DM1 update – Fingerlab add iOS8 support and new features to their brilliant drum machine app

Download from iTunes App StoreDM1 logoWhile I love the sound of DrumPerfect for creating realistic acoustic drum performances, when it comes to something more in the classic drum machine category I tend to reach for Fingerlab’s DM1 more than any other tool.

I reviewed DM1 way back in August 2013 and there have been a number of updates since then. It remains, however, my personal first choice when I need a classic drum machine vibe, with a clean interface, some nice samples and the ability to use MIDI clock sync to play alongside Cubasis. However, it also includes some pretty decent acoustic drum samples so this is not just about electronic music styles.

DM1's main 'steps' page for pattern creation is easy to use and very well executed.

DM1’s main ‘steps’ page for pattern creation is easy to use and very well executed.

As of today, v.4.1 is available on the App Store. All the existing features are maintained so you get Audiobus, IAA and good MIDI support. The environment for pattern programming and then sequencing patterns remains easy and intuitive to use. However, iOS8 support is now added (incidentally, I pressed the button on my iPad Air this morning; I’m now running iOS8 on that as well as on my iPad 3) but there are also a few other new things to explore.

This release sees four new effects added to DM1.

This release sees four new effects added to DM1.

For example, four new audio effects have been added – enveloper follower, dub delay, synth and noise gate – and a new ‘choke’ mode has been added. Improvements have also bee made to the MIDI sync system and templates have been added for various styles of song.

Having given the new effects a bit of a run this morning, I particularly liked the dub delay. You can create some really interesting rhythms with this. Equally, the envelope follower seems to allow you to adjust the transients of your drum samples and can generate some very useful changes in the sounds. The noise gate does pretty much what you would expect (combine it with the reverb effect for some 80s-style drum sounds) while the synth effect (like the existing Dalek and Robotizer effects) can turns things just a little wild :-)

The new version seemed to work quite happily with Cubasis under iOS8.

The new version seemed to work quite happily with Cubasis under iOS8.

While I’m still cautiously experimenting with my various iOS music apps under iOS8, I did give DM1 a spin with Cubasis via IAA. Things seemed pretty stable (encouraging) so here’s hoping everyone’s other favourite apps work as smoothly as and when they also get the ‘iOS8 ready’ stamp.

DM1 really is a very neat virtual drum machine and, given the fairly modest UK£2.99 price for the iPad version (there is a separate version for the iPhone at UK1.49 as well as a version for OSX), it represents a great deal. You can read the original review of DM1 here but, now with extra kits, IAA and Audiobus 2 support, iOS8 compatibility and those new effects included, it is even better value for money. Highly recommended.


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    1. Weird, I had the app already installed and the app page showed the update, but I had not been prompted to install an update yet. Probably really soon.

      Glad to see the new effects added. I’m a total sucker for trying new and different drum machine apps (many of which duplicate the same basic functionality). But prompted by this email, I did go back to DM1, and for all of its shortcomings, man, that is a nice, clean interface to program and create loops and songs with. Actually, the velocity control was a little better than I recalled too, though many other apps handle it better.

      Too bad that the on-board samples are kind of crap – possibly the worst-sounding 808 out of any of my apps that have one. With your own samples, however, it remains a great drum machine.

      No update for the iPhone version? IIRC, the iPhone DM1 didn’t have the DropBox import feature.

    2. After updated DM1, i’ve some glitchy sound on my left channel..(only in DM1 of course..).
      it seems IOS8 is a big problem for many apps out there..

      • Hi there… not sure I can help here as DM1 has been fine on my iPad Air since the update to iOS8…. Anyone else out there experiencing the same issue? Best wishes, John

        • Yes, I have the same issue with DM1 on my new iPad Air 2 — and it’s the end of December already. According to what I’ve been able to find, the developer is aware of the strange left channel and the distortion, and promised as far back as September to fix it “soon”. As it’s nearly January, and I haven’t been able to find any further communications from them to their customers, it does not look very bright for the DM1’s future. The MIDI also does not work very well, I haven’t been able to get it to interface with Beatmaker 2 via MIDI yet either (and it seems many other people have the same problem) even though FunkBox works just fine.

    3. Is there a iPhone update to DM1 for ios8 coming soon?

    4. man this is pissing me off the app now sounds terrible since the update, the reverb and phaser effects sound terrible they used to be pretty clean but now they generate distortion and sound like shit, theres also distortion being generated by lots of samples when playing together, like playing the kick at the same time of clap or an open hihat , this happens specially with longer than 1 beat sounds that decay for some time, most of the dozens of songs i had there now sound terrible ridden with distortion and clipping and the selected effects have randomly changed.

    5. I’m having the same problem, distorted samples and a weird panning artifact on the left channel. It’s like having a bit crusher or distortion effect on everything, plus a weird effect panning to the right. If I try to correct the panning I notice that the sound coming from the right channel is different from the sound on the right channel. Hope this helps.

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