Aly James Lab releases VSDS-X drum synth plugin
Aly James Lab has released VSDS-X (Virtual Simmons Drum System eXtended), a Simmons SDSV drum synthesizer emulation for Windows.
The Simmons drums were all over the place, on countless records and live shows during the 80s, used by artists and bands like Genesis, King Crimson, Jean Michel Jarre, Prince, Herbie hancock, Pink Floyd, etc. The sound was not especially realistic but it was not the goal… the goal was to be huge and versatile. The most famous drum brain called the SDS-V or SDS5 was a drum synthesizer, bringing synthesis into the drummer hands. To this day the unique sound of that machine is highly regarded and only using samples of Simmons Drums cannot reproduce the wide range of sounds this machine can deliver and especially the warm and punchy analog character. The whole circuitry stands next to the unique sample based characters of the hihat & cymbal in that unique sounding team. It can also be used for non-standard 80s drums.
VSDSX provides the closest experience to the real thing, it models accurately the analog character of the sound generation, internal circuitry, clocks and counters that read EPROM memory, feed the 8bit DAC which decodes the hihat and cymbal EPROMs data in real-time. It models the SSM2044 filters with fine tuning control over a lots of internal circuitry resistors. CV, trigger shapes and VCA response can also be tuned to produce a wide range of sounds, and punch/response, this also emulates how the module will react if triggered with pads, Simmons pads or sequencer… Separate outputs for your DAW, velocity handling, etc. One voice can load your own external EPROM data like on a real SDS1 (EPROM based) pad… This opens up onto a whole new range of sound, still being processed by the circuitry.
The plugin is available for Windows (VST) as donationware, with a minimum donation of $15 USD.