|AudioMulch Help > Contraption Reference > Signal Generators
Plays back samples sequenced in repetitive patterns, sometimes used as a drum machine.
Drums is a clock-synchronized contraption that uses pre-recorded sound files (samples) to create repetitive rhythmic patterns. You can load up to eight sound files into individual channels. Each channel has its own volume control and mute button and you can program a rhythmic pattern for it. Channels 1 and 2 can be gated against each other for 'closed gates open' high-hat sequencing.
This contraption synchronizes to the global clock. Remember to press play.
See the Adjusting Contraption Properties section for information about using sliders, knobs, presets etc.
See the Loading Sound Files page for information about supported file types and how to load sound files.
(Volume_1 - Volume_8)
Controls the volume. The knob on the far left controls the overall output volume of the contraption. The numbered knobs control the volume of each channel.
Gate 1 & 2
Prevents (when checked) both drum channels 1 and 2 from being heard simultaneously. If channels 1 and 2 both have a note sequenced on the same pulse, channel 1 is heard. This is intended to replicate the effect of a closed high-hat stopping the ringing of an open high-hat.
Mute and Channel Enable Checkboxes
(Enable_1 - Enable_8)
Mute controls (when checked) muting of the whole contraption. The Channel Enable Checkboxes (at the left of each channel) enable or disable each channel individually. Check the button to enable a channel, and click it again to disable (mute) it. In all cases muting begins or ends at the beginning of the next bar.
Defines the rhythm of each channel. See Instructions section below for further information.
Rotates the pattern left. The amount of shift to each trigger is determined by the selected snap resolution in the drop-down Snap to menu. Triggers that would have moved before the beginning of the pattern appear at the end of the pattern. If the snap resolution is set to "bars" or "beats," the duration of these quantities in the first time signature of the pattern is used. Reframe has no effect if the snap resolution is set to "visible grid."
Rotates the pattern right. The amount of shift to each trigger is determined by the selected snap resolution in the drop-down Snap to menu. Triggers that would have moved before the beginning of the pattern appear at the end of the pattern. If the snap resolution is set to "bars" or "beats," the duration of these quantities in the first time signature of the pattern is used. Reframe has no effect if the snap resolution is set to "visible grid."
Determines the snap resolution when inserting and moving triggers (see below), and also the rotation amount when using the Reframe buttons (see above). When Snap to Visible grid lines is selected the snap resolution depends on the zoom level. In this case, each beat will be subdivided into up to 48 subdivisions.
For Drums to operate, at least one channel must have a sound file loaded, be enabled, have its volume turned up and have a rhythmic pattern entered in the pattern editor. The master volume must be turned up, the master mute unchecked and the clock running.
As the whole sound file is loaded in to the computer's memory (RAM), be careful of using large files if you have a computer with a small amount of RAM. The total amount of RAM used by samples is indicated in the Status Bar at the bottom of the main AudioMulch window.
The lower part of the Property Editor is a pattern editor with eight rows of identical controls. Each channel has its own row, and is numbered on the left.
Next to the channel number is a Channel Enable Checkbox, described above.
To the right of the Channel Enable Checkbox is the Sound File Selector / Indicator. This button indicates the sound file being used for that channel. Click on the button to load a new sound file. The Sound File Selector / Indicator displays "click to select..." when no file is selected. An exclamation mark (!) next to the file name indicates that the file can't be found. You can right-click and select “Close Sound File” to clear the channel. You can also do this by holding down the Control key (on Windows) or Option key (on Macintosh) while clicking the button.
To the right of the Sound File Selector / Indicator is a pattern editor channel for entering the rhythmic pattern. To add a trigger, click on the horizontal central line in the channel. When you do this, a triangular shaped marker appears, which indicates when the channel will be triggered. To remove a trigger, click on a triangular marker. You can also drag triggers left and right. Dragging them vertically outside the channel will also delete them.
By default, triggers are snapped to the grid. Select a different snap to setting, including bar, beat, or a range of different rhythmic units, in the Snap to drop-down menu. Select Other... from the drop-down menu to create your own rhythmic unit and/or tuplet ratios. By holding down the Control key while dragging, snapping is temporarily disabled so that you can adjust a trigger's place in time off the grid.
Bar and Beat numbers and divisions are indicated near the top of the pattern editor in the time ruler. The end of the pattern is indicated by the darkened region of the pattern editor. You can change the length of a pattern by dragging the pattern end marker located at the end of the pattern in the time ruler. You can also include one or more time signature changes in your pattern. Go to the Time Signatures and Rhythmic Units page and Editing Rhythmic Patterns section of this Help File for more information.
Relevant Example Files
The following files provide examples of how Drums can be used:
BeatProcess.amh, DrumLooper.amh, GrungeDrumOne.amh, RissetSquelchBass.amh, SidechainingSouthPole.amh, TechnoAutomation.amh, BBMultitracker.amh & TxtStpBtBxr.amh
To open the Example Files directory, go to the File menu, select Open, and double-click on the Examples folder. Read descriptions of the example files here.