terça-feira, 28 de julho de 2009

DRUMBOX 1.0a Beta

DrumBox is a wave sample based 16 step drum pattern sequencer. It has eight channels to which drum samples can be assigned. DrumBox reads 16 bit, 44.1 kHz, mono or stereo .wav files. Patterns can be between one and eight bars long.

Just like HammerHead, DrumBox has general settings for tempo (duh!) and shuffle, but also separate settings for volume, distortion (with adjustable threshold), overdrive and pitch (±12 semitones) on each channel. DrumBox can also be controlled by MIDI and has MIDI sync support.

There's not much to say about the interface, more than that it's clean and pretty self-explanatory. I wish that the LED buttons that are "on the beat" had been distinguished from the others though (compare: HammerHead's yellow and blue buttons), now you actually have to think for a second before you add a new note to the pattern.

DrumBox does not support "loops", i.e. samples that are stretched or compressed to fit the tempo. There is also no way to have a sample stop another sample (like HammerHead's closed hihat stops the open).

Unfortunately DrumBox has a few annoying bugs. One is that when you select New Song on the file menu, the default pattern shows on the screen (it looks like the screenshot above). Thus, it seems like a number of samples are already loaded even though they are not. Another bug is that sometimes when you assign a new sound file to one of the channels, the settings (volume, distortion or overdrive) on another channel changes.

The most annoying thing, however, is the somewhat erratic "stream to disk" feature. The resulting wave file (DrumBox streams to a 44.1 kHz stereo .wav file) looped correctly most of the times (at least when I opened a saved file and saved it to wav without playing it first), but DrumBox has a peculiar habit of adding beats of its own to your loop. These "ghost beats" seem very hard to get rid of too...

In addition to these bugs, I also experienced some glitches in playback, especially when switching between programs or moving/resizing the program window. That's not much of a problem though.

This program is in Beta, which can explain the number of bugs. We won't be seeing any upgrades though, an enhanced version is sold under the name masterBEAT and is distributed by Masterbits. The price is approx. $40.


* You need DirectX to run this program (you probably have it already).

- Download size: 983 kb
- Unzipped size: 1.15 Mb

Download it from the owner´s site where you will find drum samples:


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