Image-Line Hypes New Drumatrix Physical Modeling Percussion Synth
Image-Line readying a new virtual percussion synth dubbed Drumatrix. Image-Line claims their new
percussion modelling instrument will give you total control over 10 physically modelled drums that can be routed to independent outputs for external effects processing.
Image-Line claims the Drumatrix’s Jedi Power is its “expressive realism.” Once a drum sound is recorded, the performance and modulation options are limited to filtering, volume or similar 1-dimensional filtering effects. When a single drum sample is triggered in a roll you get the familiar ‘machine-gun’ effect, it just sounds artificial. Multi-sampled, multi-layered drums can overcome this limitation but need multi-megabyte or even Gigabyte! drum libraries, and even then, you are still limited to the sounds originally recorded.
Drumatrix is not based on samples or even commonly used ‘synthesis’ techniques, where oscillators are mixed and the result is ‘electronic’. Drumatrix is a truly ‘modelled’ drum, and not just a single drum, Drumatrix can model bass drums, hi-hats, snares, realistic and yes electronic sounds too. But what about the traditional ‘Achilles’ heel’ of synthesis, cymbals? We have left the best until last, Drumatrix models cymbals & metallic ethnic percussion instruments with ease.
At the core of Drumatrix is a model of the drum-head. Here the vibrating membrane is represented in a mesh of inter-connected of points, each given physical properties, mass, inertia, stiffness, damping and all that good physics stuff. For the musician, this means Drumatrix can model the drum-head with multiple parameters such as material, thickness, tension and even shape. More importantly the parameters can be modulated in real-time as a function of velocity or external controls. The drum body is also modelled, in terms of material, size, vibration damping and shape. All this gives you multi-dimensional performance possibilities, a Matrix of variables providing the almost infinite complexity & subtlety of hitting a real drum.
» 130 drumkits
» 900 drum patches
» 200 drum patterns
» 10 Physically modelled drum pads
» Multi-output for individual effects processing on each pad
» Huge range of modelling possibilities covering sounds from cymbals to kettle-drums
» Velocity modulation matrix for detailed expressiveness
» Integrated Step-sequencer with trigger-key playback
» Integrated effects
» Single-pad version ‘Drumpad’ available for tight integration with FL Studio Step-sequencer
It appears that some of the concepts that Image-Line has incorporated into the Drumatrix first appeared in the original Korg WaveDrum (circa 1995). Now what made V1.0 of the WaveDrum so compelling was the fact that it was the first electronic percussion instrument that could “understand” hand drumming technique. Unlike the majority of electronic drums that could only tell when you hit it and how hard, the WaveDrum could comprehend not only velocity, but also where you hit the drum, how hard you hit it and, here’s the kicker, what type of sound you made when you hit it. Thus, it could interpret a bass sound, a rim sound, a slap and so forth.
Why bring all this up?? Well, it seems to us that if Image-Line could debut its own drum controller that could feed these attributes into Drumatrix, they could have a pretty compelling product. Reason? Neither the original, or the new WaveDrum can be updated with new sounds or models…
Image-Line’s Drumatrix is now in beta for both PC and Mac. More information on the Image-Line Drumatrix percussion synth.