Exploring the Versatility of the ST-Modular Trommelmaschine: A 3-Voice Hybrid Drum Synthesizer

As versatile and complex as your favorite rousing drum solo, the ST-Modular Trommelmaschine leaves no beat unturned in its pursuit of the perfect drum sound. Packing digital and analog drum voices, along with a noise generator into its compact build, it's a 3-voice hybrid drum synthesizer with a vast sonic vocabulary.

The core of the Trommelmaschine is its digital drum voice, which offers two modes: Kick and Perc. Each mode is equipped with specific slider configurations that mold the texture of the sound, from decay and transient to pitch env in Kick mode, to color, decay, and FM amount in Perc mode. For dialing in precision, its dedicated CV inputs with attenuators modulate the response curve of the slider positions, with the capacity for manual adjustments.

But the Trommelmaschine is more than just digital; it marries the best of both worlds with its analog drum voice. Equipped with decay, drive, and pitch envelope sliders, it also flaunts pitch and length potentiometers. The Pitch CV input not only tracks 1V/Oct but also allows for melodious playing of notes. And if you want a touch of emphasis, the EMPH input grants you control of the internal VCA for some ADSR action.

Characteristic of ST-Modular's dedication towards completeness, the Trommelmaschine also includes a Noise Generator, with color control and a decay slider. And the good news continues with the fact that the decay of the noise is also tweakable via CV inputs.

To ensure your sound doesn't spill beyond the boundaries of the mix, individual trigger inputs are provided, with the D. Trig normalized to the other inputs. Each of the three voices has its own dedicated output, with all summed beautifully using an internal mixer at the main output. And, to give you a finer control over your mix’s dynamics, each channel can be volume-controlled using the dedicated volume pots.

In addition to its remarkable sonic flexibility, the Trommelmaschine comes with built-in wrong-polarity protection, ensuring longevity and reliability. Based on the firmware of the respected MI Peaks module, every wave, every beat, every rhythm you coax out of the Trommelmaschine carries a promise of something familiar melded with new sonic horizons waiting to be discovered.

Whether you're after kick drums that pack a punch or intricate drum grooves that breathe life into your patches, the ST-Modular Trommelmaschine empowers you with a diverse palette of sounds. So, let your imagination run wild and watch your creations come to life with the unrivaled versatility of this 3-voice hybrid drum synthesizer.

Details: • 3 Voice Drum Generator • Digital & Analog Drum Synth plus Noise • Two Digital Drum Modes • CV Inputs with Attenuators • Internal Mixer • Individual Outputs • Wrong Polarity Protection • Firmware based on MI Peaks • Available under cc-by-sa-3.0 License

Example Usage

Novice-level usage example:

To start using the ST-Modular Trommelmaschine module, let's explore the basic features of the digital drum voice (D). Begin by selecting the KICK mode by pressing and holding the MODE switch for one second until the LED flashes slowly. Adjust the sliders to shape your kick sound - MOD1 controls the decay, MOD2 adjusts the transient, and MOD3 alters the pitch envelope. If you prefer the PERC mode, press and hold the MODE switch again until the LED flashes quickly. In PERC mode, MOD1 controls the color, MOD2 adjusts the decay, and MOD3 changes the FM amount.

Now, let's move on to the analog drum voice (A). This voice offers sliders for decay, drive, and a pitch envelope (PENV). Adjust these parameters to create unique analog drum sounds. You can also control the pitch and pitch envelope length using CV inputs. Try using the PITCH CV input with a sequencer or keyboard for melodic drum patterns. Additionally, the EMPH input allows you to emphasize the signal, and you can use it to control the internal VCA, such as feeding it with an ADSR envelope.

Finally, let's explore the noise generator voice (N) on the Trommelmaschine. Adjust the COLOR control to shape the character of the noise, and use the DECAY slider to control the noise duration. Both of these parameters can also be controlled via CV, allowing for dynamic changes in your drum patterns.

Remember, each voice has individual trigger inputs, and these can be used to trigger the sounds separately. The module also features an internal mixer that combines all three voices and sends the summed output to the MAIN output. You can adjust the volume of each channel using the volume pots, and keep an eye on the loudness LEDs to avoid clipping.

Experiment with different settings, modes, and CV modulation to unlock the versatility of the ST-Modular Trommelmaschine module and create your own unique drum sounds and grooves. Have fun exploring the possibilities this 3-voice hybrid drum synthesizer offers!

One way to utilize the ST-Modular Trommelmaschine in an intermediate-level setup is to create a customized drum pattern with different rhythmic elements. Start by patching the trigger output from a clock module into the individual trigger input of the Trommelmaschine's digital drum voice (D). Adjust the pitch and tone controls to shape the kick drum sound according to your preference. Connect a sequencer or an LFO to the MOD CV input and set the MOD1 slider (DECAY) to a medium position. This will determine the length of the kick drum sound.

Next, take advantage of the analog drum voice (A) to add a snappy percussive element. Patch another trigger output from the clock module into the individual trigger input of the analog drum voice (A). Adjust the DECAY slider to your desired length for the percussive sound. If you want to emphasize the sound further, use the EMPH input and experiment with different amounts of emphasis.

To add some texture, use the noise generator (N) voice. Connect the trigger output from the clock module into the individual trigger input of the noise generator (N). Adjust the COLOR control to shape the character of the noise and set the DECAY slider for the duration of the noise.

Once you have these individual drum elements patched and configured, use the volume pots to balance the levels of each voice in the mix. Experiment with different combinations of rhythms and modulations to create unique drum patterns. Add further modulation sources or effects to the control inputs of the Trommelmaschine to explore even more sonic possibilities.

Remember to monitor the loudness LEDs to ensure that none of the voices are close to clipping. This intermediate-level setup allows for a versatile exploration of drum synthesis and composition, giving you the flexibility to create a wide range of dynamic and expressive drum grooves.

Further Thoughts

For this expert-level usage example, let's explore how the ST-Modular Trommelmaschine can be used to create a dynamic and evolving drum pattern in a live performance.

First, let's start by patching the Trommelmaschine into a sequencer module and setting up a basic pattern. Connect the trigger outputs of the sequencer to the trigger inputs of each drum voice on the Trommelmaschine. This will allow us to program the rhythm and trigger each drum voice individually.

Now, let's focus on the digital drum voice (D) in PERC mode. Adjust the COLOR slider to add some tonal variation to the percussive sound. We can use a slow random voltage source, patched into the MOD1 input, to introduce variation to the decay time. Connect an envelope generator to the MOD2 input to modulate the decay of the percussive hit. This will give the percussive sound a more organic and evolving feel. Lastly, let's add some frequency modulation to the percussive sound by connecting a slow LFO to the MOD3 input.

Moving on to the analog drum voice (A), let's create a punchy kick drum sound. Adjust the DECAY slider to determine the length of the kick drum decay. Connect an envelope generator to the PENV input and adjust the length of the envelope using the LENGTH potentiometer. Use a sequencer or keyboard to play notes by connecting it to the PITCH CV input. This will allow us to create melodic kick patterns. If desired, emphasize the kick sound by patching an external envelope generator into the EMPH input.

Lastly, let's add some noise to our drum pattern using the noise generator (N). Adjust the DECAY slider to control the length of the noise decay. Apply some tonal shaping to the noise by tweaking the COLOR control.

To bring everything together, adjust the volume pots of each drum voice to balance the levels. Use the MAIN output to send the mixed drum pattern to a mixer or audio interface.

By experimenting with modulation sources, sequencers, and external control, you can create intricate and evolving drum patterns using the ST-Modular Trommelmaschine. Its versatility allows for endless possibilities in shaping and crafting unique drum sounds for your music productions or live performances.