After our take on some modern analog classics –Jomox Xbase 09, Vermona DRM-1 & DSI Tempest– which we sampled thoroughly for our Raw Series of drum libraries, we decided to take a more experimental route this time and build a set of custom drum kits and sounds out of Pepe’s (Positif) huge and tasty eurorack modular.
The idea was not just to build an assorted set of drum samples, but something that had a certain sound to it, something coherent that could resemble a real retro drum machine when mixed together. The inspiration came from the story behind Roland’s own TR-808 voice design. It’s been said that some of the mythical TR sounds were first synthesized via a giant System 700 modular housed at Roland’s engineering lab in Japan, and that those patches served as the template for the circuits behind the now legendary voices of the 808.
We’ve recorded all raw sounds directly from the modular as round-robin multisamples. This multisampling technique, given the slightly unstable nature of modular synthesizers, brings a lot of liveness and realistic analog character to the sounds, since no samples will sound the same when put in a row while building a beat. We’ve also done chromatic tom instruments playable with a keyboard for melodic lines, and even a chromatic bass drum patch! What’s not to like?
Last but not least, we have mixed, layered and processed again all those samples, and created a collection of 16 pad kits with them that will fit in a vast amount of music genres.
The cool thing is that, because of the custom nature of the modular system used, it sounds like no other drum machine on earth! Modular Drums Vol.1 really is as unique and alive as it can be!
Peace, love and modular drums!