Purgamentum init, exit purgamentum.

Meet the Hydrogen Digital Drum Machine

Date/Time Permalink: 05/26/13 02:36:56 pm
Category: Multimedia

Somewhere in my music writing, I remember an anecdote about Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the songwriting team behind many hits by Elvis, The Coasters, and many others. Apparently when Leiber & Stoller hits were topping the charts, a music producer walked into a drum store and asked for the Leiber & Stoller drum kit. The store owner did a slack take, then responded that if he really wanted the Leiber & Stoller sound, he'd have to buy every drum in the store.

Leiber & Stoller would have loved Hydrogen.

Not only do you have dozens of drum kits at your disposal sensibly grouped by music genre, but you can download more and make your own custom kits besides. Here I am downloading the death metal drum kit, because \m/ METAL! \m/ Not that I have the skills to compose any.

The interface is pretty simple once you poke around some and read the excellent, complete manual. It will strike you as more familiar if you've already used LMMS. It's also one of the more well-behaved Linux desktop music-making apps, not conflicting with other programs that way some DSSI programs do (at least not usually). It's fairly stable, but on Mint I did get it to panic and die once when dragging and dropping instruments from two different instrument categories, while the Fedora install stayed stable. Huh.

Anyway, Hydrogen also works great as a Seq24 plug-in DSSI. Here's a cheesy little demo I composed using a full Hydrogen percussion library and a couple Hexter instruments:

jungle_telegraph.mp3

As always, my demos are meant to show off the software and not my non-existent ability. I suspect that to the trained ear, my MP3 files sound the way high school kids' Powerpoint presentations look. Every gimmick thrown in just because it's there.

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