Ultra-portable drum machine ships, to be followed by physical modelling VI Modo Drum

IK Multimedia’s Uno Drum, announced at Superbooth in early May, is now shipping. A super-portable 400g collaboration involving Italian analogue instrument makers Soundmachines, with whom IK worked on the recently reviewed Uno Synth (see SOS January 2019), Uno Drum is a USB- or battery-powerable drum machine with a hybrid analogue and sample-based sound engine. There are all-analogue sounds (two kick drums plus snares, claps and hi-hats) and 54 sample-based sounds including toms, rimshots, cowbells and cymbals, all arranged in 100 editable kits, plus built-in compression and drive processors. At the top left of the front panel, four rotary controls offer easy access to tone-shaping parameters (such as tuning and decay) for each individual sound, which can be adjusted as drum patterns play.

Patterns can be programmed in step time or by performing in real time, with up to 64 steps in a pattern, and up to 64 patterns in a Song. Two built-in effects, Drive and Compressor, allow users to hone the finished sound of their programmed rhythms, and their parameters can be saved with user drum kits to ensure the overall sound can be recreated later. USB and serial MIDI connections are offered on 2.5mm mini-jacks, along with an audio input for easy integration with Uno Synth.

Just after Uno Drum began shipping, IK surprised us with another drum instrument — this time a wholly software-based virtual one. Modo Drum (above) uses physical modelling, sampling and synthesis techniques to offer users realistic but highly customisable sounds, with what they claim is “real-time access to every parameter” for the kicks, snares and toms, and tuning and damping settings for the cymbals. Users can select the dimensions, material and skin of the drum, and even choose the type of virtual beater or stick used to strike it, with complex interactions resulting from the selection of these parameters, just as on a real drum. Finally, each completed sound can be placed in its own acoustic environment and have effects from IK’s T-Racks and AmpliTube software added. Built-in MIDI grooves can also be applied to the finished virtual kits once complete.

Modo Drum is set to be released before Autumn, and will cost £423.99 in the UK$399 in the US. Reduced prices may apply for owners of existing IK kit — contact IK for details. Uno Drum, meanwhile, retails for £264.99$249.

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