Each beatbox had nine 8-bit
sounds. In keeping with drum machines of this era, sample rates
were limited (15kHz is one rumour giving a theoretical bandwith
of less that 7kHz!). Indeed, the two DDMs sound very lo-fi and 'crunchy'
but not without appeal and character even today.
I remember I was very keen to get a DDM220 for its Latin
American percussion sounds (I couldn't afford a Roland TR727!) and
I had one in for evaluation. First impressions were good - it was
easy to program and I thought that the sounds (at the time) would
be very good for adding some 'spice' to a track. Until I hooked
it up to my Roland MC4B Micro-Composer that is....
The DDM and the MC4B both sported a DIN SYNC connector,
a 'standard' at the time for synchronising devices and this was
an important consideration for me choosing the DDM220. However,
whilst the Roland's spec was 24 pulses per quarter note, the DDM's
(rather bizarrely) was 48 ppqn. What this meant in practice was
that if the DDM was the master, the MC4B ran at twice the speed
it should and if the MC4B was the master, the DDM ran at half the
speed it should!
I tried all sorts of solutions (including programming
patterns and/or sequences at half/double speed!) but with no success
- the DDM just didn't fit into my setup and so I didn't - or rather,
couldn't - buy one.
Some years later, I was able to get my hands on both
models which I sampled on (I think) an S3000. Despite their sonic
limitations, these are useful sounds in any number of musical applications.