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I'd like to make it clear that I'm not a natural drummer, far from it.
This review is about my experience using DM-307 from a workflow, usability and results point of view - and not a rehash of the spec which anyone can look up.
I own BFD & Geist and have tried numerous other drum machines, and never had any consistent luck with any of them - which might be my fault - but that's the way it is.
THE REVIEW ==========.
DM-307 is a great tool for non-drummers (like me) who need a quick route to great sounding beats.
I'm fed up with using regular one-dimensional loop stems - as the basic groove might be good sounding, but there's v little that can be done to change the beatz without awkward non-intuitive detailed editing and effects.
So fills, ramps, builds etc are possible but v fiddly, and prone to make glitches - and they take too long to do.
DM 307 makes all this easy & quick with an exceptionally intuitive workflow.
Actually, it's more than easy. It's fantastic how well Heavyocity do it.
The ample supply of loops can be accessed as:
> individual loops.
> loop menus.
> pre-arranged loop sequences called Kit Grooves.
THE LOOPS =========.
All Loops come with a variety of trigger keys to add interest.
Around 8 FX triggers and 8 Mutator keyswitches - so without having to deep edit there's instant gratification from simply pressing keyswitches and hearing instant changes.
Heavyocity have done all the work here - hooray.
It's easy to dig into a loop and rearrange the slices to suit, or pile on fx, as everything is there on the page - with no deep menu digging required to produce original-sounding quality results.
Each loop comes with 8 variations pre-built.
So multiply 8 variations by 8 Mutators and 8 FX keyswitches, and you'll see a whole pile of variations are instantly possibly - all playable on the fly or by MIDI note from your DAW.
It literally works out of the box.
How cool is that.
THE SEQUENCER ==============.
Load a Kit Groove and start playing. The tune is almost there.
A Kit Groove is a preset of 4-8 related patterns that make up the groove.
There's an inbuilt Pattern Sequencer which can handle up to 8 patterns in any order you choose, using The Chainer - so you can loop, repeat, playback in any order that suits your tune.
For any drum sound (kick, snare etc) you can audition from 8 alternative sounds simply by dragging a slider. Voom. Done. New kick.
I like this level of quick customisation.
The choice is restricted to 8 (I think) alternative related sounds (kick1, kick2, etc) to their default kit piece included in the groove.
This beats scrolling through a huge directory of far-too-many kit piece replacement possibilities, which always kills me off.
It's easy enough to create your own patterns by editing the existing patterns. V quick.
The patterns (sorry, Kit Grooves) come as nki presets - lots of them.
And you can trigger the 8 keyswitch effects any time.
Or create your own keyswitches (for when you need that special rise, etc)
And you can create multis with multiple sequencers and kits.
There are a bunch of effects pre-built in. What you'd expect to find in 2014.
They're fine and they do the job.
What's good is that you can apply the effects locally or globally or anyway you want, and do it easily.
So you can work on the fly and enjoy listening instead of hunting through directories of effects, loading them etc.
They also have Punisher and Twister big knobs to play with which, between them, can suitably refine or wreck your sound depending on what you're looking for.
THE SOUND =========.
Top modern samples here.
The presets are a bit verby (movie verb), but it's easy to get rid of the verb (one click) either selectively or globally.
You get Heavyocity build quality which says a lot.
Consider: V few sample houses get a Kontakt recommendation. NI actually put Heavyocity right there next to their own for-sale sample sets. That's a lot of trust.
Which means great quality - for you - but at a price.
The sounds can be used for literally anything except v specialist projects.
They're all neatly categorised into genres - with a good range from nearly straight Rock to totally messed-up Dubstep (yummy)
The consistent quality of the sounds is impressive. I haven't noticed any duds yet.
I'm almost tempted to say "Omnisphere quality".
If you're not a natural drum player - or even if you are - I'd recommend getting DM-307 if your wallet can stand it.
It's a workflow to dream about.
My feeling is that a great GUI invariably means a great app. They go together.
So DM-307 is beautiful, usable, fast to work with, and sounds very good.
You owe it to yourself to at least check out the video demos,and soundcloud mp3s to understand the new possibilities that can be achieved.
For me, Heavyocity have finally thought-out the drum machine properly.
It's precise, deep, superficial, organised and sexy with tons of top pro sounds and grooves.