In the third of of our series profiling the companies on our Audio Market page where we offer smaller developers the opportunity to reach the Pro Tools community at a much lower price, we profile Drumforge. We sat down with Joey Sturgis to get the story of Drumforge.
PTE: How did you start? Tell us about your journey to setting up your company.
Joey: We all come from a background of being very active producers and mixers. In the beginning, one of the things that motivated us was that everyone always used the same samples in their mixes and none of the packs on the market were very flexible. Don’t get us wrong, we love a lot of the classic drum sample packs, but we always had a dream of doing something different and trying to push the envelope. Anyone mixing high level signed bands doesn’t like it when others can copy their sound. We wanted to create a library that would allow for unparalleled flexibility for mixing no matter what the genre. It was important to be able to have samples that actually sounded real and not overly processed, yet could take additional processing with little effort to cover extreme genres. Thus, Drumforge was born. From that initial idea, so many new ideas came to us and are now being pursued. We are a small company of less than 10 people, but we feel like we’ve accomplished a lot in the last year and a half since our inception.
PTE: Tell us a bit about your company and the products you produce?
Joey: We create products that solve the problems we run into mixing. We are literally creating the tools that we wish we had. The problem with a lot of software companies is that they have too many programmers and not enough relevant producers/mixers coming up with the ideas. Because of this, in our opinion, many plug-ins have non intuitive GUIs, workflows, and just copy every other plug-in on the market. For example, how many more 1176 clone plug-ins do you need? Those aren’t pushing the industry forward.
Drumforge is about pushing the limits and trying to solve real problems. For example, Drumforge 1 allows you to take a set of faders and combine different engineering setups with different mixing styles to create a unique drum sound that fits your mix without having to touch an EQ or compressor. This allows 10 different mixers to use 1 drum sample but get 10 totally different results. Drumforge 1 also allows you to do cool things like overhead perspective switching and automation so you can switch micing setups in different parts of a song. For example use a ribbon XY setup in your verse for a warm tight sound and then switch to a wide and bright spaced pair on the chorus for extra energy and width.
Very recently we put out a very exciting product called Kickforge. It is the world’s first acoustic kick drum creation tool. It allows you to pick a bottom and top sample for your kick and then manipulate it to fit into about any modern mix situation where you'd need a kick drum that is going to drive the song and give the clarity, punch, and energy your mix needs to be competitive. Think of it like this, imagine if you could pick a drum for your inside mic and then a different one for your outside mic, while having total control over each and build the ultimate kick sound.
Aside from our libraries, we are also about to release a series of mixing plug-ins. We currently have one out called Xcite, but many more are coming in the next few months. These are designed to bring a more innovative and musical mixing workflow. Again, the guys who designed all of plug-ins we came to love over the year were masters of emulation and programming, not necessarily masters of creative workflow or mixing actual records. That is the problem we are trying to solve by marrying the two.
PTE: What challenges are you facing at the moment?
Joey: RIght now our main challenge is getting out of Kontakt’s limited format and getting everything on a standalone platform. It is no secret we’ve been working on this for a long time. We have a very talented and dedicated team who are working extremely hard at solving this problem.
PTE: What plans do you have for the future that you can share with the community?
Joey: Next year is going to be very exciting for Drumforge. We’ve got some exciting new libraries coming out, a standalone platform, some mixing plugins, and some extra goodies that we can’t quite talk about yet.
PTE: What is your favourite audio tool (excluding any of your own products)?
Joey: We love and always have gotten excited about hardware compressors like the Distressor or Shadow Hills Mastering compressor.
PTE: What one thing gets you annoyed about the audio business?
Joey: Right now we are having the time of our lives. We are very passionate and motivated. We love making these audio solutions. It is a very exciting process and we are very grateful that what we have been doing so far has been well received. Transitioning into developing software does bring its own unique challenges like anything else in life, but we try to focus on the excitement and the positives involved with it.
PTE: Anything else you would like to share with the Pro Tools Expert community.
Thanks for having us PTE! We love your site and think it is great what you are doing here.
PTE: Thanks Joey and your team for your innovation. Its great to see the innovation coming from the small developed that we are supporting on The Audio Market.
You can watch James' show and tell review of Drumforge Xcite plug-in and read more about the DF Xcite here. You can also find out much more about Drumforge and their products at the Drumforge web site.
Remember to visit the Audio Market page and support all the small developers, all trying to punch above their weight.