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.
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.
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.