Nystrom Crum Drum

Project: Nyström Crum Drum – meet VCV Rack / K2 / Neutron

After acquiring the two analogue semimodulars, I figured I needed some form of external Drum sound source… and Thonk happened to have made a promo post to IG/FB at JUST the right moment.

Crum Drum – a 4-voice drum machine with built in randomisation and probability based sequencing designed by NYSTRÖM. Rhythms can be created and manipulated using the internal random sequencer or externally via MIDI USB. Press the beat button to generate new rhythms, adjust the probability to create continuous variations, and increase the randomness to modulate the sound of your beats! Generated sequences can also be sent out via MIDI USB and Crum Drum can also sync via analog clock in and out … It’s easy to create  varied and organic sequences by adding modulation via the Probability and Randomness controls. Probability sets the chance that the selected voice will play per step of the sequence, while randomness increases the parameter modulation for each voice. The higher the randomness, the more each instrument parameter is modulated per step. Some of the instrument parameter controls have different behaviours depending on which voice is selected, so make sure to check the user manual for full details – https://www.thonk.co.uk/shop/crum-drum/

It’s a fabulously straightforward DIY build, excellently packaged and presented… built in 90 mins, needing nothing more than a screwdriver, soldering iron, and some wire cutters. Looks ace, sounds PERFECT!

Sequencing – Rack to CD

First play-around sequencing the lovely l’il Crum Drum from @AlbertNystrom (via @ThonkSynthDIY) in VCV Rack. Top Tip? If sequencing with VCV’s GATE-MIDI module from Fundamentals, use C4 thru D4 instead of C3 thru D3…! (likewise in the other direction too)

Clocking – Crum Drum to Rack

This time the Crum Drum is being primary analog clock, into VCV via the 828MkII to run the arpeggiator… which is passed out to the Neutron. The swing knob is LOVELY. The MIDI triggers from Crum Drum’s 4 voices are doubling up with a quiet backed off kit in VCV, and passed thru to the K2 which is running a kick/snare patch. Ochd att’d via Knobs is heading out to the Neutron modulating delay time and resonance… Then all brought back in thru VCV for a sprinkling of Plateau… after judicious delaying of signals to account for round trip latencies etc. Other than the backed off kit all actual sounds are in hardware. VCV’s just modulating / routing / mixing and FX.

Clocking – Rack to Crum Drum

Clocked (but importantly, Crum Drum NOT sequenced… JUST clocked. CD is generating it’s own sequence in time with the incoming clock) from Rack then mixed back through (with signal delay). Only Rack sound source is kick & claves. Everything else is K2/Neutron. This developed out of an old MindMeld Sandbox patch running in Rack 1.1, swapping out the Rack oscillators for external hardware.

What I REALLY want now is CV control over Crum Drum’s probability and random knobs o_O