My latest Reason Refill project is a multi-sampled Roland TR-606 Drumatix drum machine. This unit belongs to a friend who was having issues with the 606 not powering up. As it turns out, it wouldn’t power up with batteries, but works fine with a power adapter. The problem was that a lead to the battery compartment was loose. Naturally, it couldn’t be returned without first being sampled!
The 606 has seven different drum sounds: A Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Lo Tom, Hi Tom, Closed Hi Hat, Open Hi Hat, and Cymbal. Also triggering Both a Closed and Open Hi Hat simultaneously creates another muted or pedal Hi Hat. All of these sounds can be accented, which alters the dynamics and tonal character. For this library, each drum is sampled eight times, and each accented drum is sampled 24 times (8 x three different accent levels 50%, 75%, 100%). In total there are 32 samples per tone for eight different drums. While each sample sounds very close the next one, there are subtle analog variations. Overkill? maybe… but it’s worth it.
The 606 tones are programmed in Kong Drum Designer via the NN-Nano Sampler. When triggered, the NN-Nano alternates between each of the eight samples, and the result has a nice realistic feel compared to single shot samples. Normal and accent samples are mapped at different velocity layers making it easy to edit dynamics in the Reason sequencer.
The P038 – Drumatix Refill contains several standard “realistic” kits which serve as 606 emulation patches. Three kits are dedicated to different accent levels labelled “Hard Accent,” “Medium Accent,” and “Soft Accent”. These correspond to the 100%, 75% and 50% knob settings on the 606. The library also includes several manipulated patches with different tuning, decay and Kong FX settings. The demo patterns from the video above are also included and can be used as building blocks for song ideas.