FIRMWARE UPGRADE OS009 FOR DR-2
A new upgrade for the DR-2, OS009, is ready for download now at our download page! For those who upgrade from OS006 or earlier, don't forget to install the new bootloader. Install file and instructions are included in the upgrade.
What's new? First of all a few minor improvements:
- Loading and saving of patterns and drumsets now happens in a 'background process', and no longer disturbs the sequencer and synchronization.
- That was a last issue with synchronization we know of. The moment you loaded or saved something on the DR-2, the sequencer stuttered for a few milliseconds when the loading/saving process took over the entire processor. Especially when you're synced to an external pulse or MIDI clock, the DR-2 sometimes loosed sync. That has been solved now!
- You can now copy/paste single sequencer steps, including their parameter locks. Use a step button 1...16 + REC to copy, and another step button 1...16 + PLAY to paste.
- Instrument focus: Keep DRUMSET down and press an instrument button A...F to lock focus on that instrument for parameter edition and step sequencing. That means you can freely 'fingerdrum' on the A...F buttons, the knobs and controls stay focused on the chosen instrument.
- MIDI NRPN reception for all the parameters that didn't have a dedicated MIDI Control Change yet. Check the table below.
- Removal of disturbing click sounds in certain situations.
- Especially on softer (slow attack) drum sounds, differences in volume or distortion drive due to accents, velocity changes or parameter locks could induce unwanted digital clicks. They have been removed!
But more important, there's...
- Random drum pattern generation
- A new snaredrum model, the 'Electro' snare
Random drum pattern generation
Some versatile probability/randomization options have been added, that make the sequencer randomly add and/or remove drum hits and accents to the programmed ones, constantly changing, in realtime. From little variations every now and then, to fully randomized live-generated unpredictability.
Each instrument A...F can have it's own probability value between 0 and 100%, and it can be separately applied for each instrument to α, β, and ACC or any combination of them.
- Keep the RANDOM button down while turning SELECT(/BPM) to increase the active instrument's (A-F) randomization probability, between 0% and 100%.
- Keep the RANDOM button down and press α, β or ACC to set the active instrument's α, β or accent randomization type:
- ADD means drum hits or accents can only be added to the existing ones in the sequencer pattern.
- SWI means drum hits or accents can be added to and removed from the existing ones (ie. switched on/off).
- SUB means only existing sequencer drum hits or accents can be removed.
- OFF means no randomization.
A little example: let's start with a beat with a typical strong snaredrum hit on the 2nd and 4th beat. Just program the snaredrum hits on steps 5 and 13.
Let's now suppose we want some random drumhit to be generated every now and then in between: put α-randomization to ADD, with a rather low probability, 10% or so. The sequencer now adds a few drum hits.
If you do want the 2nd and 4th beat drumhits to be skipped every now and then, put the randomization type to SWI instead of ADD.
You could put a snaredrum accent on beats 2 ad 4, and leave accent randomization OFF. The randomly added drumhits will not be accented, while the strong 2nd and 4th time snaredrums remain prominent.
randomize.mp3 // ADD randomization on the snaredrum. First 4 bars with 15% probability, then 30%, 45% and 60%. Accent on beats 2 and 4 (step 5 and 13)
New snare drum model...
And then, there is a new drum model, the ELECTRO SN!
We're not going to make it a secret, this snare drum model has been severely inspired by Roland's TR-808 snare. The existing ANALOG SN model of the DR-2 didn't succeed in trying to capture the special electronic funkiness of the original 808 snare.
The Electro Snare has two sinewave oscillators, separated by one octave, that can be mixed. Next to that there's a 'snappy' snare sound of filtered white noise, with a separate amp envelope.
- The X parameter controls the balance between the oscillators and noise.
- The Y parameter controls the decay rate of the separate 'snappy' snare noise envelope.
- The Z parameter controls the balance between the 2 oscillators, like the TONE control of the 808 SN.
- The T parameter controls the 'pulse length': Before the oscillators starts sounding, you first here a filtered pulse with a length between 0 and ~2.5ms that mimics the transient of drum skin hit by a drum stick.
Let's hear it! We set up a rather 808-y snare sound, and then play with, respectively, the Y, Z and X parameters, and finally the transient T parameter.
electrosn.mp3 // Electro Snare demo, playing with the Y, Z, X and T parameters.
Zaps and snaps...
But then there's also something else about the ELECTRO SN model...
'Can you make those typical zap/snap style drum sounds on the DR-2?' a customer asked us. 'Like the ones you often hear for example on Kraftwerk and other old-school electronic recordings?'
'Well, of course you can!', we answered, 'Just apply a large amount of a fast decaying pitch envelope on any of our snaredrum or even bassdrum models.'
Only to find out a bit later we didn't succeed at all in reproducing such catchy percussive zaps! Damn...
The reason for that is that the envelope amounts on our drum machine don't go far enough. You need a quite extreme amount of pitch enveloping to reproduce that sound, over 6 octaves. So far, none of our drum models could do that. So, on the ELECTRO SN model we doubled the pitch envelope amount range. That means you can also produce those catchy zap/snap snares with it!
zapsnap.mp3 // 'Zap' or 'snap' style drum sounds, first increasing the pitch env amount, then varying the pitch decay.
You can now use MIDI NRPNs to access parameters that were previously unaccessable via MIDI.
The NRPN MSB (CC#99) selects the instrument A-F (0-5), the LSB (CC#98) selects the parameter according to the table below. After that, you can alter the parameter using NRPN DATA (CC#6) and data increment/decrement (CC#96/CC#97).
|0||Pitch ENV decay|
|4||Pitch ENV curve|
|7||Amp ENV curve|
|12||Pitch ENV amount|
|17||Velocity volume sensitivity|
|18||β parameter number|
|19||β parameter value|
|20||Velocity parameter number|
|21||Velocity parameter sensitivity|
|22||Random parameter number|
|23||Random parameter sensitivity|
|24||DEF parameter number|
|25||DEF parameter sensitivity|