Techno Gear Overview – Drumazon Drum sequencer by D16 – 909 Emulator
909 reasons to have it
Drumazon plugin by D16. The excellent VST emulates all the sounds of the original 909 by Roland. All the instruments are synthesized in exactly the same way as the original to emulate that classic piece of Techno hardware.
As used by Techno Producers Chris Liebing, Richie Hawtin, Stephan Bodzin, Ege Bamyasi, Robert Babicz and Code Bushido.
Drumazon VST synthesis claims to emulate all of the sounds of the original 9O9 which in some peoples eyes is one of the cornerstones of making Techno in a Studio.
All the instruments are synthesized in exactly the same way as the original Techno Classic. All the nuances and detail of the original are captured perfectly. In addition, all Drumazon instruments have enhanced controls. This extra functionality allows the user to adjust the sounds further than on the original techno unit. This opens up a whole new world of sound creation. To Listen to the audio demos on the D16 website: http://d16.pl/drumazon
Drumazon has a flexible output configuration. Every instrument’s audio signal can be routed to any of the 11 outputs. This allows users to further shape sounds individually or in groups via their favourite plug-ins.
Each individual output can be set to mono or stereo. Every instrument also has a Mute and Solo button. Mute will not just silence the sound, it will stop the sound being triggered. Solo will stop all other instruments from being triggered and only allow the selected sound(s) to play.
Drumazon has extensive midi control. Midi notes can be used to trigger each individual sound. Alternatively, the internal sequencer can be used. This can be set to play using Drumazon’s internal clock or set to synchronize perfectly to the host sequencer.
Most of Drumazon’s parameters can be automated within the host and also controlled using MidiCC with an external controller. An easy-to-use Midi Learn function allows reassignment of any of the parameters.
Within the internal sequencer, patterns are stored in 8 banks. Each bank can store up to 12 patterns. Each pattern consists of 16 steps. Each pattern location has a midi note number assigned to it. The patterns can be edited traditionally using the step buttons or using the tap function.
The internal sequencer has various modes of operation. In Chain Mode, a range of patterns are selected from the internal banks and are played through in a circular fashion. Patterns can also be triggered freely by selecting the corresponding midi note (for example, from a midi controller keyboard). External controllers can be used in any mode to provide full control over pattern playback.
A Randomizer function is also provided within the internal sequencer [TS – If you like to produce wonky techno start here.] It can be used to make simple changes to a pattern or create a whole new one – ideal when your creativity needs a boost! Randomizing can be applied to specific instruments and specific steps. The frequency of occurrence can also be adjusted to give you just the right amount.
Files are stored in the XML format. This allows single patterns or whole banks to be exchanged between users easily. XML allows the files to be edited in a text editor. Ideal if you want to post or share a pattern on a website, just post the text!
The settings for each instrument can be stored in its own preset. Each instrument preset can be loaded in individually. This allows maximum flexibility when slamming down a large slice of techno percussion putting various kits of instruments together. A dedicated Preset Manager is provided to help the user manage the sounds within their own unique library. There are 15 preset kits included that can be manipulated and edited with various tuning and ADSR knobs. Perfect for making various styles of techno.
- truly emulated instruments’ synthesis
- perfectly scaled knob ranges with few modifications enlarging the spectrum of the sounds
- enhanced control of instruments’ sound
- dynamic signal routing from instruments to outputs
- user-defined plugin outputs settings
- mutes/solos for each instrument (affect triggering not just the signal)
- fully controllable via MidiCC
- quick midiCC assignation with MidiLearn function
- many ways of controlling the device:
- external mode (note mode)
- internal sequencer (pattern mode) with 3 submodes
- external mode:
- midi map equivalent with the classic drum machine’s map
- midi tune and velocity controls instruments’ levels and tunes
- internal sequencer:
- 8 banks with 12 patterns per bank
- each pattern up to 16 steps of length
- each pattern defined with one of four available measures
- each step can be defined normal or flamed and accented or not
- shuffle mode
- flam mode
- tap mode
- chain mode
- Shuffle, Flam and TotalAccent values defined globally and per pattern
- Scale function and intelligent Rescale (automatically stretches pattern to the chosen measure)
- built-in Randomizer (selection of instruments to random, steps to be affected, frequency of the randomized notes and more)
- patterns import/export via human-readable XML files
- two modes of synchronization:
- precise synchronization to the host tempo
- synchronization to internal clock – tempo controlled in the range 30-303 BPM (+-0.1)
- individual presets per instrument with a preset manager to easy control
Techno Scene Summary
We had a lot of fun with this versatile plugin, in both Ableton and Logic X environments it worked really well, producing a wide array of deep techno sounds. While it’s not an exact replica of the Roland Classic, it is very close and does have its own charm and serious functionality to boot.
The amount of flexibility is quite impressive, it can produce a huge amount of not just techno and electronic drums with lots of knobs to tweak for ultimate knobheads.
If you enjoy programming drum machines for producing techno that works straight up no BS, give the Drumazon a whirl, we think you’ll be happy you did.
Try tweaking it yourself on your next techno production with the demo version which you can find on their website or just €99 to buy
Techno Scene Review next Month we feature the D16 Tekturon VST/AU Multitap sequenced delay unit.
- Previous Harvey McKay – Black Dolphin – Drumcode
- Next Damon Wild – Cosmic Path on Infrastructure – Techno Review