The DrumSynth500 drum machine plugin, created in collaboration with AKAI and Alesis, breaks new ground and offers eight drum sounds, six of which are generated with oscillators. Four different combinations of syntheses and samples with nine parameters each can be found on the clear interface. The structure is identical for all sounds: nine controls, an effects section with distortion, bit crusher, decimator, and resonant multimode filter as well as a simple compressor. The filter is not the best on the market, but when the resonance is high, the high-pass filter, in particular, lets it roar properly. The sound generation of the Drum Synth 500 is surprisingly flexible despite the minimal equipment and few modulators.
The oscillators are perfectly matched for each sound and, with the reduced equipment, invite you to jam. The highlights are the FM synths of the toms, which can do everything you could wish for, from punchy 909 toms to crisp, thundering percussion. In addition to volume and panorama, the mixer channel contains two reverb and two delay sends. The drums can be mixed in-depth and in the stereo field with different effects directly in the box.
In general, there are several niceties in the DS500: The master channel, for example, not only offers its own compressor but also kill switches for bass, mids, and highs that are only active as long as the mouse button is held on – perfect for spontaneous breaks during one Performance! There is also a saturator with three algorithms in the master section, in which Type2 in particular ensures extremely pleasant tape saturation. Class! There is a repeater for each sound that enables staccato and a randomize function that delivers amazingly useful results and makes finding new drums child’s play. Last but not least, you can define an area on the keyboard for the toms and the two samplers so that the sounds can be played melodically.
In contrast to many other drum synths, the DS500 delivers crisp and voluminous drum sounds. Deep rumbling 808 kicks or short, concise kicks for melodic techno, distorted kicks for all kinds of hardcore, everything is possible. Whipping snares for drum & bass, hissing to metal hi-hats, synthetic bongos and many other sounds can be screwed in no time. Stylistically, the drum machine is at home almost everywhere.
This drum plug-in is an absolute stunner with a great sound from classic drum machines to fiddly glitch sounds, simple operation, and absolutely useful random function. Anyone looking for drums of any kind will not be disappointed here.
Available in-store: Drum Synth 500