An Introduction to Hydrogen

Find out why Dave is so excited about this drum machine/rhythm programmer.
Parting Comments

Chemically or musically, Hydrogen is powerful stuff. In my opinion it currently is the most sophisticated software drum machine available for Linux, and its development team is driving quickly towards the program's 1.0 release. Hydrogen's main developer, Alex Cominu (aka Comix), is dedicated to improving Hydrogen's already formidable capabilities, and I've come to expect wonderful things from him and his crew. If you'd like to get involved with Hydrogen development or if you'd like to use Hydrogen for your own music-making projects, check out the program's Web site for details on downloading the package, directions for joining the mail-list or catching up on the latest news about Hydrogen's development plans. Projected improvements include a more usable pitch editor grid, a graphic envelope editor for Hydrogen instruments, a copy & paste pattern function, various MIDI enhancements and various GUI improvements. Obviously I'm enthused about Hydrogen: it's already one of the best examples of distributed development, and I find it fascinating to watch as the best just gets better.

Next month: Back to MIDI, with Part 2 of last month's article. See you then!

Dave Phillips (dlphilp@bright.net) is a musician, teacher and writer living in Findlay, Ohio. He has been an active member of the Linux audio community since his first contact with Linux in 1995. He is the author of The Book of Linux Music & Sound, as well as numerous articles in Linux Journal.

______________________

Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.

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does any audio software do this

Anonymous's picture

oh, and this one too. Pleas please if anyone knows of software that will let me do what this guy does on this machine with a similar tactile interface (computer keyboard) please let me know!!!!!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=_6yZjrQXvx8&mode=related&search=

Not just for Linux either!

Anonymous's picture

Thanks to the support for OSS (Open Sound System) as well as ALSA, Hydrogen isn't just for Linux. I run it on a NetBSD machine, and it's an absolutely brilliant program. I do need to upgrade the version that's in NetBSD's package collection, which I've left languishing at version 0.8.x.

I just wish someone had the time and talent to make an ALSA compatability layer for NetBSD so I could run Hydrogen alongside Rosegarden. Then I could finally stop sequencing on my ancient Atari ST and Cubase.

Chris

still need real drum machine software

Anonymous's picture

I've tried dozens of apps like this and the just don't work for me artistically. They're just not NATURAL!

For YEARS I've been trying to find a piece of software that mimics an actual Drum Machine. Something that I can use just the (computer) keyboard to hit notes and trigger samples and loops. Still haven't found one. That's what the world really needs! Not another fruity loops or similar app. There are already too many like this.

These are drum machines:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=OMiNUyU0Y8s
http://youtube.com/watch?v=C0R7B12X8dY (pay close attention to 4:00 it's most important)

Noteedit and Hydrogen

Carl's picture

I've been using a combination of Hydrogen drum tracks saved to wav format and Noteedit tracks saved to wav. Set both to the same tempo and mix them using Audacity! You can balance the tracks by amplifying one of them and then mix them using 'Quickmix' and export as an mp3.

Correction re: GUI

Anonymous's picture

I mistakenly ascribed the GUI widgets designs to developer Willie Sippel. Willie kindly pointed out that the actual design is done by Christian Vorhof. Thanks to Willie for the correction, and many thanks to Christian for his excellent improvements to the Hydrogen GUI.

Best regards,

Dave Phillips

Re: An Introduction to Hydrogen

Anonymous's picture

I wish someone would get a driver for my Yamaha DSP Factory
also know as a dsp 2416 so I could ditch windows for midi also.

Same here. Can it be done?

Anonymous's picture

Same here. Can it be done?

I feel your pain...

Anonymous's picture

However, the only way that driver will ever happen is for owners to persistently (but politely) write to Yamaha and ask for either a driver from Yamaha or for Yamaha to release the needed specifications to the ALSA team. Alas, Yamaha has shown no indication that they'll do such a thing, even though it could result in more sales of their product. This short-sightedness re: Linux is a constant in the pro-audio industry, sad to say.

Best,

dp

Author's additions

Anonymous's picture

I would like to emphasize the fact that the CVS version tested in this article may not necessarily reflect the features that will be included in the eventual "finished" public release. CVS versions should be considered as "testing ground" for new ideas and features, there is no guarantee that they will become the mainstream versions.

I also want to mention the outstanding work on Hydrogen's GUI, done by Willie Sippel. Willie's improvements are most likely to be included in the mainstream release. As you can see in the screenshots to this article he's made some very professional-looking improvements to Hydrogen's appearance, and I just thought they deserved special mention. Nice work, Willie !

Best regards,

Dave Phillips

Re: Author's additions

Anonymous's picture

Thanks Dave! But the graphic design was done by Christian Vorhof, a friend of mine. I did some usability/ layout work and implemented small parts of the interface, Christian designs the widgets (he knows next to nothing about music production tools, but he's a very good graphic designer).

Ciao,

Willie Sippel

Re: An Introduction to Hydrogen

Anonymous's picture

Another great article, Dave. I think Hydrogen is a great program, but it does have one flaw - no triplets! Unless I'm missing something, there is no way (or no easy way?) to put triplets and more general tuplets into a 64 box grid.

Re: An Introduction to Hydrogen

Anonymous's picture

I find this forum absolutley amazing.

http://www.fuelcells.org.au/

Steve Z

Author's reply

Anonymous's picture

Triplets (up to 32nd-note triplets) are supported in the Grid Resolution drop-down menu in the Pattern editor, and the resolution can be changed in realtime.

Best,

dp

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