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Recommend me a software drum synthesizer?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Addict
Recommend me a software drum synthesizer?

I have been using Drumatic 3 & 4 for ages (yes, that dinosaur from the mid 00s). Love it to bits, used it on several albums.
But I'm looking at branching out into something... else.

There seems to be a dearth of dedicated drum synth plugins out there. Drum machines, sure (I have the D16 plugins, great stuff), but I'm looking for something for, well, synthesizing drums - all of them, not just kicks - from the elementals.

Recommendations welcome!

(preferably Win + Mac cross platform, and still actively maintained, or at least not super ancient)

cheers
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by camus2 View Post
> from the elementals.

Which are? what sound were you not able to synthesize with all the plugins you used? There is fundamentally no difference between the process of synthesizing strings or brasses and percussions, you start with a waveform then you apply all manners of synthesis, subtractive, additive, FM or AM. Which means that any plugin can do percussive sounds. SoS has a large collection of articles on the subject.

https://www.soundonsound.com/search/...2522%2520drums
OK, so I probably should have added - "dedicated" drum synths (like Drumatic, Attack etc) tend to have multiple channels in the one plugin, so one does not have to, for example, load up six instances of Repro to program a full kit.

I'm very familiar with the theory and process behind subtractive synthesis, so it's more of an interface / workflow issue, I guess
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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syntonica's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stk View Post
I have been using Drumatic 3 & 4 for ages (yes, that dinosaur from the mid 00s). Love it to bits, used it on several albums.
But I'm looking at branching out into something... else.

There seems to be a dearth of dedicated drum synth plugins out there. Drum machines, sure (I have the D16 plugins, great stuff), but I'm looking for something for, well, synthesizing drums - all of them, not just kicks - from the elementals.

Recommendations welcome!

(preferably Win + Mac cross platform, and still actively maintained, or at least not super ancient)

cheers
I asked the Drumatic guy to let us load our own samples for use in addition to the built in ones. Then it would be feature complete for me with the ability to synthesize and/or layer drum sounds. No go was the reply. :(

The only other one I've found is BreakTweaker that does it all, and while I love the micro editing possibilities, it's way overkill for me with too many menus and unnecessary features.

Everything else seems to be all samples or all synthesis. They are all also too overfeatured for my taste.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alekto View Post
Ah, I had no idea that was still available, cheers, will demo.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stk View Post
Ah, I had no idea that was still available, cheers, will demo.
I think it’s still a very capable drum synth. I also like fxpansion’s tremor. Now maybe discontinued? Also the UI is fiddly as hell imo
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
I assume you are looking for a DAW plug. I think all of these also have a stand alone mode. All have a collections of add ons for sounds and other capabilities.

BFD3. Costs tons, heavy learning curve, sounds fantastic. Once in a while you think a drum is in the room.

Others that are popular for more processed sounds and less learning curve:
Addictive drums
Superior drums
Old 2 weeks ago
  #8
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

Might not be what you're looking for but try Egoist?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
I assume you are looking for a DAW plug. I think all of these also have a stand alone mode. All have a collections of add ons for sounds and other capabilities.

BFD3. Costs tons, heavy learning curve, sounds fantastic. Once in a while you think a drum is in the room.

Others that are popular for more processed sounds and less learning curve:
Addictive drums
Superior drums
I use Superior And EZ for my acoustic drum needs, cheers. Looking for pure synthesis here
Old 2 weeks ago
  #10
I dont know how current it is (I think its officially 'legacy' even though they still sell it) but theres always the good old Waldorf Attack for 100% synth stuff.
Would've fit in great with the glitchy TSS kinda stuff.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotremata View Post
I dont know how current it is (I think its officially 'legacy' even though they still sell it) but theres always the good old Waldorf Attack for 100% synth stuff.
Would've fit in great with the glitchy TSS kinda stuff.
Yeah that one's actually high on my list of possibles. Certainly the most fully featured.
My main concern there is how the UI would look on modern screens (I suspect pretty small!)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #12
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stk View Post
Yeah that one's actually high on my list of possibles. Certainly the most fully featured.
My main concern there is how the UI would look on modern screens (I suspect pretty small!)
it's not too bad, takes up almost half the screen but does have some smallish text. really though, it's just "ok". pretty standard routings and it doesn't really sound that impressive. i've had it for a few years now, i don't think i've ever really bothered to use it. back in the day it was pretty cool (i mainly remember the hardware version). also, it has no sequencer, if that matters at all. another similar option would be 'STiX' by Xils Lab. limited in a lot of the same ways as far as synthesis, but a much better product overall.

i think the best answer would be NI 'Reaktor 6', this can do pretty much anything you could imagine. (actually, don't you already have Reaktor?) i'd actually recommend steering away from the "all-in-one" drum machine/synth paradigm, i don't see that as anything but a needless limitation these days. i'm more into the idea of loading up six instances of Repro for a kit.

do you want the whole programming (synth panel and sequencer) interface contained within the same window?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #13
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
it's not too bad, takes up almost half the screen but does have some smallish text. really though, it's just "ok". pretty standard routings and it doesn't really sound that impressive. i've had it for a few years now, i don't think i've ever really bothered to use it. back in the day it was pretty cool (i mainly remember the hardware version). also, it has no sequencer, if that matters at all.
Ah yes, I remember lusting after the hardware too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
another similar option would be 'STiX' by Xils Lab. limited in a lot of the same ways as far as synthesis, but a much better product overall.
Cheers, will check it out

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
i think the best answer would be NI 'Reaktor 6', this can do pretty much anything you could imagine. (actually, don't you already have Reaktor?)
Yes, I do, although I had largely forgotten about it I see there are some nice looking drum synth blocks out now too. I love building, but time is a factor these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
i'd actually recommend steering away from the "all-in-one" drum machine/synth paradigm, i don't see that as anything but a needless limitation these days. i'm more into the idea of loading up six instances of Repro for a kit.

do you want the whole programming (synth panel and sequencer) interface contained within the same window?
Yeah I guess that's my "established workflow" talking. Devil you know and all that.
I guess there is no real good reason for an all in one actually, apart from familiarity. Perhaps I should shake things up. Cheers!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
It’s 32 bit, but b0n6 (bong?) by xoxos is good and very cheap. Chromaphone can make really nice drum sounds too. Any synth can, really. Learn FM and get FM8.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #15
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
It’s 32 bit, but b0n6 (bong?) by xoxos is good and very cheap. Chromaphone can make really nice drum sounds too. Any synth can, really. Learn FM and get FM8.
As mentioned previously, I am (well, was) looking for an all-in multichannel plugin rather than separate synths for each voice. Will check those two out tho, cheers.

Actually I know FM (learnt on a DX7 and TX81Z many, many years ago), but life is way too short for programming FM
These days my time must be prioritised between deep programming, and finishing albums, and I choose the latter, for my own sanity and that of others
Old 2 weeks ago
  #17
Gear Addict
 
unease's Avatar
I was searching for something similar last year and ended up with Reaktor. I’m still not sure it is the right thing for me since I also would like something more self contained. It don’t have the time to go into the details of building things from the ground up and using pre-made instrument becomes a bit like preset switching on a ROMpler.

I will try to dedicate some time for it to see if it can give me what I want but I would still like something more direct that is advanced enough to take you to interesting sonic places. Most drum synthesizers are mostly doing X0X-kind of sounds and not so much more. I’d like something that can sound a bit more heavy, aggressive and trippy. The most interesting drum-thing I’ve heard is the Soma Labs Pulsar 23, that one can sound dirty and trippy in really interesting ways!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by unease View Post
I was searching for something similar last year and ended up with Reaktor. I’m still not sure it is the right thing for me since I also would like something more self contained. It don’t have the time to go into the details of building things from the ground up and using pre-made instrument becomes a bit like preset switching on a ROMpler.

I will try to dedicate some time for it to see if it can give me what I want but I would still like something more direct that is advanced enough to take you to interesting sonic places. Most drum synthesizers are mostly doing X0X-kind of sounds and not so much more. I’d like something that can sound a bit more heavy, aggressive and trippy. The most interesting drum-thing I’ve heard is the Soma Labs Pulsar 23, that one can sound dirty and trippy in really interesting ways!
Yes I'll be giving Reaktor a good going over the next few nights.

I am intrigued by the Soma, they do make amazing stuff.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 
gentleclockdivid's Avatar
 

Heres a clone of mictrotonic I made in reaktor .
It has all the microtonic features ( except sequencer ) , audio rate lfos ( updated at sample rate )
Plus some additional features likean additive oscillator with a pow function for spreading the harmonics and additional wave
shapers , tunable/damping comb filter for the noise section
https://www.native-instruments.com/e...try/show/8339/
I think you will love it
It really shines in studio one with the poly meter/rhytmic enabled patterns

Old 2 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentleclockdivid View Post
Heres a clone of mictrotonic I made in reaktor .
That looks amazing, will download
Old 2 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Ooh, I forgot I already have this (as a long-time FLS user). never really gelled with the sound tho.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Windows only, sadly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Looks more like a drumloop slicer/resequencer kind of ting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
Now these two look intriguing, will demo, cheers!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Head
 
Cotton Mather's Avatar
 

For FM-based percussion synthesis, Inear Display's Ephemere is well worth a listen.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotton Mather View Post
For FM-based percussion synthesis, Inear Display's Ephemere is well worth a listen.
Nice, cheers. Some of those demos sound like late-era AE in a box
Old 2 weeks ago
  #25
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by stk View Post
[Breaktweaker]Looks more like a drumloop slicer/resequencer kind of ting?
The weird sequencer does get all the attention on that one, but it does have a full featured drum synth on board that’s very good. Samples and synthesis. Sometimes I use it even when I’m not using the sequencer. (Which is really interesting if you’re interested in glitchy stuff, which I sometimes am.)
Old 2 weeks ago
  #26
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
The weird sequencer does get all the attention on that one, but it does have a full featured drum synth on board that’s very good. Samples and synthesis. Sometimes I use it even when I’m not using the sequencer. (Which is really interesting if you’re interested in glitchy stuff, which I sometimes am.)
Gotcha, cheers, added to list
Old 2 weeks ago
  #27
R7P
Gear Maniac
 
R7P's Avatar
 

Personally I think the best sounding drum synth out there is DrumSpillage 2. It’s also really deep. Just be forewarned its OSX only and the developer is AWOL.

http://www.audiospillage.com/drumspillage.html
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Xils-Lab StiX combines many types of synthesis and hundreds of parameters per drum sound (10 drumpads per drumkit), so you can go quite deep synthesis wise(Analog oscillators, [email protected], Cross Synthesis, RM, AM, Sample import etc) It also have a very sophisticated XoX sequencer.

Here's an overview of version 1 initial release. Many things were added since (now version 1.5)

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