Drummer from another Mother
The Moog DFAM – AKA Drummer from another Mother – The best (non) drum machine you can add to your arsenal – Ahhh, my second synth. Bought it brand new as soon as it hit the market. As a former percussionist it had to be mine. I’d stop at nothing simply because it had drummer in the name. What a brilliant name too – The Moog DFAM (Drummer from another Mother). Their marketing people really did an excellent job of naming this whole family based, semi-modular run they’ve been releasing the last few years.
But good Lord, is this thing from another mother entirely. I’d call it more of a percussion machine, rather than a drum one.
Again, the patch bay on this one is indispensable. I happen to own a super awesome module (thanks to Abe over at AI Synthesis!) That allows me to run pedals through it. With a little delay patched in correctly it makes the DFAM a whole new beast.
The patch bay is also a welcome luxury on the Moog DFAM, I’d say. It’s not necessarily it’s calling card but you can certainly use it to your advantage. That said, let’s get into the heart of this device.
Sporting 16 knobs, creating beats and melodies on the DFAM is a breeze. The top row is your sounding note, the bottom being the velocity of said note. Turn the pitch knob left, it gets bassier. Turn it right to increase pitch. Same idea with the velocity; Left is quiet, right is max volume.
Try using the dust cover cards upon first purchase to allow you to really learn the ins and outs. Hell, I still use mine. After you’re comfortable, begin tweaking from these standards and you’ll find you can make Trent Reznor industrial tunes, to bird songs. It’s very versatile.
Never have I had an easier time syncing instruments together than with the DFAM. Thanks to it’s ADV/CLOCK jack, you can sync it via CV rather than MIDI. MIDI sync always f**ks me up for some reason I cannot place my finger on, so having a direct line for sync is icing on this already badass cake.
And this thing groooves. It always finds the pocket and stays there, based on how you programmed it. It’s a perfect first synth for those investigating modular synthesis due to it’s overall simplicity. Not to say you can’t get complicated with it, but the patch bay is small and approachable. The adjustment knobs speak for themselves and alter the sounding of notes with ease.
The DFAM along with the Volca sample is my current way of providing a solid backbone to whatever else I’m creating around them. At first glance you may think, why two drum machines? It’s because the DFAM is so much more, then the sample can back up the melodic rhythms generated with more ‘traditional’ drum sounds.
There’s only so much you can talk about the DFAM. It needs to be touched, finessed. Go to a Guitar Center and try one out. You’ll see what I mean.
Your rhythms will never be the same with this beastly melodic percussion machine. I highly recommend grabbing this Moog. And make sure to get it used. It’s not worth the MSRP of $600, but well worth spending $400-500 on.
Hope this was informative! As always, please feel free to leave your comments below and keep on rockin’!