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Drum Machine Designer in depth Behind Drum Machine Designer’s immediacy is a powerful and ultra-flexible drum production tool. Mark Cousins takes a closer look…

Logic In Depth

Released with Logic Pro X 10.1, Drum Machine Designer was an intriguing proposition by Apple – in part, an accessible and immediate tool for electronic drum production, but also an inventive reimagining of Logic’s existing Ultrabeat instrument implemented in a completely original way. For users who are new to Logic Pro X, there’s little doubt that the immediacy and sonic power of Drum Machine Designer – especially when paired with a Drummer track – is appealing, but for an existing user it can seem slightly perplexing, given the existing set of tools. In truth, though, there’s something for everyone to learn and experience, either for new Logic Pro users peeling back Drum Machine Designer’s many layers, or for more experienced users of the software wanting to harness its unique powers.

Designer drums

Drum Machine Designer was specifically designed as the electronic counterpart to the acoustically inspired Drum Kit Designer, both of which are designed to work with Logic Pro X’s Drummer track system. A Drummer track, of course, lets you construct rhythm tracks with incredible ease and efficiency, letting you specify performance qualities rather than having to program a rhythm from scratch. Drum Kit Designer was the natural extension to this, giving you complete access to the acoustic kit on a piece-by-piece basis, whether that meant changing the EQ on the kick drum, for example, or swapping different snare drums. The concept with Drum Machine Designer, therefore, isn’t just to provide you with a virtual drum machine, but also an array of signal-processing options that a professional engineer would apply to each kit element, so as to give the drum machine that elusive ‘punchy’ sound. Load a Drum Machine Designer patch, therefore, and you’ll actually add 30 or so channel strips into your mixer, complete with a range of associated plug-ins for each strip. Creating the same configuration in Ultrabeat is possible (indeed, Drum Machine Designer is actually powered ‘under the bonnet’ by Ultrabeat) but it does necessitate extensive rerouting as well as adding a host of additional plug-ins.

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