameters – all drum sounds now have editable parameters! Finally you can change tune, tone, decay and click on the bass drum.

The TR 606 used white noise for the snare drum and a metal sound for the hihats and cymbal. With the addition of the XOR ring mod sound source, you can now choose between three sound sources for snare and hihats, as well as for cymbal! Because the white noise is generated digitally, you can now reduce it in resolution, for crunchy lo-fi sounds.

What’s even more remarkable: The 6 oscillators of the metal sound can be played via MIDI. You can turn the flexible cymbal channel into a drone or string synthesizer – time to experiment!

You get a pretty capable drum machine with the 6m0d6, with individual outs, dynamic trigger inputs and MIDI. If you’re into the sound of the TR 606, this module can get you there and much further if you want.

The Endorphin.es Twins

Now let’s move on to the Endorphin.es twins. Queen of Pentacles and Blck_Noir also offer 7 voices per module and are based on classics from Roland. The Endorpin.es modules also do without the sequencer and concentrate on sound generation, but go one step further than the 6m0d6. Because both modules offer a fully equipped effects section and a user interface that invites you to perform.

Blck_Noir

The sound generation of the Blck_Noir is loosely based on Roland’s CR-78, but trimmed for more impact. The seven voices (kick, snare, tambourine, closed and open hi-hat, cymbal and metal beat) are generated by discrete analog circuits and digital noise – for sound refinement, an effects processor is available, which sits in front of the stereo master output. There you will also find a master filter, whose cutoff frequency is equipped with the largest knob of the module – here everything is trimmed for interaction and performance.

The effects section comes with many different effects. Besides shimmer, room, spring and plate reverbs, there are of course delays, like the Ping-Pong Delay or Tape Echo. In addition, there is a bank of effects with Ring Modulator, Overdrive Compressor and a few others. Just plug in a sequencer and you have a very playable and complete instrument at your fingertips. The same goes for the evil twin of the Blck_Noir: Queen Of Pentacles.

Queen of Pentacles

Again, there are seven voices based on a classic from Roland – this time the TR-909, so things are a bit rougher with the Queen of Pentacles. Three voices are analog (kick, snare, clap), four are based on samples. So here you can be creative. Take a few samples from the original 909, or completely redirect to something new. Of course, an exclusive sample library comes with the unit, including a set of freshly recorded samples for modern electronic music with handmade Paiste 602 15″ and 18″ cymbals. All sample channels also feature volume envelope, decay and pitch control.

There is also the versatile effects section, including a master filter, as in Blck_Noir. Both Endorphin.es modules are made to be played live. The whole layout is focused on performing. The individual sounds are tweakable, but not too much – meaning you can go crazy while performing without the fear of “loosing” a sound in too wide parameter ranges. As said before, just add a sequencer of your choice and you have your drums fully covered for your live gig.

Quanalog – BouBou

The next module in this series is the BouBou from Quanalog. A five-voice module, with completely analog sound generation. So far we haven’t had the pleasure of trying it out, but there are some very informative videos, of this promising module.

The BouBou makes use of a technique that has been practiced in many modular racks in recent years – using filters as sound generators for percussive sounds. Here, an additional noise source is used for the snare and hi-hat sounds.

The module is a relatively simple design, with two to three controls per voice for sound shaping and a couple of CV inputs. The kick, for example, is equipped with a simple envelope, a click generator and an overdrive circuit. And because these are filters and Quanalog wanted to leave plenty of room for experimentation, it’s possible to send an audio signal into the trigger input, turning the kick drum into a wavefolder/bit crusher that can transform a simple waveform into a complex one. Furthermore, without a trigger signal at the input, the lo-tom section can become a notch filter for the bass drum with CV control of the pitch, etc… very very interesting!

In general the sounds of this module are on the softer side, but it leaves room for experiments and Quanalog made some very nice design choices.

VPME – Quad Drum Voice

With the Quad Drum Voice Module by VPME we come to the last module for today. This module goes in a completely different direction and the name of the module is almost a bit of an understatement. The Quad Drum Voice is, unsurprisingly, a four-voice digital drum module. But what is not immediately clear: There are three different sound generators to choose from for each voice: Sample Player, Wavetable VCO or digital drum model. You can store more than 1000 samples on an SD card if you want, assign them to a voice, fit them into the stereo image, and process them with a 3-band EQ and compressor.

Alternatively, you can select one of the digital drum models – here digital drums are modeled, and you can adjust their characteristics to the sound you want – for example kicks, snares and hats. This is all very flexible and sounds really good. For more tonal sounds, there is also a wavetable oscillator, but it’ also meant for percussive sounds – although you could use it as a VCO with decay turned all the way up. Quite a lot of sonic flexibility and an interesting control concept that gets the maximum playability out of the given space. Furthermore, it is possible to store and recall 64 presets, which makes it ideal for a live performance.

The VPME QD is by far the most versatile module in this comparison. With its samples and algorithmic drum models and wavetable sound source it is hard to imagine a percussive sound you can’t compose on this module – but it has only four channels, compared to the 5-7 of the other modules in this comparison. The same is true for single outputs, you’ll have to live with the stereo output and the internal mixer.

Video: MFB Tanzbär 2 workshop at SchneidersLaden

The MFB Tanzbär 2 is one of the most complete drum machines on the market. Jean-Marcel Fricke from MFB presents their biggest drum machine project to date in a workshop and performance at SchneidersLaden.

Get an overview about the workflow and hear this nice machine play some music. With different analog and digital voices plus a synth engine you are able to do complete compositions.

Check out more of the SchneidersLaden workshop videos here – or come to one of the next workshops, find an overview here.

Metasonix tube drums

metasonixd1000Eric Barbour alias Metasonix introduced his pre-production model of a tube drummachine with an internal sequencer called D-1000. The 8-step triggersequencer can run the  two drum instruments, SD and Cymbal with CV-able tuning, generating very interesting drumsounds. All housed in a grey plastic lunchbox as known from the KV-100 Assblaster. Available in about three months earliest.

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STROMKULT is our platform for updates and news on SCHNEIDERSLADEN and SUPERBOOTH, selected electronic musical instruments and events related to modular synthesizers, sequencers, competent drum machines, analog modular systems, midi tools, controllers, converters and related products of all kinds. You can find all kinds of events related to these topic in our EVENT CALENDAR. Also on this site you will find lots of videos from SUPERBOOTH – the world’s largest trade fair for electronic musical instruments, news about events and workshops at SCHNEIDERSLADEN.

Herr Schneider started in 1999 with SCHNEIDERSBUERO as a sales and marketing platform for the smallest manufacturers and inventors of electronic musical instruments. Products were shown online, in our showrooms and at the original SUPERBOOTH – workshops and countless reviews have been featured in magazines all over Europe.

These very special instruments and tools are now often available from specialist dealers all over Europe and can be purchased directly from our webshop SCHNEIDERSLADEN worldwide.