The parents at Moog Music aren’t content material simply making ridiculously enjoyable synthesizers, iPad apps, and results bins for artistic musicians. The corporate now’s dipping into percussion—it is latest product, introduced at present, is a drum machine referred to as the Drummer From One other Mom.
Properly, hold on. It isn’t precisely a drum machine. It is a monophonic, semi-modular, analog percussion synthesizer. That is so much to unpack, however what it’s essential know is that once you change on the DFAM and begin twisting the knobs, it makes actually cool artificial drum and percussion sounds—deep throbs, hypersonic plinks, and every little thing in between.
The DFAM is monophonic, so by default, it may solely output one sound at a time. Which means, you possibly can set it as much as play a kick drum sample, or a snare drum sample, or a tom-tom sample, however not all three directly. Most drum machines are polyphonic; they will replicate all the sounds a human drummer would make sitting behind a drum package. The DFAM, being monophonic, is extra restricted. However as any musician will inform you, with limitations come larger prospects for experimentation. Through the use of the modular patch bay on the best aspect of the DFAM’s face plate, you will get it to squeal and yowl and chirp and make all types of noises that do not sound something like common drums. The voicing will get fairly dynamic, too, in order that apparently you’ve got acquired two or three sounds operating as an alternative of simply the one.
Artists from New York’s Discwoman Collective—DJ Haram, Stud1nt, and Umfang—check out percussion sounds on the brand new DFAM synthesizer.
I’ve spent a while with the DFAM prior to now couple of months (Moog Music provided it as a DIY package at its Moogfest convention, and I used to be invited to solder one collectively in a workshop) and one of many nice joys of the machine is that you do not actually need to know something about drum programming to start out getting some fascinating tones out of it. That is principally as a result of it does not look or work something like a daily drum machine. It has knobs and patch bays the place most beat makers would have faucet-pads and LCD screens. Anybody even barely accustomed to easy methods to make a synth go “bleep” will really feel at residence.
After you get a fast lay of the land, you possibly can shortly start constructing patterns. Dial in a great beginning sound, then run it by means of the DFAM’s sequencer—it is eight steps, and every step has its personal velocity and pitch controls. As your chosen sound bounces by way of the steps, you can also make it go up and down in pitch, or develop louder or get softer. For a synth able to producing just one voice at a time, it has an expressive and dynamic palette.
“I do not name it a drum machine,” says Moog Music senior hardware engineer Steve Dunnington, the DFAM’s lead designer. “It does not actually say ‘drum’ anyplace on it.” Dunnington began sketching out concepts for the DFAM on the finish of 2016, then went by way of a number of prototypes earlier than bringing the DIY model to Moogfest in Might 2017. After that interest-type package went over nicely with convention attendees, Dunnington and his workforce set about constructing a model of the DFAM for the buyer market. Now, you should purchase one for $599.
Concerning the humorous identify. When you’re a Moog fan, then you recognize concerning the Mother 32. It is a semi-modular synth comparable in perform to the Drummer From One other Mom, and the 2 machines are the identical form and measurement—therefore the motherly love within the naming. They are often related collectively by way of their matching cable patch bays in order that they sync up and run on the similar tempo. A typical use case can be to write down a bass line on the Mom, then sync up a DFAM (or three) to finish your robotic rhythm part. The DFAM additionally has inputs, so you’ll be able to plug in one other instrument, synth, or sampler and use that to set off your percussion sounds. There are a ton of choices, and no proper or mistaken strategy to make the most of them.
“I do not like to think about this stuff as being dogmatic,” Dunnington says. “It’s a must to discover.”
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