Date = 1981

Country = USA

Type = Digital/Analogue

Drum Voices = 11

Rhythms = 100 (Program) 50 (Song)

Rhythm Combining = No








What on earth is a digital *spits* drum machine doing on planet Dubsounds you might wonder?

All is not as it would appear so read on...








The drum samples stored inside the Oberheim DMX were 12bit digital but they were filtered by analogue circuits. Curtis 3320 chips (exactly the same as those inside the OB-Xa and Prophet 5 polysynths) were employed to produce a warm, punchy and surprisingly bright sound given the limitations of sample rates and digital storage capacity at the time.


The sounds themselves were fully tuneable by tilting back the hood and turning a little thumb-wheel on the individual voice cards. The sounds were stored on EPROMs and could easily be easily changed. Custom sounds could be added by "blowing your own" using the Oberheim Prommer but ultimately, it was the original sound-set that made this machine what it is. Some sites will tell you that the DMX had 24 sounds but in fact there were only 11 individual samples onboard. The first five cards, (left to right as you look at the picture above) have one sample each and the last three cards have two. The three kicks and three snares are the same sample at three levels of velocity but the analogue filtering effects do make them sound slightly different, (so we sampled those too). The three hi-hats are all from the original "open" sample, (the other two simply employing a shorter decay and differing velocity determined by the resistors on the card. The six toms are the same single sample again but at various pitches. The two rides, tambourines and shakers again are one sample each at two velocity levels.







So... looking back in retrospect, the Oberheim DMX is now a legend. Alongside the TR-808, the DMX practically invented Hip-Hop in the '80s. There's no need to ramble on about how influential it was or list all the musicians that used one, you all know the score (and we don't have the space). Like the 808, the DMX is now instantly recognisable and it has a kick and snare that remains one of those "to die for" sounds 25 years later.







The samples below provide you with all of the sounds available. We even included the metronome click and the confirmation beep you get when programming for total authenticity (you know what levels we go to now so stop rolling your eyes at us). You'll have to put up with our own tunings for this sample set but we did spend a few hours with the machine's hood open, tweaking for what we considered the "perfect pitches". The one thing our single-hit samples can't give you is the analogue effect you get when the drums are played back using the internal sound architecture. These effects show up when multiple voices are used and the "clashing" voices produce a very dynamic and punchy sound very similar to the original Linn LM-1.







Another thing you won't get by using a sequencer is the "groove factor" of the DMX. For some strange reason, the DMX places the hi-hats about 3ms ahead of the kick and snare. There's also the flakiness of the clock resolution which can produce the most amazing shuffle feel. We're certain this wasn't intentional in the original design, but it does reproduce timing "errors?" that can be produced naturally by a drummer. The only way you will get the DMX "groove" is by using loops but we've programmed a few beats already for you to use and many more will be added to this page which we intend to update regularly.







Many thanks to Karl Lund for additional information provided in this article.







Oberheim DMX Single Hits Pack - 27 sounds









01 - K.O.T.B.




02 - Assassin Inspired




03 - Dreams Are... (yes, I know the original was a Linn ;o)




04 - Jam One




05 - Jam Three




06 - Message...




07 - This Way (for Dan)



08 - Malcolm (homage to Keith Le Blanc)

Mix Beat


Toms Only



Kit Only





DMX RHYTHM PATTERNS: (all patterns are in Recycle RX-2 format)







01. PATTERN 01 (Demo) [114 bpm]

01. PATTERN 01 (Loop)

02. PATTERN 02 (Demo) [122 bpm]

02. PATTERN 02 (Loop)

03. PATTERN 03 (Demo) [112 bpm]

03. PATTERN 03 (Loop)

04. PATTERN 04 (Demo) [090 bpm]

04. PATTERN 04 (Loop)

05. PATTERN 05 (Demo) [102 bpm]

05. PATTERN 05 (Loop)

06. PATTERN 06 (Demo) [099 bpm]

06. PATTERN 06 (Loop)

07. PATTERN 07 (Demo) [125 bpm]

07. PATTERN 07 (Loop)

08. PATTERN 08 (Demo) [128 bpm]

08. PATTERN 08 (Loop)

09. PATTERN 09 (Demo) [101 bpm]

09. PATTERN 09 (Loop)

10. PATTERN 10 (Demo) [106 bpm]

10. PATTERN 10 (Loop)


Please note: these patterns are a work in progress and many more will be added as time permits and YES... we will take requests! Future offerings will include a mixture of dry mono, stereo and EQ'ed multi-track options.


All samples on this site are free for you to use in your music (commercial or amateur) but are NOT to be used on another website/commercial sample library/sample cd/vsti rompler etc... without our prior consent.