A refreshing diversion from X0X obsessions the DR-2 gives us unapologetically digital DSP based drum machine and a 128 step sequencer.
Modor says they are not trying to recreate the past they are heading full pelt into the future using digital sound synthesis algorithms rather than analog circuitry. Not that it can’t sound familiar, it’s just not the intention.
The DR-2 has 6 channels into which you can load a predefined drumset or formulate your own from any of the available models. All the usual sounds are covered from bass, snares, cymbals, claps, toms and a nice bit of cowbell. There are 12 parameters in play which shape the pitch, levels, envelopes and stereo placement. And then each model had some individual functions depending on the sort of sound it is. So, you have bandpass filtering on one bass model, noise mix on another. This takes us into interesting territories like FM, harmonics, spectrums, drive, clipping and all sorts of juicy stuff.
Not sure what that means? Check out this demo and see if that helps:
The sequencer gives you the standard 16 buttons for the first 16 steps although Modor has squeezed in steps within steps to give you a 32 step resolution over the 16 steps by doubling up on those LEDs. This gives you your 128 steps by being 4 x 32 steps.
Each instrument has its own accent, flam, tuplet, break (muting) and reverse (running the envelope backwards) patterns although you can also add accents globally.
You can run two versions of each sound to add some variation to a track known as Alpha and Beta versions. Closed and open hi-hats are one obvious use that prevents you from needing a separate track but you can use it to add interest to any instrument. The accent function works on velocity but it can also be strapped to one other parameter giving more variation. Another possibility is the Random function which you direct to one parameter and produces a different result with every note start.
You’ve got individual output for each channel on the back and a bunch of knobs for instant hands-on and on-the-fly programming. There are sliders to control the levels and a knob for each that can be assigned to any parameter. It looks good, instant, playable and with enough going on to drive some really interesting sounds and rhythms. It’s quite a chunk of machine as well and harbours a really diverse synthesis engine.
The DR-2 should be available any time now for €1750.