INSTRUMENTS / GENERATORS

Drumaxx - Percussion Modeling Instrument

The Drumaxx percussion modeling instrument gives you total control over 16 physically modeled drums that can be routed to independent outputs for external effects processing. Great, but why should you care when the internet is awash with drum samples? In two words, expressive control. See the Drumaxx video tutorial series here.
Once a drum sound is recorded, the performance and modulation options are limited to filtering, volume, or similar 1-dimensional effects. When a single drum sample is triggered in a roll, you get the familiar 'machine-gun' effect and it just sounds mechanical. Multi-sampled, multi-layered drums can overcome this limitation but need multi-megabyte or even Gigabyte! drum libraries. Even then, you are still limited to the sounds originally recorded. Drumaxx is not based on samples or even commonly used 'synthesis' techniques, where oscillators are mixed and the result is always 'electronic'. Drumaxx uses modeling algorithms to create bass drums, hi-hats, snares, realistic and electronic sounds too. But what about the traditional 'Achilles' heel' of synthesis, cymbals? Drumaxx creates cymbals and metallic 'ethnic' percussion sounds too.

At the core of Drumaxx is a model where the vibrating membrane is represented as a mesh of interconnected points. Each point is given physical properties including mass, inertia, stiffness, damping, and all that good physics stuff. For the musician, this means Drumaxx gives you control over multiple parameters such as material, thickness, tension and shape. More importantly, the parameters can be modulated in real-time as a function of velocity or external controls. The drum body is also under user control too, including body size and shape. All this gives you multi-dimensional performance options, a Matrix of variables providing nearly infinite possibilities.

An alternative to Drumaxx is Drumpad (free) that allows you to load a single Drumaxx Drum Pad into any number of individual Channels and use the FL Studio Stepsequencer or Piano roll to control them.

Visit the Drumaxx & Drumpad Image-Line forum for more patches and programming tips.

Overview

As shown above, selecting the Drum Pad will open the Modeling controls to match the Drum Pad. Click on the image above or the link below to jump to the help for that section.

Main Controls

Drum Pad Controls

From left to right, top to bottom the controls for each of the 16 Drum Pads are:

Modeling Controls

The Drum Pad controls change to reflect the selected Drum Pad as shown in the screenshot above. Click on the Drum Pad to be edited.

Mallet

Modeling Controls for the mallet (stick) used to hit the drum.

Membrane

The drum membrane (skin) has a significant impact on the tonal character of the final sound. There are 4 key parameters - Tension, Phase, Material and Shape. When the right balance between these four controls is achieved, the sound will be most natural. We recommend adjusting Tension and Phase first, so that the pitch is close to what you need. Then adjust Material and Shape to fine-tune the tonal qualities. If the balance is right, the Drum Pad will sound like a drum, and if not, the Drum Pad can sound 'blurry' and 'loose'.

Low Frequency Filtering

Low cut frequency filtering

Self Oscillating Filter (SOF)

The SOF is an 'allpass' filter with a narrow frequency-peak exhibiting high levels of self-oscillation. When the frequency-peak is swept quickly downwards, it is useful to make kicks and snares.

Mid Frequency Filtering

Mid-range frequency filtering. The Mid frequencies also include EG controls (EG Freq & EG Level) that allow modulation of the associated parameters. EG modulations are particularly important for creating more realistic drum sounds.

NOTE: The Mid frequency Freq and Level controls are excellent modulation targets for velocity.

High Frequency Filtering

High frequency shelf filtering.

Output

Main output controls.

Velocity Modulation

Velocity can be assigned to 4 modulation targets per Drum Pad. If more control independent of velocity is needed, any of the modeling parameters can be linked to external modulation sources (a mod-wheel for example).

NOTE: You can automate any of the modeling controls using standard automation & modulation techniques.

Performance Sequencer

The Sequencer is primarily for live use, so complex and perfectly 'in time' rhythms can be triggered from a single key. When a trigger note is held, the Pad's sequencer will play until a new pattern is triggered or the same pattern is retriggered. Drum Pads can be assigned up to 16 unique patterns, each with a unique trigger key. To create a pattern, click on the Step-Buttons to play in the bar and set their velocity sliders (to the left of each Drum Pad) where needed. NOTE: Velocity must be associated with the Drum Pad controls in the 'Velocity Modulation' matrix for these sliders to have any effect.

Effects

Drumaxx incorporates an 8 band Equalizer and Limiter into the output of the plugin.

Equalizer

Limiter

Multiple outputs

Each Drum Pad can be sent to separate Mixer track for external effects processing. In the FL Studio version, Drum Pads are sent to the Mixer track Drumaxx is loaded on plus an offset. The Mixer track offset can be changed using the Drum Pad name menu. For example, if Drumaxx is routed to Mixer track 2 and the Drum Pad has an offset of 6, the Drum Pad will be routed to Mixer track 8. NOTE: The maximum number of outputs for VST is 11 and FL Studio native version, 99.

In the example left, the drop-down menus are shown for VST (Pad 2) and FL Studio native (Pad 4).

FL Studio native - Offsets can range from negative values to +98 (not shown). Negative numbers indicate Mixer tracks to the left of Drumaxx's routed Mixer track, positive to the right.

VST - 11 outputs (Master + 10) are available. The Mixer channels these route to will be determined by the plugin wrapper's settings (see your Host's manual).

NOTE: 'Master' in VST & FL versions refers to the Mixer track Drumaxx is routed to, not (necessarily) the host's 'Master' Mixer track.

Drumaxx Online

Hear demo tracks, check for updates or purchase Drumaxx online at www.image-line.com

Plugin Credits:

Drumaxx was created by Maxx Claster exclusively for -

Image Line Software BVBA