PulseCode is all about those drum sounds that we didn’t know we still needed. But if you kick off the demo video you’ll soon remember why you love them so much.
It was all a bit gritty and lo-fi in the 1980s and PulseCode seems to capture that perfectly. All the sounds have been resampled through vintage gear in 12 and 13-bit resolution. They’ve included samples with gated reverb for that true 80’s vibe. The samples are stacked in order to achieve that familiar big sound. Each drum sound or “Element” consists of 6 layers that contain “Core, Grit, Hit, Body, Reverb and Noise” samples. They call this “Strategic Layering”.
Each Element forms the basis of your 8 channel drum kit featuring kick, snare, clap, tom, percussion or hi-hat and cymbal. You have control over tuning, a filter, envelope, amount of reverb/noise, a compressor and some modulation.
The pattern sequencer offers 64 steps and is laid out in a very familiar way. The GUI has a bit of a dated feel to it and I’m not sure if that’s deliberate or not as Psychic Modulation usually have a good handle on that vintage look. But it’s all clear enough. You see 16 steps at a time and you have individual controls over pattern length, time signature, accent and flam amounts. Two additional controls add a bit of flavour to your patterns. Flow controls the rhythmic flow of your pattern whereas Fracture introduces some randomised buildups and breakdowns. All sorts of parameters can be automated as accents per step.
One useful feature is the automatic Drum Fill Arpeggiator for automatic fills, rolls and messing about.
All in all a pretty competent drum machine for any decade of drum sounds. Psychic Modulation says that more sound packs will become available in time. Pulse Code is $89 for Mac or PC.