99Sounds and SampleScience have released Drum Machine, a freeware drum rompler VST/AU plugin based on a set of drum hits from the 99 Drum Samples sound collection.
Drum Machine was developed by SampleScience, a plugin developer and sound designer known for crafting excellent rompler instruments for PC and Mac. The plugin features eight drum sample slots, each with individual volume and pan controls. The drum channels can also be routed to separate outputs for further processing inside the DAW. Also included are global pan and volume controls, note velocity range adjustments, and an LFO for pitch modulation.
This initial version of Drum Machine comes with twelve built-in drum kits which are based on the 99 Drum Samples sample pack by 99Sounds. More kits will be added in future updates. These will also be available for free download from the 99Sounds website.
Before scrolling down to the download section, check out our interview with Pierre Parenteau, the man behind SampleScience. He talked to us about the advantages of using romplers instead of samplers, his sound design process, his favorite VST plugin development tools, as well as his plans for future SampleScience releases. His most recent product is Hexagon Sky ($29.99), a powerful virtual instrument inspired by Boards Of Canada.
BPB: Hi Pierre, thanks for creating this cool freeware drum instrument for 99Sounds, BPB’s sister website. From your experience, what are the advantages of using a drum rompler plugin instead of a drum sampler?
SampleScience: You’re welcome! The main advantage is that you can play right away with the drum kits which are made to sound great together. Depending on the genre of music you’re working on, it can be a time saver. Also, I’m a huge believer in the idea that limitations spark creativity. For instance, without limitations, we wouldn’t have various popular music genres like acid techno or minimal. Both genres were created at a time when you could get a TB-303, a TR-808, and a TR-909 for fairly cheap. For the artists in 80s Detroit, it’s all they could afford. The limited instrumentation gave birth to the foundations of techno music.
BPB: Good point. You also create virtual romplers and sell them on your website SampleScience. How would you describe your instruments and who are they aimed at?
SampleScience: They are shortcuts for certain types of sounds presented in an easy to use and practical interface. For the moment, my main audiences are chiptune composers and people who are into the ambient sound of Boards of Canada and the likes. Eventually, I’d like to expand my catalog to appeal to other types of musicians. Because of this, I’m learning how to record acoustic instruments, which is a real challenge to do well with limited resources.
BPB: I’m noticing a wonderful lo-fi, old school hip-hop vibe in your libraries. Is hip-hop your favorite genre of music and do you have any favorite producers or sound designers in general?
SampleScience: I love the lo-fi “detuned tape vibe” found in genres like vaporwave, chillwave, and retrowave. When I have to compose something else, it’s harder for me to focus on other genres. A lot of my sound design projects tend to evolve around those lo-fi sound vibes. I collect old VCRs, portable cassette decks, and reel to reel recorders. This is a sound I’m very fond of and it seems to be the case for younger generations, too (I’m 34). For me, it’s very special to see that the flaws of yesterday’s technologies, which is the tech of my younger years, are now welcomed as valuable characteristics. Brian Eno once said that”Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature.” He was right!
BPB: Have you used any 99Sounds releases in the past and which are your favorite ones?
SampleScience: I have used many of them, including Rumore Cinematic Impacts, which is great by the way, and Bass City Vol.1. My favorite 99Sounds library is definitely Project Pegasus. The sounds are just gorgeous and very inspiring! They also sound very good across the keyboard, which is not always the case with pad and ambient sounds.
BPB: What are your favorite tools for creating samples and virtual instruments?
SampleScience: Maize Sampler all the way! Within its limitations, there’s a lot you can do with Maize. It’s often overlooked because it doesn’t have any included effects apart from a reverb but the number of groups you can create in it is unlimited. If you really put your mind on it, you can create cool plugins that’ll fulfill a specific need. I just love it! I’ve also created a number of instruments for Kontakt and this is a platform I’m going to support more and more in the future. Eventually, my whole catalog will be translated into Kontakt instruments. The process is long because I want to make sure I’ll make the best out of the numerous things you can do with Kontakt. I recently bought Kontakt GUI Maker by Rigid Audio, it’s a time saver for Kontakt instrument development and I highly recommend it.
BPB: Thanks again for creating this plugin and we’re looking forward to more SampleScience releases in the future!
SampleScience: Thank you for constant support and contribution to the online music production community! It’s appreciated!
Drum Machine is available for free download via 99Sounds (32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU plug-in format for Windows & Mac OS)