My initial reaction was that something appears to be missing from Audiothing’s drum synthesizer, and clearly everything is missing other than the hi-hats. But that brings a surprisingly fresh approach to our high frequency time keepers. You can deal with all that bottom end, fizzing snares and bonging toms in some other place, this is all about the hats.
Hats features two independent sound sources; one sample based, the other based on synthesized noise. Modelled on the TR808 the noise section features 6 square wave oscillators with different pitches and phases giving it a variable metallic character unlike what you’d get using pink or white noise. On the sample side the factory bank comes with over 50 samples taken from a range of classic machines as well as a handful of acoustic hats and cymbals. There’s a fair bit of processing going on to give the right amount of vintage feel to the tone.
In the top half of the nicely drawn interface you get to play with pitch and start point on the sample source and graininess of the noise source. You then have a short and a long envelope, i guess for short and long sounds, but usually an envelope shapes whatever you put into it so i’m not sure why there’s two or how and if you use them together but i’m sure they know what they’re doing. And finally you have an LFO to wobble any parameter you like. In the bottom half of the GUI you have the more colourful effects interface with a Ring Mod, Crusher, Filter and Reverb. You can rearrange the effects order by dragging the models around which is a nice touch.
There’s a slight 3D character to the GUI that I find really appealing, along with the colour palette – it’s just nice to look at. I would not have thought of dedicating a plug-in to probably the most neglected and yet vital part of the archetypal drum kit which just goes to show how much I know about being innovative. Hats forces you to think about hi-hats and that’s a splendid thing.
Hats is available for OSX and Windows, VST, AU and AAX for €39 for a limited time, usual price €49.
More information: https://www.audiothing.net/instruments/hats/