DCM8
Oct23 @ 02:26:00 pm

Introducing the first dedicated chip tune drum machine:

 



  • 64 Patterns in 8 banks of 8.
  • Selectable 8, 16 or 32 steps per pattern with half, normal and double speed timing scales.
  • Adjustable instrument volume, decay and pitch on per step basis.
  • Dual channel architecture with wide range of retro and unique preset sounds generated by a scripted synthesis engine.
  • 255 digitally synthesized chip sounds, consisting of 223 presets and 32 user generated patches.
  • 8 Levels of live undo on each pattern.
  • 8 Songs with 128 pattern selections.
  • Clear, Copy and Paste 8, 16 or 32 steps between patterns.
  • EEPROM based storage of all patterns and user data, with SYSEX backup.
  • MIDI input and output.

 

 

A brief example of some of the new sounds arranged into demonstration patterns:

The DCM8 is presented in a powder coated steel case with a CNC punched royal blue anodized aluminium front panel and white silk screen legend. The control layout has been designed to be compact and functional with eight main step editing and selection buttons, mode function buttons, an encoder knob for parameter adjustment and undo / redo buttons for ease of editing as well as live performance pattern modification. A 16 x 2 black & white negative LCD provides status information and menus for editing sounds and changing options.

A diverse range of chip tune sounds have been recreated by an old school programmer of commercial game sound engines from Gameboy and ZX Spectrum days, mixed with modern FM synthesis, digital filtering and adjustable DAC bit masking for manic distortion effects. Step sequencing also allows for pitch and decay parameters to be edited on a per step basis, and as the sounds are produced by formulas and micro-coded sequences this allows for greater sonic flexibility rather than just tweaking the pitch of a sample. Included is the ability to generate upto 32 custom sounds via a simple yet expressive editor and utilise the sounds within programmed sequences.

Here is a quick demo of the user patch generation mode, creating a square wave kick drum, pitch swept hihat noise and an FM synth effect:


The oscillator has all traditional waveforms and a selection of 4bit wave tables, samples, generative algorithms and frequency modulation available. Noise source includes multiple different types of PRNG (pseudo random number generator) and wave formulations, and control is available over frequency, volume, and sweeping of those parameters. An LFO is also included which is routable to all parts of the synthesis engine, with selectable waveform, frequency, depth and re-triggering options.

Basic MIDI implementation allows for synchronisation with an external source or operation as clock master, with triggering of sounds and selection of internal patterns also available.


design by cronic