What was new in Doggiebox 1.x

Doggiebox began life in 2001 in response to the need for an agile, easy-to-use drum sequencer that ran natively under the then-brand-new Mac OS X 10.1. In the intervening decade, as the Mac OS X platform has matured, Doggiebox has undergone a gradual but steady improvement shaped largely by the needs of its enthusiastic users. A slow overhaul began in late 2009, finally coming to fruition with the release of Doggiebox 2.0 in August 2011.

Following is an an abbreviated list of notable prior releases. See the old user's guide for a more detailed version history.

At its inception, the Doggiebox pattern editor sported a fixed roster of five drum groupings amongst which all instruments in the kit were distributed. Many drum machine programs of the day used a sprawling grid-like configuration that could span dozens of rows for every unique instrument in the drum kit. One of the original goals for Doggiebox was to improve on that concept by making it more manageable, as explained by this excerpt from the Doggiebox 1.0.1 user's manual (March 2003):

The rationale behind our five-group drum arrangement hinges on two concepts:

  1. A human drummer, with two arms and two legs, is typically able to hit a maximum of only four distinct drums simultaneously.
  2. A huge grid providing slots for dozens of instruments quickly becomes very unwieldy, although the grid paradigm itself is useful for visually sorting information.

Consequently, the approach is to group the drum kit instruments into five general categories, like so (from top to bottom):

  • accessory cymbals (crashes and other);
  • rhythmic cymbals (hi hat and rides);
  • secondary drums (tom-toms);
  • principal drums (snare drum);
  • foot-operated drums (kick drum).

In a typical rock or jazz piece, usually only two or three groups will be producing a new sound at any given moment. Combined with unique visual symbols on a drum-by-drum basis, the pattern editor thus provides a compact yet flexible method for representing simple and complex drum patterns.

In Doggiebox 2.0 the strict five-group arrangement was relaxed, allowing flexibility for the drum kit creator to choose what best suits his application.

Doggiebox was conceived by, and is designed, developed and maintained by Ben Kennedy, a Canadian entrepreneur and musician.