GMaudio Dvolve Drumatix is a multi-effect drum bus processor.
Instantly turn the weakest of drums into a behemoth of beats!
Its distortion, its filters, its bit crushing, its EQ, its expansion, its reverb, its compression and its instant gratification on nearly any signal.
Don't take my word for it, have a listen here;
This device has been developed and tweaked over the last 12 months, it’s a secret weapon of mine, making it into nearly every project I work on. It has 'every trick in the book' in one device, but thanks to its refinement, its very easy to fine tune. Every parameter has hints and annotation within Ableton so you won’t get lost while dialling in your sound.
The device started out simply as a sample rate and bit depth reducer with some wave shaping, but has become a complete drum bus processor with everything you need to get your drums angry!
Here’s a brief overview of what it does to your signal;
Input Gain: Sets the level going into the device, this affects a multitude of things further down the signal path.
SubX: A resonant high-pass filter used to boost the fundamental of your signal. eg; provide some tuning for your kick drum and give it some balls. This also helps clean up wobbly sub frequencies that can suck the life out of your mix.
Bit Crusher & Sample Rate reduction (Sampz & Bitz): This is to give that old school sampler flavour. Samplers like the MPC-60 or SP1200 had low on board memory so they had to sample the audio at a lower quality. This resulted in a kind of crunchiness and added punch. This device gives you complete control over this digital distortion so you can flavour your drums to taste. The added 'Noiz' parameter can help with the quantisation errors of lower 'Bitz' settings but also just adds a nice sizzle to your drums. The 'Filta' parameter is a series of filters to reduce aliasing created by low 'Sampz' settings but also allows you to tone down any nasty sharp high frequencies.
This is then sent off to a Reverb (which has been slimmed down and unique features added, great for drums). It has 2 modes;
HiVerb - Standard reverb mode, great for adding a little ambience to dry drums.
LoVerb - Changes a few things so that you can use it to create enormous groovy bass lines just from your kick.
Next is EQ. 3 filters, a peak notch at 2.5khz (to cut obnoxious high mids and produce a cleaner mix), a peak notch at 250hz (to cut muddy low mids and make sure there’s plenty room for the drums to punch) and a high shelf at 696hz (inspired by famous tilt eq's, a quick way to make a sound brighter or duller).
Then the signal is ran through a compressor, which is unique in that it is only 1 knob and generates the perfect attack and release times from the Ableton project tempo! That’s right, perfect, aggressive, punchy and pumping compression with absolute ease. Im very proud of this! The compressor threshold and ratio ranges are -12db to -36db and 1:1 to 20:1.
Expansion happens next. This has also had some tweaking and is tailored to compliment the rest of the processing happening in the device. It ensures your drums will always smack! You can even use it to add some extra distortion to the transients as they hit the final stage.
Finally, Wave shaping. 2 flavours, normal & Xforma. These are to ensure the output never clips and add some 'analog' warmth. The Xforma uses a series of wave shapers to emulate something closer to tape or a colourful output transformer.
No longer will you have to worry about your drums not being loud enough in your mix. The combination of tools in this device ensures the perceived loudness is maximised while still retaining (or even adding) dynamic range.
The initial value for all the parameters is my most used settings for Techno music production, You wont have to touch anything to get your drums heaving. The main parameters you might find yourself changing are 'Input Gain' (to drive it harder through the device but also to make up for variations in volume for different sources) and 'Sampz' (while the aliasing distortion has been reduced slightly, some people prefer none at all. In which case, settings of 90% and above may be more favourable).
Although this is tuned for a drum loop, group or bus, it works well on instruments as well. Use it on your snares to make the them stupidly fat and punchy, Use it on a synth stab to make it louder and pop out in your mix... how ever you choose to use it, you wont be disappointed.
Purchasing this product allows me to make more cool devices to help you make better music, faster. I hope you enjoy using it as much as I do and did creating it. I would love to get your feedback on ways to improve the device or even ideas for new ones.
Happy music making :)