Audio Damage is very pleased to announce that its first software instrument is now available. It’s called Tattoo, and it’s a drum synthesizer with integrated sequencer. All sounds are synthesized in real time–no samples are employed.

With twelve voices inspired by the famous X0X series of analog drum machines and an internal sequencer that is second to none, Tattoo makes an excellent addition to the arsenal for any electronic music producer.

Each of the twelve internal voices has been created using their proprietary D-Plane synthesis, and each has been extensively tested and tuned in order to have a broad palette. Every parameter of every voice has its own modulation sequencer, allowing for extensive motion within a pattern.

The grid sequencer in Tattoo is a whole world unto itself, with comprehensive randomization features and multiple sync modes, including a MIDI note sync to enable use with virtually any time signature, groove template, or host swing. The sequencer has MIDI out (VST only) to drive other sound sources, to double or replace Tattoo’s internal sounds.

“This product represents our largest investment of time and effort to date, but it was a labor of love” says Audio Damage’s Adam Schabtach. “Chris and I are both drum machine nuts and we’ve been talking about doing a software beatbox almost as long as we’ve been talking about anything. Six or seven months ago we decided that the time had arrived to take a stab at it, and now it’s done. We’re pretty proud of it and we hope that you enjoy it, too.”

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Tattoo features:

  • 12 Drum Synths: Tattoo comes equipped with twelve different voices, utilizing custom D-Plane synthesis, rather than the one general catch-all voice you find in most drum synth plug-ins.
  • Sophisticated Step Sequencer: Tattoo’s internal sequencer comes correct, taking grid programming to the next level.
  • Randomization For Days: There are multiple routes to randomizing your beats, from subtle ghost notes to full on haywire.
  • Parameter Sequencing: Every synth parameter (and we mean every one) has its own sequencer, including randomization.
  • Synchronized: Tattoo can run off its internal sequencer, from host sync, or via “note sync,” where the sequencer can be stepped with MIDI notes. In this way, Tattoo can run in any time signature you can come up with, or sync to any groove template in any host sequencer.
  • MIDI Input: Tattoo’s MIDI implementation includes full MIDI learn for all parameters and MIDI pattern switching. You can also use MIDI note input in addition to or instead of Tattoo’s internal sequencer, and still have access to the randomization features and MOD sequencing.
  • MIDI Output: Tattoo sends MIDI output of all its note events, including randomization, so you can use its step sequencer to drive any other drum synth or sampler (or any instrument, really) as long as your host allows MIDI routing from a plug-in instrument.
  • Audio Outputs: Tattoo has six stereo outputs. The first buss has a modified version of the Kombinat “One Knob Compressor” to add a little (or a lot of) squish to things.

In short, Tattoo is more than a simple drum synth; it is a complete rhythm programming environment, a fantasy come true for any fan of vintage drum machines.

To use Tattoo, you’ll need a Steinberg VST-compatible host application which conforms to the VST 2.0 specifications, and a computer capable of running it. For the Audio Unit version of Tattoo, you’ll need an application capable of hosting Audio Unit plug-ins, and a computer capable of running it. The Mac version requires OS X version 10.4 or newer.

Tattoo is available now via direct download from Audio Damage for $79.

Discuss Tattoo in our Instruments forum.