The DR-2 is a 6 instrument digital DSP drum synth, with a built-in 128-step drum sequencer. At first sight, it will feel recognizable in some ways. There are sounds that will remind you of the good old classic drum machines, and the step sequencer will get you building drum riffs from the first second you touch it.
Modor Music uses digital sound synthesis to get beyond the possibilities of a classic drum machine, and the step sequencer does more than just hitting drums...
First of all: although it's digital, the DR-2 is not about sampling. It's a drum synthesizer, like a classic analog drum machine, but it uses digital sound synthesis algorithms instead of analog circuitry. There are no samples in the DR-2, and there's no sample memory.
Just like the Modor NF-1, the DR-2 is not build to recreate the classics of the past. The DR-2 uses digital sound synthesis to innovate drum sounds and rhythms. Many sounds will be recognizable. It is possible to make classic sounding bass drums, snares and rimshots.
It's not difficult to program classic floorfillers with the DR-2. But with 12 synthesis parameters per drum, you'll easily find yourself creating your own individual sound.
The DR-2 has 6 drum 'channels', drumsets made of 6 drum instruments. These channels don't have predefined instruments. You can choose freely which instruments you want in your 6-channel drumsets. The DR-2 works with drum models
, of which you can pick one for every channel. You can consider these 'models', or synthesis algorithms, as a collection of small but dedicated drum synthesizers, of which you can pick 6 to form a drumset. There are models for bass drums, snares and cymbals, but also for some more unusual drum sounds, clicks and ticks. Read more about it here
The DR-2 has an output jack connector for each of the 6 channels A-F, and 2 master L/R outputs. If there's no cable connected to a channel output, the corresponding channel is sent to the master L/R outputs. The individual channel outputs are mono, but have a panning parameter to give it a stereo position in the master mix.
The A-F output connectors are actually insert points, you can use 6.35mm (1/4") TRS jack connectors to route a channel out of the DR-2, and send it back in if you want. This way, you can use external effects, equalisers, compressors, ... on each of the 6 channels individually, and still have them panned and mixed in the master outputs of the DR-2.
Next to the audio connectors, the DR-2 has 6.35mm (1/4") TS connectors for 24/48PPQN clock input and output, and has classic din-5 MIDI IN, OUT and THRU connectors.128 STEP SEQUENCER
The sequencer of the DR-2 has a lot more options than just the classic 16-step sequencer. First of all: you can use 32nd notes, so the DR-2 doubles the resolution of a classic 16-step sequencer. The DR-2 has 16 step buttons but you can see 32 step leds on the front panel. Keep the '16/32'-button pressed to access the steps-between-the-steps.
A pattern can use up to 4 of these 16/32-step pattern parts, these can be accessed with the 1-16/17-32/33-48/49-64 buttons. Using SHIFT + one of these buttons sets the pattern length. So, it's actually a 4x32 or 128-step sequencer.
Each instrument has its own Accent, Flam, Tuplet, Break and Reverse patterns. Keep the ACC, FLAM, SHIFT+FLAM, BREAK or REV button pressed while using the step buttons.
- Accents can be added to individual tracks, and there's also a global accent track for all instruments simultaneously. Give the ACC button a single hit to access the global accent track, or keep the ACC button pressed to set accents on the current instrument's track alone.
- Flam creates double hits of a drum. You can set the Flam speed by turning the SWING/VALUE knob while keeping FLAM pressed.
- a Tuplet creates multiple hits of a drum. You can set the Tuplet speed by turning the T-knob while keeping SHIFT+FLAM pressed, the number of Tuplet hits with SHIFT+FLAM+Z-knob and the velocity ramp (consecutive hits getting louder or weaker) with SHIFT+FLAM+Y-knob.
- Break immediately silences a sounding drum.
- Reverse makes the envelope generators run backwards. So, when the sequencer hits a 'Rev'-note, that sound makes a U-turn.
Using the accents, flams, reverses, etc... you can quickly program both quite natural feeling grooves and subtle to brutal sounding weird electronic drum riffs. You'll get in any case into programming drums that are unknown from existing drum machines.
Finally, there is a Swing and a separate Swing32 parameter to alter the timing of the 16th and 32nd notes.CLOCK SYNC
The DR-2 can be synchronised as a slave device to an external 24PPQN pulse clock, or a Midi Clock. And of course it can use its own internal clock. When using the internal clock, a 24/48PPQN and/or a midi clock can be sent out as a master to sync other devices to the DR-2.VARIATIONS
Not every single hit of an instrument on the DR-2 has to sound exactly identical, there are three ways to bring some variation!
FRONT PANEL KNOBS
- α & β, 2 variations of a drum sound: Each of the 6 instruments can have an alpha(α) and beta(β) 'version', 2 instances of a drum that differ in the value of 1 of their parameters. The α and β variations have their own separate sequencer line, but soundwise, they are canceling each other out. So, a typical use could be for closed and open hi-hats as α/β variations of a hi-hat cymbal. This way your closed and open hi-hat together only use a single instrument. But of course, you can use it for many other things too.
- Velocity/accent: velocity or accent can work on an instruments volume, and on 1 other parameter, each with their own velocity sensitivity. So, you can let a drum respond to velocity differences not only in volume, but also in sound, pitch, envelope amount, etc... Keep the VELOCITY button pressed while turning a knob to set it's velocity/accent sensitivity.
- Random: you can also choose a separate parameter for every instrument to be altered by a random amount at note start. Keep the RANDOM button pressed while turning a knob to set it's randomness..
Each of the 6 channels has it's separate volume slider. Then, there are 11 parameter controls that work on the selected active drum (use A-F buttons): pitch, pitch env decay, pitch env curve, pitch env amount, amp env decay, amp env curve, pan, X, Y, Z and T. Finally there are 6 knobs on top of the sliders, controlling one selected parameter for every instrument, so you can have one parameter per instrument that can be controlled independently of the selected active drum.