Vermona DRM1 MKIV, Analog Drum Synthesizer Tradition Continues

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Vermona sends its classic analog drum Synthesizer DRM1 into the fourth “MKIV” round, with a refined analog drum engine, USB-MIDI, and more.

How long can an instrument, effect … be on the market? How long is it current and when will it be a classic. It’s not an easy question. Developers often try to redesign their classic concept from scratch and thus try to make them attractive for the market again. That can go well but it can also go wrong.

The DRM1 from the German boutique company Vermona is a true analog drum synth classic. It just got a major hardware update. Not a completely new development but an update that continues the tradition. The DRM1 MKIV packs again 8 analog “in your face” drum generators in a standalone device with hands-on control. There are also some hardware improvements that make the instrument even punchier but also more versatile in terms of connectivity.

Vermona DRM1 MKIV

Vermona DRM1 MKIV

Anyone who was looking forward to a completely new DRM1 will be a little disappointed with the release. Vermona continues its well-known analog drum Synthesizer with the same concept/engine as it was released back in the 90s. There are eight analog instrument channels, each with nine knobs for sound shaping, pan, and volume control.

Instead of giving the drum Synthesizer a new, fancy look, Vermona has focused on the inside. The circuits have received a major “fine-tuning” update so that every section sounds even better. The DRM1 MK3 already sounded great. “Thoughtfully tweaking frequency ranges, revamping control curves, adjusting levels, and redesigning sub-circuits. Our goal was to make the DRM1 MKIV the best drum synthesizer we’ve ever built!” says the developer.

The new version has made a big step forward in the area of connectivity. In addition to classic MIDI, the DRM1 MKIV now has built-in USB-MIDI and MIDI Out on the backside. Vermona DRM1 MKIV

The analog connectivity side has also got an upgrade. The optional trigger inputs now also accept different voltage levels for triggering the instrument channels dynamically. That makes the device much more versatile. That’s not all. The DRM1 MKIV trigger version can also convert the analog signals into MIDI notes via USB or via the MIDI out connector. In that case, the 100€ upgrade is definitely worth it, if you have to ask me.

More Power

The DRM1 MKIV ships with a new power supply that now works anywhere in the world, without having to manually change the mains voltage. According to Vermona, it works more energy-efficient as well. Sound demos are currently only available on the website.

The new version sounds even fatter and punchier in my opinion. I think the developers once again elicited some new character of the DRM1 with the latest circuit tweaks. Great update for a classic analog drum synth.

Vermona DRM1 MKIV will be available in April 2021 for 699€ and in the trigger version for 799€.

More information here: Vermona 

Vermona at our partner


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  1. It’s a shame that the update didn’t include features like parameter locking, patch recall and voice LFOs. I found the DRM strangely limiting and frustrating. I find the Digitakt or even Korg ER1 more useful and inspiring

    • It’s an analog drum Synthesizer with hands-on, no sequencer… So it doesn’t need parameter locking or patch recall as it is not designed to be a recallable synth or so 🙂 It’s for instant analog satisfaction without menu deving, etc. I would wish all these features on a device that has a sequencer, a digital-controlled analog engine, etc. 🙂

  2. may not need parameter locking, but it would be good to have something similar. For instance, by having digital control the Novation Bass Station allows super fast parameter switching and their AFX mode. The DRM voices were a bit static, sure it’s analogue, but it’s like an analogue synth missing LFO modulation. It’s nice to have something that can automate and bring life to sounds.

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