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Simmons:Still in use?
Old 9th March 2006
Lives for gear
Dog_Chao_Chao's Avatar

Simmons:Still in use?

Hi. Just curious, how many people still use drum synths. I never had one in my studio but, i don´t know why, i´m recording some 80´s bands recently...(am i going old too?) I would like to try one of those Simmons modules. Wich one would be a good starter? I want one that sounds good but not too expensive as i don´t expect to use it frequently. Just for fun and for all those oldies that seem to like my studio!
Old 9th March 2006
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C Heat's Avatar

Simmons Rule!
Old 9th March 2006
Gear Maniac

The most coveted Simmons module is SDS V (five, that is). It's the one you hear the most on 80's records with the booming toms. Think Talk Talk, Flock Of Seagulls... it's the big rack one. It had a modular setup where you could keep adding voice cards (just like modular mixer). But because it was the first one, and used the most widely, they can get pretty pricey on ebay. I've seen them for around $500-600!

I currently am in posession of an SDS 7 (probably cheaper on ebay) which has analog kik and toms with a changeable sample chip for the snare (one sample for the snare and one for rim sound... pretty generous, huh?!?!). The SDS7 does however have a lot of parameters to mess with the analog sounds, and it even has memories to store them, so feature/$$$, probably the best deal for ancient Simmons stuff.

They also made things like the SDS8 and SDS1000 which were cheaper analog kits with brains. I haven't heard them, but you can find those pretty cheap. And if you only want toms, they had a two tom expander unit (SDS200 I think, check that site in the other post). Don't know how hard those are to find. I missed getting one on ebay for like $20 a couple months back. Doh!

btw, I've found a neat way to trigger them is to use a virtual synth set to an unused output of your audio system (the triggers will work off audio)


p.s. I'm usually just a pussy and use samples anyway!
Old 10th March 2006
Lives for gear
covert's Avatar

Actually I think the most common on records and such was the SDS 9. I could be wrong. It had chips for snare, and analog sounds for teh rest of the kit. I have one, and the MTX expander, which added sampled toms and percussion sounds. I'd let either go, not quite $20 cheap, but pretty cheap.
Old 10th March 2006
Lives for gear
Jamz's Avatar
Actually I believe it was the Simmons SDS V that were most commonly used.
The SDS9s came later when Simmons wanted a more reasonably priced kit.
It's the SDS V you see in the videos from the 80's.
I owned: SDS V, SDS 7, SDS 9 and a couple of Sd1s along with an eprom burner and an ultraviolet ray eprom eraser.
For the pure Simmons sound nothing rivaled the SDS V. The SDS 9 made for a great little set for live performance and the 7's were a noble attempt to progress the concept. I last left them at the SDS 10. I believe someone here on Gearslutz has the SDS 10 brain as their avatar.
Having Simmons along with my Linndrum and Fairlight CMX in the back of my wagon
was a very cool feeling in the mid 80's. Fun times. I don't own any of them anymore.
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