BEATS is a collection of 28 percussive sounds and a few variations built into a single custom oscillator for the Korg Prologue, Minilogue XD and NTS from Tim Shoebridge.
Developers are starting to think outside the box with these custom oscillators. We recently saw the Ruismaker Drum Synth Oscillator from Bram Bos which seems to be down a similar line.
BEATS is a pretty comprehensive drum and percussion kit with all the sorts of noises you’d expect spread over a couple of octaves. There are a few variations on the hi-hats and the snare drum which are set as repeating or looping sounds. There are 4 speeds set by the Shape control and the starting tempo can be set in the oscillator from 60-160bpm.
The polyphony of BEATS is dictated by the synthesizer, so the NTS-1 is monophonic, the Minilogue XD is 4-note and then the Prologue is 8 or 16-note.
There are some limitations in that you can’t mix the levels or process them individually. There are only 6 parameters available in a custom oscillator. But Tim has grouped similar sounds together like Kicks and Snares and offers a gain control over each of those groups. There’s also a high-pass filter on the Snares and also a pitch control.
Tim says that creating this sort of oscillator is actually quite difficult. You can’t use samples so he’s had to create each sound individually using simple waveforms, white noise and envelopes. He suggests that there’s loads of fun to be had particularly using the sequencer on the Minilogue XD.
Tim has a number of custom oscillators available on his “Sound Mangling” website. BEATS will cost you $19.