Cumulus is available from the physical DVD version of Computer Music Magazine.
It's a granular sampler, run by a sequencer. The sequencer has 8 playable scenes, you can play one scene at a time. Each scene is a location within the sample, plus 12 parameters such as pitch, speed, size and jitter.
I really like the user interface, there's a different color for each scene, and you can easily see how the sequence proceeds through the scenes.
As usual, Computer Music comes through with another practical plugin and you can't beat the price (it's free with any issue of the magazine). If you live in the U.S. like me, it's an import so it's a little pricey but still well worth it. The CM303 is very similar to the Tau bassline synths as it was made by the same company. It is very usable and fully automatable in most host programs. Every now and then the Q control tends to get stuck in one spot but, as with all new software, this may be a minor bug that I'm sure will be fixed in the future. Basically the CM303 sounds like an old 303, and you know what to use that sound for I hope. Nasty, throbbing, distorted bass stabs!Read Review
CM-505 is one of my favorite drum synths. It is capable of making a nice variety of electronic percussion sounds, and vintage drumbox emulation. It's easy to use and it sounds great. The cons are that, as another reviewer mentioned, it doesn't hold settings between sessions, and you have to open the UI at the start of a session or you don't get any sounds. My other complaint is that the default mapping for the first kick drum pad is B0 (I use a 61-key controller so it's off the keyboard), but that's easily remedied by changing to C#1. It's stable, it sounds great, and it's free, so what else could you want? I do hope they come out with an upgrade to fix those problems, it really is an excellent piece of freeware.Read Review
Much of the previous reviewers comments are correct. It definitely is best suited for more "dirty" drums overall.
For a free program, I like it. It is very easy to use. There are not a whole lot of parameters which makes for quick tweaking.
It has been mostly a stable program. The only problem I have had is using it with the VST wrapper both in Sonar 2 & 3. It doesn't remember the settings for the project so you need to make sure to save your settings as a preset or you will be SOL. Also, when you first open up a project using 505 in Sonar you have to also open up CM505 and bring up your preset or else you won't hear any sounds. Kind of a pain.
There is a little disclaimer regarding this program as being "as is", but from what I have heard they may be a future release with some bug fixes.
As far as support, the computer music forum's have a forum dedicated to all their "exclusive" instruments.
I didn't even look for any literature (manual, read me, etc.). It is really straight forward. It even shows you the routing right on the front of the GUI. CM did a tutorial for it. I don't know if it has been posted on their site or not.
As far as sounds go:
I have to say that I have been using this primarily for kick drums. This thing is very versatile for kicks and you can coax a wide variety of sounds to suite your needs. Tight, boomy, warm, low-fi, whatever. The bit crusher on the kick sounds great.
I don't think the rest of the drums sound as good or are as versatile as the kicks on the 505. The snares and claps are OK, but nothing special. Very typical electro snares, they sound better with some external effects added.
The hats are OK, as well. Better for closed hats than open. The OH's sound just like the closed, but with a longer tail. Ride sounds decent, but hardly realistic.
I haven't really messed around with the toms, but they sounded usable.
The "plop" is cool for little electro bleeps and blips.Read Review
it took awhile for this VSTi to become stable enough for me to use it, but the current version of SR-202 has quickly become my drum sample playback device of choice. It's simply one of the most intuitive to use, with a great GUI and the ability to quickly load samples and then save all of them in a single kit file. The filters and distortion are great to manipulate and sculpt the samples, and the ability to tune the samples have made it a snap to tweeze the kit to the song so the drums are audible without having to crank the volume on the kit.
The kits that come with it are OK if a bit on the wacky side - I tend to be a guy who cut my teeth on more realistic sounding kits from the 1970s. But at least I have that option to find more old-school samples and build my own kits, or substitute some of my samples in an otherwise good kit. It is cool that CM got Robert Miles to design one of their kits using his own sample collection.
There still needs to be some improvements on this - like, make it so you can load stereo samples instead of having to convert them to mono first. And I'd love to see at least another eight pads added to load more samples in, and more control over velocity. But for now, this VSTi does good for me in getting a kit down quickly. Muon did a great job building this, and CM made it cheap enough for me to afford.Read Review
CM-505 is a relatively new drum synth produced by Linplug for bundled distrobution with the Computer Music magazine.
I really wanted to like this synth, because its pretty flexible and has alot of desirable options, but I basically never came to appreciate the sound. The sound can be characterized as: buzzy, lo-fi, quirky noisy bits, and sometimes industrial-ish.
I'm guessing this was the intent, since the effects included are distortion and bitcrusher - which lend to the types of sound described above. I'm into more smooth, and/or pseudo-acoustic sounds, but if this is your style you might love the sounds.
What else? Hmm, quickly: the interface is very good, nicely laid out; many, many presets are included to get you started; and its fairly low-cpu and perfectly stable so far. My only issue is sometimes I need to click on the pads a few times before it will emit sound, after first opening a project containing 505.
Still, if you are planning on buying an issue of CM just for 505, I would think twice if you aren't into the sounds I described above. It didn't really fit my needs or expectations.Read Review
look at the gui.. see those four functions at the top of the 'screen' part? see how it goes 1-2-3-4 top left, bottom left, top right, bottom right? (henceforth TL, BL, TR, BR)
this just absolutely destroys me.. how devious is the mind of mankind. perhaps this instrument was built to handicap the minds of would-be samplists.. because on editing menus, the top-of-the-screen position lists the names of parameters, and at the bottom of the screen, the values appear..
you'd expect some sort of pattern-based correlation, for easy reference, you know? symmetry, top, bottom?
but.. they are not arranged in the same order!!! instead of 1-4 TL BL TR BR, they're listed TL TR BL BR, changing the location of the values at-a-glance from 1-2-3-4 to 1-3-2-4.
now... "come on, man!!!!" i'm just not able to accept that this level of incongruity is a mistake. i spent $15 for this, i feel like they don't actually want me to make music.
with logic 4.81, i haven't been able to find an implementable budget sampler beyond one-shot 'drum machines.' if you're looking for one, give the 404 a miss.. because of the channel scheme difference between logic 4 and cubase, you'll find if you create a patch for use on track 16, you'll have to completely rebuild it to use on track 15. you'll be limited to one keymap running through one envelope/filter section. the upside is that it's stabler than helios et al.
the manual.. sheesh.. i got my first sampler in 1993.. open the manual, you get one long paragraph after the other. my suggestion to the author is to cap each section with concise referential statements for quicker orientation.. in-depth explanations as seperate paragraphs, please.
for some reason, ds404 won't load most of my samples. ie. the famed, vast collection of high quality 44.1 samples from the japanese akaipro ftp site.. clearmountain drum sample cd.. no go!
all in all a painful, disappointing and fruitless investment for me in logic 4.Read Review