It’s the one thing that my studio was lacking; a decent analogue drum synthesizer. Everything else is pretty well catered for, I’m synth’d up to the max in both the analogue and digital domains but there was a vital component missing – the ability to conjure up a live drum sound and keep it sounding fresh, and the sound field alive.
I’d been looking at the MAM ADX1, which was a true analogue drum machine from the mid nineties. However, they were scarce to come by, and if anything should happen to go wrong with it, then I’d be a bit stuffed. There’s also the Novation DrumStation, a nice rack-mounted bit of kit, but both of these machines tend to veer towards Roland 909 clone territory.
So, I went back to doing my research. The synth that kept drawing me in was the Vermona DRM1, a fantastic and unpredictable piece of equipment that ticked all the boxes. However, they’re pretty expensive, so it was with regret that I decided to dob in a couple of other bits of gear to free up some dough to make the purchase on the Vermona.
No regrets. This is an amazing bit of studio gear, no mistake. What starts out as a conventional rhythm track can quickly transmogrify into something eerie and wierd. You can actually use it as a polyphonic synth; the tone generation on it has unlimited possibilities.
My only comment would be that for a drum synth, it’s actually quite hard to program a decent kick drum sound! It produces a phat tone, but if you’re after a conventional kick, then I look to my Korg rack.