UJAM’s Groovemate ONE is a one‑stop shop for pop percussion.
UJAM specialise in virtual instruments and effects that sound excellent, are super‑easy to use and are accessibly priced. It’s a winning combination. However, the latest KISS offering is perhaps the cutest example yet; it’s called Groovemate ONE. Priced at just €19$19, Groovemate ONE provides the essentials of pop‑based percussion — shaker, tambourine and claps — in a compact format.
The UI, while instantly familiar to anyone who has tried their virtual guitar, bass or drum instruments, is ultra‑streamlined. You can start with any one of 30 pattern presets. For each of these, individual hits and three intensities of the pattern (plus a fill option) are mapped to MIDI keys starting at C3. You can trigger the pattern options to create an instant percussion part and add your own playing (with velocity response) from the individual hits. Two macro controls — Mix and Reverb — allow you to adjust the sounds of the percussion or control the ambience. These each feature a small set of presets offering a good range of options, while the knobs themselves can be used to dial in as much or as little of the effect as desired. The small metronome icon allows you to adjust the pattern triggering resolution and also to add swing, going from straight to swung feels with ease.
The presets include plenty of useful 4/4 patterns but also throw in some more esoteric grooves with 3/4, 5/4 and 6/8 all represented. Even so, pretty much everything here is going to just work in pop or other contemporary music styles and, in my own experimentation, Groovemate ONE quite happily slotted in beside a couple of UJAM’s virtual drummers to add that little percussive lift a chorus section can often benefit from. And, if you like a preset pattern, you can drag and drop its MIDI data into your DAW for further manipulation. And as the sounds respond to MIDI velocity, that does provide a workaround for my one minor niggle with the streamlined UI; there is no mixer option to adjust the relative levels of each sound. Maybe that’s something that UJAM might add in a future update?
If you just need some basic percussion sounds to add a little groove, and don’t want to get sidetracked by too many options, Groovemate ONE is a no‑brainer.
That comment aside, Groovemate ONE is a bit of a gem. There are plenty of excellent upmarket virtual percussion instruments available, but if you just need some basic percussion sounds to add a little groove, and don’t want to get sidetracked by too many options, Groovemate ONE is a no‑brainer. Sat in a mix, the sounds themselves are perfectly adequate and the Mix and Reverb options provide enough sonic choice without ever being a distraction to your creative workflow.
UJAM have already indicated that ONE is the first product in a new Groovemate line. Here’s hoping what follows is as useful as ONE and, mixer option aside, delivers the same brilliantly simple, totally usable and budget‑friendly experience. I can only imagine that lots of potential users will find this incredibly useful. If that might be you, then the free 30‑day trial is well worth downloading.
Groovemate ONE makes adding simple percussion grooves about as easy as it will ever get. A genuinely useful tool that won’t break the bank.