surface (apart from its somewhat 'utilitarian' cosmetic styling)
it looked good.
The blue 'pads' triggered the drum
sounds (no velocity - on or off with 'accented' variations for dynamics
as was common with drum machines of this era) and these lined up
with the level sliders directly above them so that it was possible
to mix the sounds 'on-board'. Some sounds (the percussion sounds
such as agogo and cabasa) shared a common level slider but the output
of these sliders appeared on individual outputs on the rear panel.
There was also a mono mix output, a stereo mix output and a headphone
output. There was even a separate metronome output.
It also offered DIN sync inputs and
outputs that corresponded to Roland's spec making it possible to
sync it to a TR808 or the Roland MC4B Micro-Composer.
So, to all intents and purposes, it
offered a good spec. And it wasn't too expensive either with a UK
price of £699, roughly half the cost of the contemporaneous
Drumulator but with the advantage of dedicated drum pads and level
sliders. You'd think it was destined for market domination. However....
It was an absolute bugger to use!
Whilst a lot of thought had gone into playing and mixing the sounds,
the programming method appeared to be something of an afterthought.
You could only create drum patterns if the (optional) cartridge
was present and even then, it was - shall we say - less than intuitive.
I had one
in for evaluation with a view to buying one. On paper, it was almost
perfect - 'realistic' drum sounds that would sync to our MC4B Micro-Composer,
individual outputs for external processing and at a relatively affordable
price. But the reality was very different when I came to actually
Suffice to say, the DPM48 pretty much
disappeared without trace and now simply exists as one of the failures
in the annals of drum machine development which, in a way, is a
shame because the sounds themselves were pretty good at the time
and still give a good account for themselves today.
Samples donated by Terence 'Tramp