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How to use the DrumMachine

The DrumMachine is an online drum machine and one of Soundation’s Virtual instruments. It’s inspired by classic drum machines like the TR-606, TR-707, TR-808, and TR-909 made by Roland in the 1980s.

Especially legendary are the TR-808 and the TR-909 that remain popular to this day. The TR-808 sounds are used in almost every modern hip hop and trap beat. The TR-909 has become a staple in acid, techno, and house music.

  • 808 kit
  • 909 kit

What is a drum machine?

A physical drum machine is essentially a box that plays drum sounds. They can either use synthesized sounds or audio samples. The rhythms can be pre-programmed or programmable. Drum machines were meant to fill the rhythm section for playing live or making studio recordings when you didn’t have a real drummer.

Because of the synthesis and lo-fi recordings of the time, the drums didn’t sound that authentic. However, the drum machines have their own sound that people like using stylistically. Nowadays, you can access these types of sounds on your computer with instruments like the DrumMachine.

Adding DrumMachine presets

  1. 1
    Open Soundation Education and create a project
  2. 2
    Click on Instrument presets in the Sound library
  3. 3
    Search for “DrumMachine”
  4. 4
    Drag in a preset to the Arrangement area
  5. 5
    Start playing or drawing in notes


Gain lets you control the loudness of the individual drum sounds. This is important to get a good balance and make sure no sound is poking out or is buried in the mix.


Pitch adjusts the pitch of each drum sound. At 50%, it’s set to the original pitch. Set it lower than 50% to pitch it down and set it higher than 50% to pitch it up. Adjusting the Pitch will change the tone/timbre and the length of the drum hits.


Hold controls the length of the drum sound. At 100%, it will play the entire drum sound. Lower the Hold to make it shorter and snappier.


Decay is the amount of time it takes for the drum sound to drop to silence after reaching the end set by the Hold knob. Set it low if you want the drum sound to end abruptly. Set it high if you want it to slowly fade to silence.