Device Details

Device Overview

Name/Version: Just Another Drum Machine 2 1.0
Author: jonbenderr  
Description: Just Another Drum Machine 2 is a massively overhauled version of my original Just Another Drum Machine.

It is not "just" another drum machine though. There are many features which turn it into something special and versatile.

I've been using this extensively in my own musical endeavors as I've been designing it and tweaking the functionality.

I designed it for myself with features I wanted specifically and thought I would share. It may not be for everyone.

You can watch a very simple demo at the following url:

You can view the help screen for the device to get a better understanding of the functionality at the following url:

To obtain a copy, you have to download my latest Bandcamp release "Commonplace". This also serves as a nice demonstration of what Just Another Drum Machine 2 is capable of, as all drum tracks (with the exception of It's All Very Odd) were created using this during various points in the patching process.

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Also, feel free to enjoy the music.


Device Details

Tags drum, sequencer, utility, glitch
Live Version Used: 9.5
Max Version Used: 7.1
Date Added: Feb 01 2016 17:46:03
Date Last Updated: Feb 01 2016 18:02:22
Device Type: midi_device
Download URL (report link)
License (more info): None


I appreciate the joke in the false modesty of this sequencer-it's anything but commonplace.

My only complaint is that the levels of complexity are only available from clicking/mousing on the GUI. So this device definitely belongs in the studio for me, and would occupy too much of my attention on the stage.

The Text and Number order of the variables is not clear, so Push won't grab onto things in a logical fashion. Not all toggles/buttons nor beat division drop down menus are macro assignable. And somethings that I'd want to lock out from random changes, like the note values, are too readily changeable. Might be nice if other sections of the device were included in the random switch. And there's no interpolation between the presets-but that'd be icing.

What's left is something that is still more expansive and ambitious than my imagination has yet to even wrangle. There's just so much you can do with this thing. It could add exceptional complexity or nuance to a drum beat, but it could also offer a delineated B-section alternative or a fill. Euclidean rhythms would be equally welcome here. The pace of changes and probabilities alone are a world of exploration. Patterns could evolve with turn of the knob, or you could introduce radical, abrupt change.

And that just comes to mind if you're using this for a percussion pattern. With 2 pitches per lane, this is equally welcome for building bass variation or synth sequences. Velocity has just as complete coverage.

And it's lean and stable thus far.

Sorry it took me a minute to get back to you on this. I greatly appreciate the feedback and it's very encouraging.

In regards to your concerns about live performance and control, trust me, I do understand and I think about it a lot. The problem is I don't perform live very often myself, so it's difficult to understand the most logical ways to deal with the issue, especially in a way that would satisfy people universally. Add to that the fact that I don't own either of the push devices (as much as I wish I did). I pretty much just always decide it's better to just leave it alone and allow people to make these modifications as they wish. It's actually one of the easier things to do within max.

Here's an interesting question for you though. In your own words:

"So this device definitely belongs in the studio for me, and would occupy too much of my attention on the stage."

My question is, even if I had everything perfectly mapped out for all controllers or what have you, don't you think it would still occupy to much attention?

This is another huge concern of mine because when I think about if I WERE to perform live, I would want things to be as simple as possible.

Hey Jon, great to hear back from you
I don't think your question is rhetorical-there's definitely an answer I can offer.

"even if I had everything perfectly mapped out for all controllers or what have you, don't you think it would still occupy to much attention?"
By "attention" in this context I really mean "too much reaching for the mouse". I"m perfectly fine with centering my performance on developing a sequence or rhythm through commonplace-it's definitely that powerful and worthy of attention.

But the max object identifiers are sequentially all over the place. So it's not so much that anyone needs to prefer one controller over the other in order to fall in step, it's that standard Instant Mapping on any device will be scrambled.

As for simplicity-I definitely like economy, although I wouldn't trade Commonplace's complexity for any other options out there. I get around assigning too many controls to something by making ranges of variables randomizable (and reset).

I'm using Genbeat 1.2 by Kasper Skov for a similar niche. It serves in on-the-spot decisions, i.e. performance settings, in part because I can actually map everything to macros and nest in a rack. There's always a bit of a trade off in dialing in my note clusters-should I hardwire it to an impulse, drum rack, or try it tonally? Hyakken accommodates this issue beautifully in his Note Assign pop-up window [note mapping] for the Trigger8 v1.02. I might point out that exposing Midi note numbers as randomizable produces very unpredictable, if not unusable results in most cases. So random, or an LFO, or an envelope follower doesn't come in handy for everything.

That's another beautiful outcome of Hyakken's solution for note assign: it's safely stowed away and unaffected by remote scripts or other things open to the ableton interface. Take your device as a comparison, and if I was to randomize all visible parameters at once on Commonplace, I'd end up scrambling all my carefully chosen note values.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but with commonplace,
a) Autotriggers A/B are not midi mappable. That would make for a fun performance element.
b) none of the min/max fields nor any of the drop down menus are midi mappable. These would make for useful decisions, randomized or variating values.
That includes:
i) The min/max steps as well as
ii) random velocity range
iii) Trigger Rate drop down menu, including the manual option
iv) The step rate
v) the note length
vi) the step length

Again, for simplicity, I like to constrain the range of variables and then open up more parameters to randomization. One button. Boom. So more parameters could be well-served by making them assignable but also exposing their range in macro assigning and/or manual midi mapping. You could also consider having your built in Random and Clear buttons control more of these parameters, or having other pairs of R and C buttons for other areas of the interface. And I do appreciate that the R/C buttons can already be assigned.

So while still respecting people's different definitions of performance and their choices, there's still plenty that can be opened up to them. By the way, what you might find among the easier or more mundane decisions in using M4L for interface design are still technical matters above the likes of me! I'm just starting to open the hood, split devices up and customize. So these little decisions don't fall on deaf ears.

Cheers to you, Jon

Hi again braduro.

The question was definitely not rhetorical and I appreciate the answers.

I understand completely what you want. The problem for a somewhat lazy programmer like myself is that the complexity of the device that makes it so much fun to play with is ultimately what makes it a very large task to accomplish those things.

For instance, there are over 200 parameters within this device. A lot of those parameters lay in sub patches that are within sub patches. So for me, the problem becomes sorting all of that out and figuring out the logical way to order things and then being able to test and make sure those things appear the way they should.

Another problem, especially when dealing with mass randomization like you are talking about AND maintaining ability to map things is that it will completely destroy the undo history within Live. For me personally that is a HUGE problem. Even as it is, I might be in the middle of something, have a great bass sound or whatever cooking and WHOOPS!!! deleted the track or whatever. I then sit there for an endless amount of time rapidly pressing cntrl-z in hope that I can get that track back. Even in that small amount of time this device destroys the undo history.

Like I said, I use this primarily for production work. Losing things to an endless undo history can be devastating. Better programmers have probably figured out workarounds for that.

It essentially comes down to the fact that, like I said, I'm kind of lazy. I may revisit this concept again one day. This is the second iteration of the idea. For now though, it all gives me a headache even thinking about it and it is still pretty useful. (Please don't take this as snotty.)

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