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Drambo Presets of The Digitone (video)
Did you talk about this video?
If the author of the video is on this forum, good job!
I wish I could recreate sound like this.
The more and more I make music, the more I realize that I do not put enough time learning the apps that I bought.
Drambo is a really powerful tool, but I only use 10% of it.
The presets are not perfectly similar, but I'm sure with more tweaking, you can make Drambo sounds like you Digitone.
This looks great. I was thinking it would be good to build a capable FM synth in Drambo to control with the MIDI tracks in the Digitakt. It could almost work as having the DT/DK combo. 8 Midi channels can be distributed to four voices, 8 knobs per voice, two LFO's (plus infinite in Drambo) and P-Locks galore in both.
I'll try my skills at building it but if I give up I might pay for the patch—which would be a first for me.
Good idea. Why only four voices, Digitone has eight?
There is an earlier prototype of the Digitone sound engine available for a few bucks from the developer. It's a Max4Live Gen device you (or someone) could study. I'll look for the link. It already does sound good, he also made an album just with samples from this. (You get the device with the album as an extra).
4 is plenty at this point (I still have the 8 in the DK taking care of samples/percussions; can't easily keep track of any more).
My idea is to maximize the amount of parameters that can be mapped to the knobs of the DK, which work very well with Drambo (no jumps when controlling various pages, totally smooth, easily readable in both screens). I'd like to interact with the iPad screen as least as possible (that's the reason I went for the magic box in the first place—Drambo definitely covers most of the DK's features.
I played around with two 2-op voices mapped over four tracks and had a good time. The FM OP in Drambo sound great especially with the analog filter.
The challenge, as with every Drambo patch, is to come up with a good set of macro parameters to make it as playable as possible without having to scroll back and forth. Each voice in the DT is a 4op FM synth, so reproducing that in Drambo (and coming up with a way to easily switch between algorithms) is not easy, but the way that the DT uses macros is a good guide on how to arrange them (for example, two of the operators are twinned and there's only two envelopes).
But this poses other challenges: not every parameter in the FM OP modules can be modulated, and one can't map the same cc number to two knobs at the same time. The person in the video is not attempting to do this mapping to the DK, so that's yet another level for this idea.
@Max_Free I'd love to see the patch if you have that link. I'm using the manual as a guide for features and routing. I could be mistaken about this, but it must be easier to implement good sounding FM synthesis models in digital models (once the groundwork is laid by the modules of course) since they are not as idiosyncratic as analog, virtual-analog.
The other option could be to load 4 (or 8) Phasemakers as AUV..., but where's the fun in that.
As they say, however, limitations spark creativity!
@dvi This might be the M4L instruments that @Max_Free mentioned.
Fors is the site of Ess, the Digitone’s designer. Superberry is an FM instrument. That might be the one.
Oh nice, thanks! The whole site looks super interesting.
I meant this, on his Bandcamp page:
„Acuate Distress is a collection of tracks made for a live set in 2017.
Bleeding dark textures in an avalanche of reverb with polymetric beats and structures, these tracks dwell in their own corner of electronic esoterica. Fit for a late night in the piercing glow of a terminal, these beats will leave you dreaming about fork bombs and modulation algorithms for many nights to come.
This music is made and performed live entirely on the Elektron Digitakt and all the samples come from a modified Digitone prototype made in Max, which is included with the download of this release. Something for the curious.
released February 13, 2020“
You can buy the album for 6 USD $. 4 Max Patches are included in the download.
I opened it in Max, and indeed, you can study or modify the whole internal Gen structure.
nice try but don't think it's too close.. there is at least 20-30% difference in details - in the important crucial part of sound - exaxtly those 20-30% are making Digitone most organic "analog like" sounding FM synth ever.. those Digitone patch are like living organism, beautigul in detail, where thise Drambo patches are "kind of" but sounding cold digital...
Had many HW synths before, FM synthesis is my favourite kind od synthesis, and i would say Digitonemis absolutely irreplacible by anything existing in HW/SW domain.. It's sound is extremely pleasant, there is some "mojo", some magic, imcan't describe it exactly but i feel it there .. and it's extremely intuitive for sound design - you get extremely quick great sounds even by random tweaking few parameters here and there...
Have a listen at Ess‘s bandcamp album. It is actually all samples made from his modified Digitone prototype FM engine. Do you feel it has the same Digitone ‚organic analog‘ feel? We could work from this towards a Drambo implementation then.
I would recommend track 6, 7, 10 and 11 for a quick preview. Quite heavy on drums. Full sound. Not the typical association with FM, I would say.
Is there any write up on these Max patches anywhere? I’ve had a good hunt but can’t dig anything up, even whether they’re just normal Max patches or max4live…
I think the reason for this is that these patches focus on the pure algorithms and not necessarily on making it sound like the Digitone. It's important to separate between these two. If I had to re-build a Digitone then I might go the extra step of actually making it sound like one but then I'd need a Digitone next to Drambo and after purchasing one, why would I waste my time building it in Drambo then? 😅
maybe true but still .. as i said i'm big FM synthesis fan for years .. and i was completely amazed by overall sound character of Digitone's engine .. its very different from any other FM synths .. i can't exactly define why, but to my ears it sounds almost like "analog" .. there is missing some kind of "harshness" present basically on ALL FM HW/SW synths, and on other side it is adding some king of "live movement" and "warmth" (even without filter activated) .. Of course it may be all just placebo, i'm opened to tahat possibility, but if then it's extremely powerful placebo ))
now when i'm thinking more - there was one SW synth where had a similar feeling (although not that imminent like with Digitone) - it was iOS FM synth (can't remember name, it was just IAA, long before AU era) - very nice UI, maybe somebody remembers .. it was also 4-op like Digitone engine and it had too almost like "analog" character of sound ..
@dendy This one?
The way you've described the Digitone is exactly what I've found when I heard it the first time.
It's a nice little box!
I haven't used a Digitione, but I've found that the Digitakt sounds amazing too, much warmer than anything I made in Drambo before, even using the same samples. Running the Microfreak through the Digitakt also softens much of the MF's more harsh qualities. The filter has its on quality as well. It's an old discussion, isn't it?
@Max_Free thanks for the link! I think I might grab the pack mostly for the samples and for studying the patches. Sadly I don't have max4live so I won't be able to study those, but listening to the samples will be helpful. If you could post screenshots of the max4live patches it would be a lot of help!
Yeah that's it, FM4. Very nice synth, what a pity it never got AUv3 treatment .. very unique sounding and easy to edit .. really this is most close synth to Digitone as you can get, in my opinion. Of course still different, different car but on same road, driving in same direction.
@dendy Yep, 100% agreed.
When it came out, it appeared to be a DXi clone with a fancy UI but it's more than that.
Reviving this topic now we have Drambo 2.
I think one reason the Digitone is so good is the relatively straightforward interface. There are a few new FM synths on iOS now, including the amazing Virsyn Tera, but its UI is very fiddly, with lots of pop-ups to navigate.
In Ableton, we already have Operator, which IMO is just as good as the Digitone for sound design, maybe better, because in Ableton you can build with further FX, LFOs etc.
But Ableton’s sequencers don’t come close. If you could put Operator inside Drambo, it would be incredible.
Just use Drambo to sequence Ableton.
Also, since this thread was started, Bleass Omega has come out, which is an excellent twist on the 4op FM synth with built in saturator, filters, like digitone. Using with Drambo, it's a blast.
I have a Yamaha FB01 and it's very close to the lofi sounds you can create with it.
the main difference between that first FM build and Digitone was the osc waveshaping/morphing and the simplified envelopes of the Drambo FM module. couldn’t hit the same spots exactly.
since the 2.0 update I have rebuilt the module from scratch. it now uses ADSRs for gain of each operator and through some careful routing I was able to build all the algos into a single device.
my next improvement that I have started working on is to incorporate the 7 other TX waves into the device. then I might try some wave morphing for even more variety.
Ableton Operator is great. I included some time macros to try to get similar effects in Drambo. will prob reference the waves in Operator as well for future additions.
as far as sequencing, can you sequence Operator from Drambo? yes, but then you have to have a computer nearby and map everything. can you use Bleass Omega in Drambo? yes, but again you have to map parameters so it’s not quite as immediate/intuitive.
a device built in Drambo will always have the controls right in front of you for p-locks as in a Digitone.
Exactly this. One of Ableton’s strengths is that it’s self-contained. Same with Drambo when hosting AUs.