Heavyocity are well known amongst underscore composers with their sample libraries Damage, Evolve and AEON. Well known for producing incredible percussion libraries for Kontakt, each release has provided something fresh and highly usable – whether it’s the destructive sounds of Damage, weird and unusual sounds of Evolve or the craziness of the AEON collection. Each provides a different take on percussive sounds and DM-307 is most definitely in the same vein. When I first heard about DM-307, I wasn’t sure what to think – it was advertised as “Modern Groove Design” and sounded a little bit like another loop library from initial impression.
Thankfully, however, having started to look under the hood, I now see it’s one of the biggest and most flexible percussion libraries you can get your hands on! When I loaded it up for the first time I was almost floored at just how much content they crammed into it. Seriously, there’s over 1,500.nkis between the kits and loops along with 300 multis. The sounds on offer range from live percussion to analog drums and modular synth drums allowing you to write electronic, hip hop, industrial, ethnic and cinematic music. I don’t know many other libraries that can claim that. The DM-307 has so many features that the PDF manual is 46 pages long!
So lets get stuck in! First off, the download is about 4.5GB when extracted and is done via the Continuata Connect downloader (7.5GB uncompressed, but uses the NI lossless compression to get it to about 4.5GB). Download and installation was simple and I was up and running quickly. The first thing I noticed about DM-307 was its sleek interface with plenty of options on it – 4 tabs are offered: “Main”, “T-FX”, “EQ/Filter” and “Mutate” (or “Grid” depending on what instruments you have loaded).
The main interface tab has the normal ADSR controls along with pitch bend, velocity, delay and modulation controls. In the center of the screen you can see a snapshot of the waveform for the loop/sound you are playing just like in some of their other libraries and also have as “Twist” and “Punish” options, which are knobs you can turn to give more modulation or distortion on each sound.
In the T-FX tab we can see the Trigger FX options which include distortion, lofi, filter, panner and delay, which all have their own advanced parameters if you’d like to do even more tweaking with them. The EQ/Filter tab offers a huge amount of flexibility with a 4 band EQ and highly customizable filter. The “Mutate” button opens up an arpeggiator editor which is ridiculously complex – but not so much so that you don’t know what to do with it. In here, you can create patterns and loop them all together to create long loops using the “Chainer”, or even select from a list of presets similar to the “Grid” machine.
One of the more interesting features of the DM-307 is the “Grid” mode. You can select a bank from the four kits folders on offer (DM-307 style kits, Elements Kits, Impact & FX kits or Standard MIDI kits) and can create your own beats in the 5 track, 16 step grid – which can actually hold up to 128 steps by chaining each grid together. There is also a selection of pre-built “Kit Grooves” which are kits already built for you in Drum N Bass, Dubstep, Electronic, Hybrid Scoring, Industrial Edge, Latin Organic and Rock styles.
The DM-307 has 7 different instrument types (Kits Grooves, Kits and Loops) and 2 multi types:
- DM-307 Style Kits – 30 different presets to choose from
- Element Kits – 23 presets arranged by drum type
- Impacts & FX – 11 presets ranging from short and clean blips to epic Analog Hits, reverses, and tempo synced risers
- Standard Midi Kits – 21 presets derived from the DM-307 Style Kits, these kits are arranged on the keyboard with the standard midi mapping format.
- Kit Grooves – Designed from the DM-307 Style Kits, these presets provide easily arranged, tempo synced grooves that can be triggered by a single note. Quickly edit the groove by clicking on the Grid to change the sounds, velocities, pattern, and feel.
- Drum and Bass – 25 presets
- Dubstep – 33 presets
- Electronic – 28 presets
- Hybrid Scoring – 34 presets
- Industrial – 25 presets
- Latin Organic – 15 presets
- Rock – 25 presets
- Loop Menus – 55 presets arranged into electronic, ethnic mashup, hybrid scoring, industrial mashup, urban mashup and utility elements folder. Also includes a “utilities elements folder” which allows you to load only hat loops, or only kick loops.
- Single Loops – 1230 presets of single loops that allows you to easily modify and remix a loop
- Performance Multis – 300 multis in Gritty Vibe, HipHop, Industrial and Lofi, Latin, Rock Ethno genres, along with a selection of “Signature Artist” multis
- Production Multis – 285 multis in the same genres as above, also with a selection of “Signature Artist” multis from Kaiserdisco, Mendo, Martin Eyerer, Pirupa and Uner.
How Does the DM-307 Sound?
The best way to describe the sound of the DM-307 is to imagine the sound of Damage but for Electronic, Industrial, Gritty, Hip Hop, Lo-fi and Rock. It’s an absolute beast that can go from the most disgusting and dirty beats, to more raw and rocking sounds. Its dynamic range sits mainly in the darker and grittier end of the spectrum, and that’s absolutely where it excels – but its also capable of more pulled back underscore / sound design too. Listen to the demos below to get an idea of what its capable of:
To me, the DM-307 sounds a lot more “cutting edge” (although I hate using that phrase) than Damage does nowadays, and the crazy flexibility and amount of sounds on offer to tweak is just insane.
The DM-307 can perhaps seem a tad bit expensive at $299, but once you get stuck into it, you can see its totally justified. Its a massive percussion instrument that is capable of pumping out rhythms in a wide range of genres – from EDM and Industrial to Rock and Ethic madness. If you already own Damage and you’re looking for something in the same style, but with more flexible and a grittier sound, DM-307 is for you. If you only write jazz flute solos, this bad boy is not for you.
The DM-307 from Heavyocity is available on the Heavyocity website for $299: http://www.heavyocity.com/product/dm-307/