Something that never ceases to amaze us is how sound designers can revisit synths and equipment that have been around for years yet still come up with cutting-edge and interesting sounds. And Wave Alchemy has done just that with its latest pack, read more in our Synth Drums Review
Manufacturer Wave Alchemy
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The library contains 5,900 one-shot drum samples, individually crafted on ten vintage synths including a Roland Jupiter 8, Juno 106, SH-09 and System 100, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 and Pro One, Korg MS-20, Arp Odyssey Mk1, Minimoog Model D and an Oberheim OB8. There’s a huge range of sounds, from booming bass kicks and clacking snares to weird-and-wonderful percussive effects, all divided into folders and sub-folders for easy browsing.
However, with so many different hits on offer, we would recommend using the 105 sampler instruments to ease your browsing experience, which includes both groups of instruments as well as ready-made kits to get you started.
As you’d expect, everything here is heavily electronic, yet the analogue nature of the equipment makes things sound strangely organic at times. Alongside kicks, claps, snares, toms, cymbals, hats, congas and percussion are all manner of bass hits, dissonant chord stabs, mallet strikes and synth swells, meaning that this pack could be used to flesh out more than just the drum parts of a track.
On top of the standard collection of hits there are two other complete sets: a processed version and a special processed version that has been run through a Neumann VMS 70 vinyl mastering lathe and 1/4-inch tape. In some cases these aren’t hugely different, merely offering a little transient shaping, warmth and fatness, but it becomes more noticeable on instruments such as the kick drums.
The only downside is that the sheer number of sounds and the fact that there are three different versions can make it a little overwhelming. How does one choose a single kick drum out of a choice of 444? We also found the claps and snares to be a little too gritty for our tastes. However, it’s clear that this has been a labour of love for the Wave Alchemy team, and the resulting library is packed to the brim with variety and warm, interesting sounds.
A massive pack of organic-sounding synth drum and percussion sounds with exceptional attention to detail and a surprising degree of variety.