Drum machine

Friends, you must admit that the lack of a drum machine in processors of the highest price category is one of the worst practices of today. The manufacturer, as it were, implies that the owner of such a device is already super professional and does not need to train a sense of rhythm, or uses a DAW or a slave-drummer for this. But this is not so, even pros sometimes just want to sit on a sofa in their penthouse to put on their headphones and play under four simple strokes before the concert. And since it is stated that QuadCortex is the most powerful device on the planet and it is from the future, then the drum machine in it must correspond to this level! I took the liberty of describing what it should be :relaxed:
Let’s get started!
Of course, this should not be just a set of a dozen different rhythms. Thanks to the touch screen, it can be a full-fledged sampler with a sequencer. Drum sample libraries can weigh quite a bit, a library of 12 samples will take ~ 1.5 Mb in wav format and ~ 150 kb in ogg or mp3. So can easily embed 2-3 libraries, as well as allow users to download several of their own. Given the ability to process the sound of drums with a reverb and equalizer, we can achieve a very wide range of sounds. This is what the main screen of our drum machine should look like:

Everything is pretty standard here, I will only describe the purpose of some buttons and interface elements. The largest window is the sequencer itself, in it we mark which instrument should sound at which moment of the measure, the red dots are the running light that marks the current time fragment during playback. The list of our instruments on the left is the sound of the drums. The “Kit” button is used to select a sample library.
And finally, on top the panel with several control buttons, now more about them:

  • Load - allows you to load a MIDI file from the device’s memory
  • Save - allows you to save a MIDI file
    You can create files with drum parts on a computer, this will allow you to rehearse in the absence of a drummer.
  • The following two buttons (“ 4 ” and “ b/4 ”) allow you to specify how many beats contains a bar and how to split each beat. The sequencer layout is based on these settings.
  • The yellow button “ 120 ” is tap-tempo, the current rhythm is indicated on the button, and if you hold it, a panel will appear on which you can set the rhythm with the slider and +/- buttons

  • The Play and Stop buttons speak for themselves.
  • The purpple button “ bar ” depending on the selected mode, displays the text “ bar ”, “ bars ” or “ Song ”. Tap opens a panel with some playback settings.
    • Countdown - adds a zero bar to prepare. Of course, you can add a countdown to the MIDI file, but it spoils the mathematical beauty and order, I don’t like when the verse ends with, for example, 33 bar and not 32. Or the whole song has 129 bars, not 128.
    • Repeat - serves to loop the drum part.
    • The second row of buttons allows you to set the playback of one bar, the whole song or part of it using the sliders and buttons below. This is useful for practicing a specific piece of a song, such as a verse.

  • Next are the buttons for moving through the bars one at a time, the central button contains the number of the current bar, when you click on it, a panel appears allowing you to immediately move to the desired bar.
  • Edit , a cool button, it contains a panel that controls the clipboard and a command to clear the current bar from all notes. The clipboard can greatly simplify the creation of long batches of drums. It contains several cells at once, you can tell it, for example, to remember bar 1, bar 9, and then insert them as necessary. In this screenshot, we see that 2 cells are ready for insertion, and 4 are empty, you can remember something in them

Pay attention to the part of the HiHat, you may notice that some notes are a little darker. Thus, the volume is marked, this allows you to Indicates accents and beats. To edit the volume of each note, you just need to click on the instrument of interest, the sequencer will take on this form:

Here, in addition to the volume of each note, we can adjust the overall volume of the instrument, its panorama and the send level to the effect chain.

  • “Settings” button, opens this panel:

Here we again see the ability to customize individual volume, panorama and send to the chain of effects, but for all instruments at once in a convenient table. The inconspicuous chain icon, to the right of the inscriptions vol, pan, fx is used to link all the faders, to simultaneously change. On the right we see the effects themselves - a reverb and an equalizer. And a few more buttons at the very top.

  • The first allows you to specify which MIDI-channel will be on, this will allow you to control it from the outside or vice versa, use it to control other devices.
  • The second button is the drunk drummer mode :slight_smile: Allows you to set some random quantization, making the drum machine more lively, contains 4 modes - off , light , medium , hard . Generally a pretty good feature, it really enlivens the drums.
  • Inverted . As you noticed in this sequencer, the “Kick” is located on top. Usually in different DAWs it looks the other way around, a note C1 corresponds to the “Kick”, and it is located below. I don’t really like it, let there be a button for inverting the view.
  • And the last button indicates instructs the drum machine to use global settings or different for each preset.

And finally, a small nuance of the sample library. Since the drum machine allows users to load their libraries, you cannot hard-code the names of instruments. It is necessary to agree on the name of the samples and take the names from them. For example, like this:
The numbers and the file extension should be discarded, and take the middle part as a name. And please do not start numbering at 00, most people are not programmers and are used to counting objects from the number 1 :slight_smile:
I hope this impresses you, I killed a couple of evenings to develop this concept =)

Their Hero statement:

“Quad Cortex. The most powerful floor modeler on the planet.”

I can see the benefits to a few simple beats w/tempo control and a basic click track… but I don’t think NDSP intends this to be a fully equipped DAW.

No need to make it this complicated. I get a drum machine if I need that, but simple drum patters and metronome would be good for headphone practice. I use a Zoom b1 four for remote practice and that I more than enough (approx 20 simple patterns including metronome in 4/4,3/4, 5/4 and strait clic) possibility to set tempo and volume is enough.


Wow, what a great feature request and effort! This would be the deluxe version of a drum machine but I also would be happy with a simpler version of this.


This sir much like your last post is so very high grade trolling. My hat is off to you my friend. Truly.