Review: Driven Machine Drums v1.5, drum machine sample pack expanded

Since I reviewed the original Driven Machine Drums release a little over a year ago, Nathaniel at Tonebuilder has worked hard to make this excellent drum machine & percussion sample library even better by adding tons of new sounds to it in version 1.5.

Tonebuilder Driven Machine Drums 1.5 gear
Some of the gear used for Driven Machine Drums 1.5 (click image for more)

New samples were created with a number of new sound sources, including various modular gear components: Euro Modular (Cwejman, Wiard, MOTM, MakeNoise+), Serge Modular, Acidlabs Miami, Roland TR-909, Jomox MBrane 11, Drumfire DF500, Simmons SDS-1000, MFB-503, Elektron Monomachine, Avedis E-27, TK-BC1, Valley People Dynamite, Schippman Ebbe und Flut, and all the tubes, pres, compressors and tape devices from the first DMD collection.

The new samples are categorized into the following folders:

  • Hand Percussion – good variety of percussion type sounds (54).
  • Hats and Cymbals – sharp (25) and soft (29) hihat and cymbal sounds, both open & closed.
  • Kicks – Dirty (14), Mid Punch (17), Sharp (23), and Soft kicks (29). Deep, raw, distorted, round, thumpy, punchy, etc. All there.
  • Other Percussion – Some “offbeats” sounds (20). These are shorter samples including snare, clap, clang type hits etc.
  • Snares – Alt Anlg (26), Soft Anlg (21), Dirty (29), Tight (24).
  • Toms – Electro Clean (32), Electro Dirty (18), Electro Organic (41), Electro Polite (41).
  • Unknown Electronic – FM Klanks (38), Inharmonic (39), Mod Blue (48), Mod Red (50). Great assortment of original sounds.

It is a shame most computer operating systems are still limited to having files in a single folder as quite a few samples fit in more than one sound category. Some kicks sound like toms, toms sound like snares, and there are snares that make good hihats… Anyway, I am quite happy with the way the DMD library is structured. Even with close to 4,500 audio files it is easy to navigate around and find the type of samples you are after.

I made a few short audio clips to demonstrate the sounds of Driven Machine Drums 1.5. The loops were done with the new samples only, using a tiny amount of reverb and compression.

The version 1.5 update to DMD also includes the complete Hi-Fi 909 and Hi-Fi Miami libraries. These are high quality sample sets of the Roland TR-909 and the TR-808 based Acidlabs Miami drum machine.

There are well over 800 samples in each library, including clean sounds as well as a variety of processed versions (compression, tube, EQ, etc).

Check the audio clips below for some more examples of the DMD 1.5 and Hi-Fi 909.

The new content – adding a total of close to 2,300 new sounds to the original DMD collection (all in 24bit/96kHz format), is included with all new copies of Driven Machine Drums and is available to previous DMD customers as a $27 USD upgrade.

I know some people were a bit disappointed with the upgrade not being free. Nathaniel explains:

I had two options, which was to release a DMD 2 for $77/$87, or reward the early adopters by releasing it as 1.5 instead of V2, and hope to make the investment of time/gear by selling new copies of DMD.

Upgrade pricing, special promo deals, bundle discounts, etc. There are always customers who will be upset with however you deal with the commercial side of things. Personally I think the upgrade price for DMD 1.5 is more than reasonable. The additional content is well worth it (Hi-Fi 909 actually sold separately for $23 USD).

So what do I think?

Product: Tonebuilder Driven Machine Drums
Format: 24bit/44kHz and 96kHz samples
Price: $77 USD (Guru/Wav/Aif) / $87 USD (Kontakt/EXS24/Wav/Aif)
Like: high quality drum machine samples and unique synthetic percussion sounds, much variety and originality
Don’t like: –
Verdict: 10/10

Driven Machine Drums already was a superb sample library before the v1.5 update, so it should not surprise you that I am giving DMD 1.5 full marks.

The new content increases the library’s versatility by including more mainstream sounds (Hi-Fi 909 & Miami) as well the less conventional glitchy sounds from the modular synths. The quality is of the same high standard as the original release, but now even in 24bit/96kHz.

Comprising more than twice the amount of sounds of the original, Driven Machine Drums is quite the “no brainer” deal, superb value for money.

Note that only less than 250 of the 997 Driven Machine Drums copies available to purchase remain, so check it out and take the DMD 1.5 library for a spin with the 144 free samples included in the demo pack available from the Tonebuilder website.

More information: Driven Machine Drums

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