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Imaginando BAM Beat Maker & Music Maker

Imaginando BAM Beat Maker & Music Maker

This cross‑platform pattern‑based music production environment puts the fun back into music making.

Having access to vast collections of software instruments and effects, all housed within a top‑tier music production DAW, is a truly great thing. However, it’s also something of a double‑edged sword, particularly if your latest musical inspiration fizzles to nothing as you try to decide between an endless set of synth presets, kick drum sounds or reverb choices. In terms of keeping the creativity flowing, sometimes having less choice means that you actually achieve more.

Which is kind of where software like Imaginando’s BAM Beat Maker & Music Maker comes in. As a standalone, pattern‑based music production system, it provides a compact feature set with a streamlined workflow. Fewer distractions, fewer decisions and — perhaps — more actual music. Well, that’s the theory at least... so just what does BAM have to offer?

BAM Basics

The underlying concept within BAM’s workflow is a familiar one. Essentially, you get a step‑sequencer‑based environment (up to 256 steps within a clip) featuring up to 16 sound sources. Projects are arranged in a scene‑based song arrangement system, where each scene is able to contain an individual MIDI clip (pattern) for any/all of the 16 sound sources. You can then trigger these clips is various combinations or all the clips within a specific scene.

MIDI patterns/clips can be created in various ways. A Timeline view provides a simple grid editor that’s great for drum pattern creation. There is also a Composer view that provides a piano‑roll‑style editing environment and is more suitable for melodic/chord instruments such as bass or keys. These views dominate the central portion of the BAM UI where, as well as the Timeline and Composer pages, the five buttons located far left also allow you to toggle between the Matrix (containing the matrix of MIDI clips organised into scenes), Automations (you can also step sequence automation of parameters at the clip level) and Mixer views.

Toggling between BAM’s five main windows, including the Timeline (top) and Composer (bottom) shown here, means you have a range of options for pattern editing.Toggling between BAM’s five main windows, including the Timeline (top) and Composer (bottom) shown here, means you have a range of options for pattern editing.

While there are ways to integrate external sound sources into the BAM workflow, the software has its own suite of sound engines. These include some straightforward synth engines and a sample‑playback engine, and part of the streamlined design intention is to keep BAM as self‑contained as possible. The feature set includes a selection of effects that can be applied at the individual sound engine level plus two global effects that are accessed as sends from the individual sounds. Each sound engine has its own channel in BAM’s compact mixer, which includes send controls, pan, volume and solo/mute buttons. The supplied factory content includes some useful samples, instrument and effects presets,...

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