Drum Machine Designer has to be one of my favorite things about Logic Pro since the release of 10.5. I freaking love this thing!
While Drum Machine Designer has been around for a while now, it wasn’t always the easiest to work with. DMD sure was pretty. But it felt like a weird middle-man between you and the actual instrument behind DMD, which was Ultrabeat.
But thanks to 10.5, the vision for Drum Machine Designer now feels fully realized. And man is it slick!
Drum Machine Designer isn’t an “instrument,” per se. Instead, DMD is a container for other drum instruments and samplers.
The Drum Machine Designer interface is more like a “smart hub” for accessing details of each drum pad. Allowing you to adjust individual controls of each instrument/channel strip:
- Plugin controls
- Volume & Panning
- Reverb & Delay sends
And even the underlying instruments themselves!
If you pop open any of the Electronic Drum Kit Track Stacks from Logic’s Library, you’ll find each Channel Strip houses its own instrument. Most of which are either Quick Sampler or Drum Synth.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t load Ultrabeat onto a DMD channel strip. Or a 3rd party drum instrument like Battery. Or some other instrument entirely, like the Vintage Keys.
And paired with Logic’s new Step Sequencer and Pattern Regions, Logic is now a producer’s paradise.
One thing that might not feel immediately evident is how to program pitched drum parts. Especially when using Logic’s Step Sequencer.
Think 808s. Pitched high hats for ear candy. Or just subtle pitch variations for less robotic-sounding drums.
Of course one of the many amazing Step Sequencer Edit Modes is the Note mode. Which allows you to change the note/pitch on a per-step basis.
But Note doesn’t match our expectations when working with Drum Machine Designer. Instead of pitching a snare or snap up or down, it swaps that snare or snap with the other drum sounds.
That’s because when you load a Pattern Region onto a DMD Track Stack, that top layer is not just the snare or snap. It’s the entire drum machine worth of pads spread across the piano roll.
But you only have to dig a *tiny* bit deeper into Drum Machine Designer for pitching samples.
And today I’d like to show you 3 ways to sequence pitched drum samples. Check out today’s video for more.