LinPlug recently released RMV, the long awaited update to their drum machine instrument.
The RMV combines analog-style percussion synthesis, a fully-featured percussion sampler, and a sophisticated Loop Editor/Player. The instrument combines all of the features found on the LinPlug RM IV with several new and innovative features that represent a substantial step forward.
I won’t go into the details of what’s new in RMV so check the LinPlug website if you’d like to know. Let’s take a look at the tabs in the top of RMV’s user interface.
Pads, pads & more pads
The first three tabs show 48 pads (3×16), which each can trigger one of the following sound sources, called audio modules:
- Percussion Synthesis modules — a universal drum synthesizer and various modules which use a unique synthesis algorithm to generate sound (kick, snare, tom, etc.)
- Sampler module — loads up to 30 samples into an individual pad.
- Loop module — loads audio loops and samples into an individual pad.
Each of the pads has a bunch of controls (vol, pan, tune, mute/solo, effect sends, etc.) which can be edited individually or in a group. When a pad is active it will show the audio module that is in use, its modulation settings and the signal path (Filter, EQ, Insert Effects and Varizer).
Loops – slice & play
Next to the pad tabs you’ll find 6 loop modules. These loop modules are very similar to the pads mentioned above, but unlike the modules in the regular pads these ones have a loop slicer.
The Setup tab allows you to set up some general options like data paths, MIDI channel assignments and the way you map your pads, a very useful function.
The Pad Setup section is used to set the position in which Pads appear when a Kit file is loaded. For example, a Kit can be setup so that Pad 1 always contains a kick drum, or that Pad 2 always contains a snare drum, regardless of the actual Kit file that is loaded. This means that no matter how the kit was saved, when it is loaded, each Pad will appear where the user wants it to appear.
Other bits and pieces
- Send Effects — contains 7 independent sets of 3 separate effects racks (one for the 48 pads, 6 for the loop modules) with 3 effect slots and an EQ per rack. Effects: Delay, Ping Pong, Flanger, Filter, Reverb, Gator, Wah Wah, Compressor and Crusher.
- Modulation — features a Modulation Matrix which routes modulation sources to destinations, and an LFO section which provides 3 dedicated modulation oscillators (each pad has its own modulation settings)
- ECS — the Easy Controller Setup allows you to quickly set you external MIDI controller up to control RMV.
Something I haven’t mentioned yet is the sizable amount of drum kits & hits, loops and MIDI grooves that comes with RMV: 1500 audio loops, 2600 MIDI grooves and 10,000 sounds.
So what do I think?
RMV could well be everything you’ll ever need in a drum instrument. The synth, sampler and loop modules are very capable and full featured. The included samples and loops are great value for money, especially if RMV would be your first drum instrument.
The overall options for working with samples are comprehensive and the new loop modules mitigate the need for a 3rd party slicer tool. I don’t use MIDI grooves much, but I can see how they could be very handy for laying down some quick beats.
Although RMV has tons of features it’s actually really easy to use. For me it will be a very useful drum solution fitting nicely somewhere between µTonic and Kontakt.
LinPlug RMV is available for PC and Mac for $179 USD / 139 EUR.