Yeah, well I didn’t quite believe it myself, either . . . but if you have Internet access, you have a drum machine you can play with. Seriously.
Fig. 7. Here’s Monkey Machine doing its thing, with the website in the background.
Installation/authorization: Go to the URL above, click on Launch, and Pekka Kauppila’s Monkey Machine will start playing (Figure 7). As to authorization, apparently anyone capable of finding the Internet is authorized to use it.
User interface: Each slot has three velocity levels—click once for medium, once more for high, and once more for off.
Aside from that, pretty much anything you need will be in the File, Edit, or Help menu.
Kits: There are a variety of kits to choose from, and wouldn’t you know it, they sound really good. There were a couple times I came up with beats, and was disappointed I couldn’t just click and export them as audio. As of this writing there are 17 kits, including vintage sounds like the TR-808 (Figure 8).
Fig. 8. You say you want different kits? Sure. Here they are.
Patterns: You can have 1 to 32 steps per pattern, so that’s typically two measures with 16th note resolution. But you can also change the number of steps to accommodate different time signatures, like 14 steps for 7/4, as well as add more empty patterns to create an entire song, drum-machine style. You can copy, cut, and paste patterns too. So for example, you could create 16 patterns, have the first three be all the same, create a different fourth pattern, then paste these patterns as desired and edit the pasted patterns as well.
Other features: The up/down buttons didn’t work for tempo, but I could type in just about anything and Monkey Machine could handle it—the textures you get at 1000BPM are not to be believed (and may be illegal in some states, so check first). The timing is solid, too. You can even tap tempo, add shuffle, and adjust the output level. What’s more, there’s an online database of drum patterns just in case you want something for getting started.
Conclusions: How can you not like something that’s free, comes from Finland, is part of the designer’s “Useless Crap” site, actually works, sounds cool, and gives you a drum machine anywhere you have access to the Internet? As a bonus, if you check out his site, you’ll find a Black Metal Name Generator (mine is Inferum Craigat), get a chance to hear some twisted music, and much more. It’s things like this that make me love the Internet. And drum machines.
More from this Beats RoundUp: