Adding drums to the modular looking for ideas

+1 for the Sample Drum.

I also have 2. Modulating decay and amplitude via the CV inputs can produce some very expressive sequences. The Performance menu, where you can assign the 6 encoders to change any number of parameters is also super-useful.

You can load it with a single WAV that contains slightly different versions of a sound one after another, chop the sample into x number of chunks in the Sample Drum and set it so that it plays through those chunks in sequence each time it receives a trigger. So you get variety in the drum hits.

Lots of possibilities.

The only downside is the menu-ness of it. But most of them are only one layer deep and navigation is pretty self-explanatory, so it’s not too much hassle.

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It’s really a fantastic module. In some ways it’s like having a little bit of Elektron DNA in your case.

I know this thread is about drums, but since it can also record, SD also opens up a lot of possibilities for mangling and sequencing your other modules. YouTube user ‘tl3ss’ has a recent video or two showing some pretty gnarly explorations in that area.

I bounced off Sample Drum. It can do a lot, but I found it unpleasant to actually use the interface. Slicing/editting samples on board is a really poor experience. Recording is weird as well, and the input they use doesn’t match the bitrate of the output. The effects are nice to have, but I found that many of them weren’t especialy useful on their own. I’d personally suggest Squid Salmple over it.

What he said.

I’ve been combing Bitbox with Robaux SWT 16. Which adds up to a 40 HP sample player drum computer combo. I haven’t worked out a patch that uses all 16 triggers with all 16 sample inputs yet, but it seems like a challenge that needs to be met.

If anyone is looking for a versatile kick drum in 8ph, you should definitely check out WMD’s Crater. It is basically an analog kick, with the option to layer various click/attack samples on top. It has a lot of modulation options and 3 overdrive flavors on board. It can produce kicks ranging from poppy electro to full on hardcore techno. I played with a concept version at Superbooth ‘19 and got it once it was available. Highly recommended.


while I had a camera set up to demo some Stages ideas (including using it as a clock divider & decay envelopes to make a drum machine!), I also did a quick test of the ADDAC 104 VC T-Networks that had just shown up. It was mentioned once earlier in the thread, but in general there’s not a ton out there about this rad module.

I loooooove the sound of old drum machines like the Maestro Rhythm King and the TR-77. I sampled my Rhythm King before selling it to a friend, but I do dearly miss it. The T-Networks is based on the same circuit and it nails the sound of those classic kicks, congas/toms, and clave/rim.

It’s not nearly as versatile as other kick options, but in terms of bang for your buck & hp, it’s a fantastic way to add some extra percussion voices for extra rhythmic complexity.


I’ve been doing the same but smaller; Bitbox micro and the Robaux LL8!

My synthesizer voices are particularly focused around melody, chords, pads, fm percs etc (Just Friends, TNSM + Rings, Lorre Mill + Akemies Taiko) I don’t currently have a plan for integrating sampling/percussion in a deeper way. Long term I’m really interested in a pams + squid sample combo but right now I am looking for something simpler. Any suggestions for like four on the floor drum machine that’s simple to integrate into a eurorack setup? I’ve been looking at some of the pocket operators like KO or Rhythm, or maybe one of the volca drums? What’s your favourite?

Do you want to trigger the drums from your modular? My favorite drum synth is the Nord Drum line but unless you want to hit some pads you’d need something outputting MIDI to sequence it.

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Yeah I’m looking for something that’ll sync to my main eurorack clock source, volca and PO seem to be good candidate for this but I’m curious as to what else is out there.

I haven’t used it personally but the Vermona DRM1 MKIII sounds great and has trigger inputs. Could also grab an old Simmons or similar drum synth on Reverb/eBay. Those expect triggers from the piezo in a drum pad so if you put a modular trigger through a VCA you should get velocity.

The IK Uno has really excellent sounding analog 808-type drum voices, along with built in compression and drive. It also has space for 8 12-bit sampled drum voices. At the moment you can’t upload your own but they provide libraries of classic drum machines as part of the package. (It would be nice if someone would hack a package for making your own sample uploads.)
It’s very portable, and can be run on batteries.
On the downside the build quality is very plastic and lightweight, and there is a touch senstive membrane rather than buttons. Also only a single audio out, though some people have hacked separate voice outs. (Soldering wires to SMD components. Yeech.)
You can find it going cheap though, and if you pick it up in a sale you really get a lot. In particular the analog drums easily justify the cost (compare with buying individual eurorack voices), but you also get a fully programmable drum machine with stutter, roll, etc. It syncs over usb or external midi as well as having internal clock.
If only they made one with decent hardware that supported custom sample uploads. Programming it is fun but I find in the long term the membrane interface discourages me from interacting with it. You can control it from software though.

The Elektron Model line seems like a couple of great boxes. Bigger than the ones you mentioned though.

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I’ve been eyeing the model:cycles for this use-case, but what are folks doing for sync? Right now all my gear is synced with analogue clock signals… not too keen to figure out a midi routing scheme (but maybe that is inevitable?)

I don’t have a Cycles but a couple of other Elektron boxes and their sequencer is righteous, especially tempo per pattern save. Plus you’d have 6 possible midi sequences with trig conditions and probability…good times.

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Add a cv.ocd and you’re good to go!


Have really been looking at the same. The :cycles seems great. But committed to integrating the Octatrack for now. Will be trying with the ALM mmMidi for a few simple midi to CV channels.

The Model:cycles is crazy value for money. Vast sonic potential, a great sequencer, MIDI sequencing too. I often have it paired with my somewhat percussive case, a couple of M:C channels sequencing Dinky’s Taiko and Akemie’s Taiko through mmMidi, powering the M:C from a USB outlet in the case. Very nice and compact for such a lot of percussive possibilities.


Of interest to people following this thread, I made some time to write up some ideas and share a script for how I’m doing this with a TXi and a crow to make a kind of minimal “Grids” solution for my case. Essentially the script gives you a set of patterns and density control for 3 or 4 channels in 6hp.

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Here’s my personal experience and takeaways from drums in the modular world.

Here’s what I’ve tried:

Drums in the rack (MI Peaks, 2hp Kick/snare/hat triggered by PNW, Marbles and Logic)
Pros: Can make really interesting rhythms easily with euclidean rhythms, logic modules, and my favorite, EOC/EOR outputs on function generators like Maths. Marbles slays for drums and makes spicing things up and adding variation easy.

Cons: Takes up a lot of rack space, and may take up some of your multi purpose modules to be used for drum purposes. Good sequencing and being able to mute/solo or quickly change beats requires an entirely separate set of modules

Elektron Digitakt
Pros: Great value box that performs more functions than just drums. Very quick and easy to program drum beats, mute/solo and change drum beats live. Infinite sound possibilities since you can just upload new drum samples.

Cons: You can’t control the Digitakt from modular. I suppose you could use a CV to Midi converter but would require a bit of up front dialing in. I’m also not crazy about triggered one shot sample drum sounds as they can don’t sonically mix with modular sounds(at least I’m not good at that). It’s a menu dive as well, if that matters to you.

I’ll preface this with saying I’ve only had a DFAM for about 3 days so I’m still figuring it out and my thoughts will surely change once I’ve had more time to work with it
Pros: Integrates with modular flawlessly both from a control and sound perspective. Great value and from my limited experienced DFAM is much more than just a percussion synth. You can easily it as a complex melodic voice with an external sequencer

Cons: Because there aren’t presets it requires a high level of familiarity and understanding to be able to use in a live setting and change from one idea to the next. Isn’t a true drum machine so has limitations in voicing. It can’t make standard drum beat sounds with kick/snare/hat without clever set up.

Overall feelings: I use a Digitakt for sampling mainly these days but it’s nice to have for easy drums. I’m really taken by the DFAM and so far it’s sounds and workflow really connect with me. I’m much more intrigued by experimental, droney, abstract, distorted and mangled sounds. But I can tell it’ll be a while before I have mastery over it and you can definitely find yourself getting into a “WTF IS HAPPENING” moment where it’s making sounds like dying goose. But that’s half of the fun, taming the beast, sometimes the beast wins.