Ruismaker is the first drum synth iOS AU plugin available on the market. The author, Bram, is well known since the late nineties for his Windows music software such as Hammerhead (one of the first software drum machines, created in 1997), Tuareg and Tunafish.
Ruismaker started as a hardware drum synth (Annabella, based on a Raspberry Pi and still in development), but the developer has transplanted its sound engine into plugin format.
In his words “conceptually it is much like other hardware drum synths, such as the Roland TR-8 or the Volca Beats: each drum sound has its own dedicated (broadly tweakable) synth circuit, optimized for that particular sound.”
Ruismaker comes with a few dozen of such sound models, and more will be added. As you can see, the interface is pretty straightforward. Ruismaker aims at quickly making music and tweaking sounds to fit in the track and sit in the mix.
Clearly this is something very different from full-featured drum synths like our beloved Elastic Drums. Sound designers and crazy experimentalists may not like it, but I appreciate the fact that the app/plugin hides the complexity of the underlying sound synthesis and let users control only some essential parameters.
I’ve tested it these days in Garageband, AUM and modstep and despite a few little host-related bugs here and there (which I’m sure will be fixed in the next updates), I’ve enjoyed using Ruismaker. The plugin does what is says on the tin. It sounds great and recalls the hardware experience of classic drum machines of the past.
Here’s a quick video of Ruismaker in use with modstep
I’m looking forward to seeing more AU plugins for iOS. So far only very few developers entered the arena (Blamsoft, Klevgränd, Arturia with iSem, etc.) and the new format’s potential remains to be seen.
Wait, I downloaded the app and all I can see is a user manual… It’s ok, you didn’t do anything wrong. Ruismaker is a plug-in. You need a host app to use it. Ruismaker is compatible with GarageBand, Cubasis, modstep (see our modstep review), AUM (see our AUM review), etc. The easiest way to use Ruismaker is to open GarageBand and select it from the Audio Units section.