BM Eden v2 has several enhancements over the original that broaden its usefulness and appeal considerably, making it a far more capable replacement for the likes of Battery or Groove Agent for those who don't want to spend hours sorting out their drums. Like the other instrument's in Ujam's Beatmaker series, Eden offers instant gratification with enough depth to allow you to tweak everything into something that is uniquely yours.
The basic workflow is that you pick a top level preset, find the right pattern and trigger it from your sequencer. Like all of Ujam's instruments, the pattern buttons are arranged in a keyboard-like fashion so it is obvious which key you need to use to trigger a pattern. It is super-quick and easy to establish a great sounding beat for you to work from.
Patterns are arranged in preset groups. Within each group you get a couple of intros, a few verse patterns, some chorus patterns, a few fills and a couple of outtros, all spread over two octaves of keys. All up, I think there are more than 1000 patterns. Similarly, there are several different kits to choose from. Each kit has two different kick samples, two snares and various other percussion sounds. Lastly there are effects, again organised into a bunch of presets. Each top level preset, then, consists of a kit, a pattern group and an effects preset and there is plenty contained within those top- level presets to get you going. But it doesn't have to stop there...
There are several levels at which you can customise Eden to get your own, unique sound. First up, there are four macro sliders. On the left side you can alter the balance between the kick and snare and how much the kick pumps (compression) and on the right side there are sliders for the effects mix and intensity. You can also select a different kit, a different group of patterns and a different effect preset.
At the next level down you have individual control of volume, decay, pitch and a low-pass filter for each individual drum sample. You can also swap sounds between kits to create your own custom kit, but only like for like. e.g. You can swap Kick 1 in one kit for any kick in another kit but you can't swap a kick for a snare. You can also select either a single output or multi-out (a separate mixer channel for each sample). On the opposite side of the GUI you can adjust four parameters in whichever effects preset you are currently using.
The last level of customisation allows you to add extra hits to existing patterns, using your host's sequencer. The two octaves below the pattern octaves allow you to trigger individual drum hits, which means you can change the preset patterns easily, or create your own from scratch, so that every part of the patch is uniquely yours. You can also drag 'n' drop any preset pattern into your sequencer to create MIDI from it.
OK, all of that applies to all the Beatmaker plugins, what is different about Eden is that it's drums and patterns are designed for trance and other 4-on-the-floor dance styles so you get huge kicks, tight snares and lots of useful percussion elements. No matter what your musical style, you are bound to find a top level preset that will make the perfect starting point.
What makes all the Beatmaker plugins so good is that you can put in as much or as little effort as you like, yet you will always get great sounding drums. That means you can start off with a preset and refine your drums as your project progresses, until the finished product is uniquely yours, not just a preset 500 other people are also using. For $69 they are all crazy good value. I already have 3 out of 5 of these plugins and I'll probably end up with al of them.