MDrummer by MeldaProduction claims to be the "ultimate drum machine and virtual drummer." Well, many companies make many claims, so I approached this plugin with skepticism. After three days of intensive exploration, tweaking, and noodling, I found myself mostly agreeing — this is an excellent drum/rhythm plugin. MDrummer really does seem to have endless possibilities. I was able to create any kind of sound I could think of with the sound generator via synthesis or sample (acoustic, electronic, percussive, scratching, etc.). I could then pile up layer upon layer with effects, build a zillion drum-sets, and get it moving and shaking with any genre rhythm in any time signature.
The rhythm generator was the main reason I gave it a go. I'm not a drummer, but I want sound like one. I created a simple beat that fit my track, and then generated variations, intros and fills. It's an amazing feature. If MDrummer was scaled down to only the rhythm generator, I would still consider it a must have and a good value. But it has many other things going for it. . .
• Easy installation, but takes time due to big library • Simple and resizable interface (not the most attractive GUI, but utilitarian and efficient) • Gigs of great sounding drumsets and loops • Several sound generators for samples and synthesis • Integrated Sequencer with humanization and shuffling • Tempo adjustments and rhythm changes throughout a song • In vivo value changes while tweaking • World-class MeldaProduction effects (EQ, compressors, distortions, phaser, vibrato, tremolo, etc.) • Jamming mode • MIDI file drag & drop.
And my two favorite features besides the rhythm generator are. . .
• Lots of support (help system, tutorials, responsive developers) • Free lifetime updates.
CONCLUSION MDrummer has a strong, loyal user following. So, I'm confused! Why isn't everyone using this thing? Well, the interface is not for everyone, but the sound and flexibility is there. I highly recommend MDrummer to any e-musician, sound designer, songwriter, or producer who is looking for a primary rhythm box with endless possibilities or a secondary source to help generate unique rhythms that can trigger other plugins. Download the demo and see if it suits your sensibilities and workflow. I give MDrummer three thumbs up and my virtual hat is off to MP for developing such a wonderful rhythm workstation. Thank you.
Recently I've been feeling dissatisfied with Razoon's Jamstix and I went out a hunting for a replacement. I came across a post suggesting mDrummer and I figured I'd give it a try. The free version was really promising so I downloaded the demo and had some fun with it. I liked it so much I went for the full version. Note, I had a small problem with the demo and the developer had a new version that fixed the bug up within a few hours. That's service!
Installation: This thing comes with a big library. Not giant, but big. In the neighborhood of 4 gig so it's best to start the download before you go to bed and you'll have it all ready to install in the morning. The installer had a setup file and a fix.exe file in case something bad happened with the big download. All was OK so I didn't have to use it. Installation was a breeze and withing a few minutes I had it up and running in Live 7. First thing I did was go to the tutorials. I love that there are tutorials, but mDrummer, even if you don't have the best voice for recording, please don't use the annoying computer voice. It's fine for listening to lectures by Steven Hawkings, but not for VST tutorials. The good news is it has an extensive help system built into it so your questions are usually answered very quickly.
UI: Really nice help system, although the text is pretty tiny overall. It often breaks from Mac/Windows styles for no apparent reason, which can be somewhat confusing but with the help system it's fairly easy to overcome. Also, thank god there are tons of amazing tutorials up. All developers should have this. The UI is attractive and although somewhat cluttered I can't imagine making it a lot better due to the depth of functionality. You won't be doing too much random mousing around without the tutorials so I suggest going there first.
Sounds: first thing you notice is that the default drum kit/beat sound great. Full, natural and it almost coaxes you to start playing along with it. Even the electronic kit/styles have a somewhat natural non machine kind of sound to them. Hard to put into words but it was probably because the hits had unique velocity and not just regular and accent volumes. The sound is overall very good, but the electronic stuff was a little tame compared to some of the kits that come with Battery Electronic Drums II. I found myself wishing for a filter gain control and some dirt. No matter, it sends MIDI out so all my Battery sets are available to me easy as pie.
Right off the bat I went and started editing the drum synth sounds with mDrummer's on board synth (it has both samples and a synthesis engine) and it was a dream to program. Couldn't have been easier to get a nice interesting Bass Drum tone right off the bat by combining a sine osc and a noise osc. Again, I wouldn't have minded some effects like tube distortion. I love the mScratcher module which will come in handy for my weirder sounds. Some decent effects are on board here, but I was surprised that although you can put effects on each drum there’s no sort of master compressor for the output. Easy enough to put PSP’s Vintage Warmer after it and beef it all up even more.
It comes with a generous library of kits and with the ability to make your own kits and combine kits plus your own synth drum tones... the choice is pretty vast. You can also import your own samples and even set up multi-samples.
If you’re hoping to turn this thing on and select a preset and get the most out of it, you might be a bit disappointed. mDrummer calls itself a drum studio and for good reason. There’s a lot going on. Good thing is it’s all well laid out and covered by a combination of tutorials and the help system.
My favorite function is the “Rhythm Generator.” This is why I got mDrummer and it does not disappoint. You put in a basic snare/bass beat and hit “Process All” and it automatically generates a bunch of very useful variations and fills based on your “seed.” The basic beat editor is as easy as pie, though I found myself wishing it had a live input with a metronome style of input. No matter, I can easily make one in Live and export the clip as a .mid file and import it into mDrummer. If you’re super lazy, as I sometimes am, you can import .mid files from a 3rd party collection like Groovemonkey.
One thing is that as far as I can tell all the processing happens at the moment you hit “process all.” This is mostly fine but it would be really cool if there could be some chaos and variation happening in real time. It’ll also listen to your playing via midi input and adjust itself accordingly though I didn’t have much time to play with that. I do a lot with guitar anyway.
Once you get your beat and variations you can sequence them out in two ways. MIDI input or the Song Structure editor. Both seem equally easy but I’ll probably stick with mDrummer’s midi entry style because I like to create a basic song structure and jamRead more
I found Mdrummer to be pretty convenient and its development shows a lot of promise.
Note: I haven't taken advantage of the jamming mode.
First the positives:
Concept is great. I like constructing my own beats and saving them for re-use later, but organizing midi and managing samples is not my bag. Mdrummer allows me to organize my beats and drum samples and acts as my sole application to create beats.
On top of that creating a drumtrack is fantastic. Using a preassigned note on the keyboard to trigger a beat, makes it easy to lay down the drum track. Each octave of the keyboard is responsible for a different type of beat. For each beat you can define how many bars it is going to be, so you have a lot of flexibility.
Gui is easy on the eyes, but it can sometimes be a lot to take in one glance.
Another favorite feature of mine is that you can apply included effects directly to each drum part (kick, snare, hat etc...). From what I read on KVR, people have been happy with the free fx plugins that MeldaProductions have output, and I certainly have no complaints.
Lot of tools aside from the effects, although I can't provide an comment on the synthesizer, since I haven't used it much. I rather mangle my drum sounds with the effects.
Good tools for loop/beat editor.
Once setup, it works as advertised.
Software hasn't crashed on me.
Areas in need of improvement (my opinion):
The online documentation is pretty helpful but there is still room for improvement. The video's provide a good overview, but the manual is pretty slim on details. The documentation issue is somewhat resolved by the effect that every button has help information by place the cursor over the button and pressing F1. It's helped me get through it, but as someone who just likes manuals and doesn't like contacting tech support, I can't let it pass. Manuals are important to me.
With all the complexity this software has to offer, some more structured tutorials would be useful to explain all the details. For instance, for the way I use the software, I had to disable some of the options that fall under additional settings under Quick Setup. The video all discussed that button briefly, but it was more trial and error to get the software to do. Not that I'm interested, but when experimenting with the jamming modes, or trying to figure out all the intro/break/chorus etc... buttons I was confused. I don't use it, but I sure would like to know how it all fits together.
Mdrummer file structure is not immediately clear. Through tech support I found out that you have to add your samples to Mdrummers Sample directory. It ould be convenient to be able to store your samples in a common directory so your other sample based vsti's could use the content.
Drum samples didn't sound as good as the samples you get in other similiar software, but if bothers you, it can be fixed that is easily by adding your own drum samples.
Facts of Life: A powerful tool that requires the necessary time in to get to know the nuances and to derive maximum benefit out of it. But once you have the hang of it, your patience is rewarded.
MeldaProductions have been extremely courteous and genuinely seems happy to help out. Responses to questions have been quick.
I've tried jamstix demo and guru demo, and while they were all excellent products, this one suits the way I work.Read more
Mdrummer, without doubt, is the best VSTi drum machine available at the moment. The sounds for Mdrummer are incredible; you can barely tell the difference between it and a real drummer, if at all. There are multiple samples for each different tom, bass, snare, etc, depending on what is was hit by. There is also a included synthesizer for techo/dance beats, or for scratching noises.
Also, Mdrummer allows you to customize one of the many drumsets that comes with it, or even make your own. You can add as many toms, bass, or snares you want, the only restriction being how powerful your computer is. You can change the indivisual volume, pan, pitch, envelope, etc, of each different part of the drumset.
Also, Mdrummer comes a sequencer that allows you to write a whole beat to without ever leaving Mdrummer. It comes with many presets for different styles of music, allowing you to simply choose a drumset, then a style, and have a beat for a whole song. And this is no simple beats; you can do standard loops, or make Mdrummer variate a little. You can even make Mdrummer a small amount off-beat, adding a human feel to your beat.
On my computer, a 2 Ghz 2 GB RAM Compaq laptop, it runs incredibly fast without no noticable latency. I highly reccomend this VSTi. Try the demo!Read more
Well, I was looking for the real drum device. The result should be serious in all forms. I checked a lot of machines: I tested them for how they cozy and their sound quality.
The final choise became MDrummer.
It's an easy to understand machine. I put a little while to explore it and am flying within very fast. Just a lazy man won't find a logic there.
Sound is good and very flexible for each item. This flexibility is what i'm lovin MDrummer for.
The developers are still making a magic over it and all the sharp corners (which are a few: I would like to see more samples in future) will disappear soon.
May be anyone except an "enjoy" button on it - to push and get a result. I think I can achieve some cool results with this machine. And already it is in use and worth it's price, and I will add an examples later to confirm my words.
Resume: wonderful product. Best wishes to it's developers. These devices help to realize ideas!
I will even advice MDrummer to those who asking me to solve their dilemma of what drum machine to get.Read more