I was hugely impressed when I reviewed DM2 drum synth from Pascal Douillard’s new Audionomy development team a few months ago here on the Music App Blog. DM2 made a brilliant debut and, while it has enough features to keep the more experienced drum programmers happy, it is also very accessible to those new to drum machine programming or drum synthesis.
Of course, DM2 also offered Audiobus, IAA, MIDI in/out, MIDI Clock sync and (hooray!) Ableton Link from the off. DM2 comes with a beautiful looking design thanks to Jonas Eriksson and the app’s drum synth engine is built upon the Pure Data audio library (and that Pascal speaks very highly of). It looks great and it sounds great….
Anyway, a number of updates have appeared since adding a smattering of small new features and (of course) some minor fixes. However, yesterday say v.1.1 arrive on the App Store and this brings quite a substantial list of refinements to what is already an impressive app. In the main, these are workflow refinements. For example, the Song Export options now include AudioShare, AudioCopy, SoundCloud, iTunes and ‘Open In’, making it much easier to get your DM2 drum track creations into other apps should you so wish.
In addition, there are some graphical changes. For example, on the Drums page, the various synth engine sub-panels now all feature a proper ‘Zoom’ button so you can more easily get up close and personal with the settings (and a Close button when you have finished with the zoomed in view). There is now also a Mute button that has been added to the bottom of each channel strip in addition to the Solo and Pan controls. Apparently, the Master fader behaviour has also been tweaked for a smoother response.
However, for those into the details of pattern programming, perhaps the most significant change is on the Steps page. Four new buttons have been added at the top of the page that allow you to choose between whole step, duplet, triplet or quadruplet step divisions. This allows you to create some considerably more complex rhythms and it is very easy to use; simply tap one of the four buttons to select the ‘type’ of step division you would like, and then tap a cell on the step grid to create that division type for that step/drum lane. Ad some swing and you can really get things grooving :-)
If I was looking for my first iOS drum synth, and was comfortable with the conventional approach adopted by many virtual drum machine apps, I DM2 would make for excellent choice and should certainly be considered alongside the obvious competition. Audionomy have certainly got an awful lot right with DM2 and the updates have simply improved upon a brilliant start… hats off to Pascal and his development team…. and, here’s hoping AU support might be on their ‘to do’ list , although I think it might be quite an ambitious undertaking….
Of course, the other element is the price…. currently at just UK£3.99/US$4.99, this is an absolute bargain. Check out the original DM2 review, then hit the download button to find out more…. :-)