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Driven Machine Drums

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More Analog Than An 808 by Tomislav Zlatić

A common tendency among music producers is to spend ridiculous amounts of their spare time collecting more samples than they will ever possibly be able to use. Boys and their toys some would say, but in all honesty, having a right drum sample at the right time can often mean the difference between making an inspiring piece of music or clicking the quit without save button in your software DAW. Still, most of these sample collections end up being utterly unorganized, with all kinds of unsorted and unlabeled files scattered all over the place and quite a few potentially useful samples ending up in some dark corner of the hard drive never to be found again. This kind of stuff will make any sample collection less useful than desired, no matter how rich or versatile it is. And just to add to the chaos, from time to time, a new line of samples will turn up somewhere on the Interenet, offering high quality samples you have always dreamed of, the kind of samples used buy the pros, and all that good stuff for a price more than fair. But do you really need more drum samples? And are they really that good? The DMD library consists of 1,820 oneshot samples offered in standard 24-bit WAV and AIFF formats, and optional EXS-24 and Kontakt patches if you choose to purchase the deluxe version. 34

Also available are 16-bit dithered WAV samples ready for use in an MPC. When it comes to the types of sounds included, apart from the whole shabang of the usual kind of drum sounds such as kicks, snares, claps, toms, bells, rimshots and various similar percussion sounds, the library also includes a fair share of classic synthesizer FX sounds, electronic noises and quite useful bass boosters. The samples are neatly organized into folders by type, and further separated into subfolders accordingly. What put the word driven into this collection's name is the special signal coloration treatment that all of the samples had to go through before becoming a part of the final product. After being recorded from an analog drum machine or a sampler, each sound went thorugh a process of analog saturation, harmonic distortion, and subtle compression, before taking it's final shape. The use of a broad arsenal of analog equipment to further colorize the already analog drum hits impacted the sound of these samples in a manner very similar to the famous old samplers like the MPC3000 and the effect they have on sounds. By running unprocessed samples through analog circuitry, an excess amount of drive is added at the input stage, resulting with the drum sounds that become louder December 2009

and punchier than their unprocessed counterparts, with lesser need of further limiting and compression, if any. The list of equipment used to create this collection of samples is quite stunning. Initial drum sounds have been sculpt on a wide variety of drum machines, from classics such as Roland TR606, TR707, TR808, TR909, Oberheim DMX, Vermona DRM-1, and E-mu SP-1200 on one hand, to modern age beasts like the Elektron Machine Drum, Korg ER-1, Jomox MBase 11, Eventide H8000FW, and the Kyma Capybara modular synth on the other. Further processing these sounds was a job for the Culture Vulture, Source Plus Tube Amp, Atlas Pro Juggernaut Twin, Moog MF-101, and Neve 1073, among others. So how do these driven drums actually sound? Well, frankly speaking, all that vintage equipment did a damn good job of more analog than analog character to the sound. The coloration has been applied in such a tasteful way that provides the samples with both extra punch and warmth at the same time, without making them sound too overdriven or muddy. Included percussion sounds such as the kicks, snares, toms and alike, have a lively, slightly overdriven character, with the right amount of warmth and natural

December 2009  

WSM December 2009

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