Modor DR-2 OS010, new firmware adds polyrhythmic clocks to the drum synth

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Modor has published DR-2 firmware OS010 taking the internal clock to a new level by adding polyrhythmic clock support to its drum synth.

There are many hardware drum machines on the market. However, many of these are rather limited in how far you can deform the sound. A look at the drum Synthesizer section might help. There aren’t many, but the market is growing. The advantage over classic drum machines is that you can design any instrument from scratch. Often with a set of fixed parameters that are optimized for a specific sound.

One of the most powerful drum synths is the Modor DR-2 from Belgium. Packed with drum engines, and beautifully implemented making them hands-on playable. With OS010, Modor unveiled a new firmware that takes the DR-2 into the polyrhythmic worlds.

Modor DR-2 OS010

Modor DR-2 OS010

The OS010 is a new free firmware update for all DR2 users. And it’s a special one. This was done in collaboration with Berlin-based Canadian electronic music artist Nicolas Bougaïeff. Some know the developer, among other things, for his work on the MIDI controller Lemur and the collaboration with

Bougaïeff frequently uses polyrhythmic structures, dividing bars or musical phrases of different instruments into different numbers of steps. Have one instrument play 17 steps in the time another instrument plays only 16 steps, or 8 steps in 5 steps, or… Like stretching N steps of one instrument over M steps of a second one, giving them an N:M speed ratio.

He felt that there were only rather limited possibilities in hardware sequencers and drum machines to achieve this. And so the question reached us at Modor… ‘Is this possible?’

Together with him, Modor has massively upgraded the DR-2 in the clock. Okay, the clock was stable, but they made it more versatile by introducing polyrhythmic clocks. More precisely, it now features two polyrhythmic clocks α and β, aka polyclocks. For each instrument, you can now choose between the classic clock and the polyrhythmic one.

Modor DR-2 OS010

According to Modor, each of these 2 clocks relates to the regular main clock with a certain N:M ratio. The polyclock takes N steps in the time the main clock takes M steps. This new clock functionality allows you to create very advanced polyrhythms.

Marcel of Modor gives an example: “You can now have a snare drum play 7 steps while the rest of the instruments play 8 steps. The 7 steps are stretched equally in time over the 8 steps of the other instruments”. This is a significant update that takes the DR-2 into new territory.

How is this done?

  • Keep the α or β button down, and set the N:M ratio using the SELECT/BPM (for N) and VALUE/SWING (for M) knobs.
  • Keep an instrument button A…F down and hit the α or β button to assign that instrument to one of the polyrhythmic clocks. Hit it again to return to the main clock.

Better Control Over The Click Volume

Further, you can benefit from another handy new feature in the DR-2 0S010 update. You can now set the click volume on the bass drums and a few other models by pressing shift and amp curves on the hardware. A feature that you will notice in sound design.

First Impression

A nice update that Modor gives his DR-2 digital drum Synthesizer here. Above all, the souped-out clock makes the DR-2 an even deeper drum machine.

The new Modor DR-2 OS010 firmware update is available as a free download for existing users. Modor DR-2 is available now for $2099.

More information here: Modor Music 

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  1. Marcel is one of the more congenial blokes in the industry. This undertaking by essentially one man is truly an impressive feat, congratulations on the latest upgrade.

  2. This machine is certainly interesting. A different take on drum machines. Hope i can try one someday. And those buttons look like Marquardt switches, i love these!

  3. My first drum machine was an SR16- still good at what it does well in song mode.
    A vanilla workhorse is the TR8-S.
    But the really stimulating and exciting machine is the DR-2… it was brilliant when it first came out and just gets better … it’s an African drum circle of polyrhythms in a box for instance!

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