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Let's Play with DrumComputer

I had so much fun with the sound design options in DrumComputer. This drum synth from Sugar Bytes provides several unique oscillators that let you come up with some wild drum sounds.

Video Description:

Sugar Bytes brought their massive drum synth DrumComputer to iOS, and it includes all of the sound design complexity of the desktop version. There is a lot to cover and I had a bunch of fun exploring the unique oscillators' designs.

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Reader Comments 9

I really like drum computer. I had some trouble getting a particular "beefy" kick out of it, but I think that might have been the earbuds I was using at the time.

One thing I struggled with is the sliders in the SEQ section. Hard to see the numbers and when I release my finger the slider snaps to another location. Impossible to get the value I want. Impossible.
It doesn't let you drift to the side so you can see. Probably using a mouse would make it a little less awful.

The Ofs (offset) feature makes interesting rhythms possible, but again, the uncooperative sliders makes it suck as a workflow.

The sound engine is pretty versatile. Top marks there.
January 28, 2021  | favorite_border stub
On January 28, 2021 - @stub said:
I really like drum computer. I had some trouble getting a particular "beefy" kick out of it, but I think that might have been the earbuds I was using at the time.

You are in luck, stub! This video actually includes a couple of specific tips for getting beefy kicks that sound solid, even on earbuds.
Cool. I'll definitely check it out! Thanks, Tim!
January 28, 2021  | favorite_border stub
The synthesis methods and options are so versatile, it's really cool.

Under Env/LFO assign knobs, you can choose the targets. Also, the 4 knobs on the right of that section are a mod matrix, choose the source and destination-- the knob is depth. The little keyboard icon with the down arrow turns on velocity control for that parameter. The "-" icon inverts the envelope. The pair of 8th notes below the speed controls is a tempo sync on/off-- which works as an LFO, but also when the envelope is set to loop.

It's weird, I still wasn't getting much sub 100Hz from those kicks. It's got to be possible, and it would be truly bizarre for that section to be unable to generate low-end. I'll need to figure out where the low end is getting killed.

The usability issues with the iOS version don't seem to be as problematic with the desktop version. Maybe if I discover the missing low end, I'll consider it. On desktop, I mostly use acoustic drum sample libraries, but for synth drums, I have a couple 808 sims, and Drumaxx and Chromaphone 2. I recently got a nice K1CK, SN4RE, and CL4P from 2getheraudio. Those are pretty nice to use. Unfortunately, they don't offer a hat/cymbal module yet. Perhaps they'll add one.
January 30, 2021  | favorite_border stub
The full iOS version is $27. The desktop version is $120. Not unreasonable, but as little as I would use it, not for me.
January 30, 2021  | favorite_border stub
I was digging in a little more. It's weird. I just don't like the sounds of the kicks. When I go to the resonator, it just sounds bad, like 8-bit. (I have the bit-crushing & distortion off). As a comparison I went into Drumaxx and the kick right out of the box sound gorgeous.

So I guess my bottom line is that Sugar Bytes gives you lots of options, but not lots of fidelity. Also, trying to use those sliders on the SEQ page is maddening. 2 stars.
January 31, 2021  | favorite_border stub
On January 31, 2021 - @stub said:
I was digging in a little more. It's weird. I just don't like the sounds of the kicks. When I go to the resonator, it just sounds bad, like 8-bit. (I have the bit-crushing & distortion off). As a comparison I went into Drumaxx and the kick right out of the box sound gorgeous.

My guess is you have a random/noise modulator affecting it in some way. I know I encountered similar sounds in the app, and it was usually caused by a noise source on one of the modulators.
I should have done this before: I went to the Sugar Bytes folder and loaded the init drumkit which is more of a clean slate. There I could get the resonator section to be clean (and not 8 bit sounding). Also could get the low end I wasn't able to achieve in the other sessions.

Much better. OK. 3.5 stars.
January 31, 2021  | favorite_border stub
Spent more time with it yesterday. Really buggy. Inexplicable clock doubling. Had to quit and restart to fix. Then the hats wouldn't sound. Had to quit and restart, then it came back. What a mess.

Back to 2 stars.

I was playing in some desktop apps and just enjoyed sound creation SO much more.
February 02, 2021  | favorite_border stub
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