Drum synth

Hey all,

I’d like to give a shot at creating a drum synth with a kick, snare HH and perhaps a couple FM percussion, just a simple 4/5 sounds drum machine to start with.

Any recommendation or links as to how synthesise these especially the kick and snare? I had the idea of using an array of transcients as helpers too which brings me to my next question or request: is it possible to have a sample choser or dropdown select unit to choose a specific sample in an array?


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Yes! There is a (now) classic series of tutorials from Sound On Sound that covers your needs. Here’s the Kick, follow the links in tbe article for the rest.



That’s great thoses diagrams are perfect, thanks for the headz up! :slight_smile:

Here’s the snare: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/synthesizing-drums-snare-drum

Great set of articles - they’ve never been bettered, to my knowledge.


By the way this could be open to collab

Here’s one:

Curious to see what other people are doing, so I’ll get the ball rolling. Quick and dirty, haven’t tested it too deeply, but it should work:

FM Kick v1.0.lua (41.3 KB)

Who’s next? :yum:


awesome working on a kick too will post soon hopefully, I’d like to follow up on adding a transcient chooser that you can layer on top of a traditional ladder filter / sin hit.

this is one of the strange things to me i always wanted to know: why use a ladder filter and not just a sine osc? in the modular world i would partly understand, but wheres the difference in the er301?


yes, when its cranked up you get a sine osc… or what do you mean?

Doesn’t it sound different depending on the amount of resonance?

There may be no difference at all, I am afraid I don’t have the knowledge to fully deconstruct what’s happening here.

i don´t think the filter in the er301 sounds that different with different resonance settings in self oscillation mode. there are some filters that distort in a nice way if you crank it all the way up.
a nice kick is more achieved with a clean sine, and the distortion behind it…
but basically all you get with a filter in self osc is a sine osc. a very clean one. but as we are digital here this doesn´t matter, and the sine osc in the er301 should be ok.

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Which makes sense because the limiter inside the Ladder Filter’s feedback path is basically the same as the cubic mode on the Limiter unit. However, there will be substantial pitch shifting when modulating the resonance and there are more prominent odd harmonics on the sine wave coming out of the LPF which give it a more hollow sound. On the scope it looks like the first 2 harmonics of a triangle wave.