Aha, I was sure the teased new product from IK Multimedia was going to be a more advanced form of synthesizer – a mother to the UNO if you will. But no, they have transformed the UNO into a drum machine and that actually makes a lot more sense. UNO Drum it is then.
They indicate that UNO is going to become a bit of a range of products and there’s certainly nothing wrong in having complementary products. A drum machine is a perfect accompaniment to a little monosynth. I wonder what else they might have up their sleeve.
UNO Drum mixes up analogue sounds and PCM samples within a digital framework. There are six analogue drum sounds; two kicks, snares, claps and hi-hats, the essential sounds for your analogue kit. The PCM side offers 54 samples of all sorts of things but in the flavour of toms, rims, cymbals and cowbells. You can use up to 12 elements at once with 11-voice polyphony and you can swap all the analogue and PCM elements around wherever you want.
To start you off there are 100 drum kits predesigned and ready to go. You can edit these to pieces if you wish. The sounds from a kit and spread across the 12 touch-sensitive pads with two velocity zones. Use the pads to select the individual sounds when programming and editing or use them for live playing and performance. You can step-sequence up to 64 steps using pages of the row of 16 buttons at the bottom or you can record a pattern in realtime. Up to 8 parameters can be automated per step giving lots of variation and tweaking possibilities. And you can chain things into songs and all that jazz.
Each sound has its own selection of editable parameters accessible via the 4 knob matrix. Select “Drum” and the 4 knobs default to Level, Tune, Snap and Decay. But these can also be things like low pass filter on the snare, FM tune on the kick, FM amount and sweep time. Select “FX” on the matrix and you can control the amount of compression and drive on the master output. It also has control over the Stutter amount which is part of the Stutter and Roll performance controls. Select “SEQ” for control over swing, division, humanise and velocity. Lastly, a Random button can create whole new patterns for you on-the-fly.
More bash, less fuss
The UNO Drum comes across as a solid, straight forward drum machine that doesn’t bamboozle you with functionality and gives you the ability to bash out useful and exciting rhythms with the minimum of fuss. Like the UNO it has an audio input so you can easily combine the two to a single headphone jack or output. Use the MIDI connection for easy sequencer sync and it will run on batteries as well making it a brilliant little mobile and computer free combo. There’s no mention of an editor app so far.
The UNO Drum should ship in June and has a pre-order price of EUR 249.
- UNO Drum webpage.