Wave Alchemy teased us with the Revolution virtual drum machine back in November. At the time they promised a before-Christmas release but decided that a new year release is what analogue drum enthusiasts needed.
Wave Alchemy have sampled 14 classic drum machines in order to create the library for Revolution. If you’re struggling to think of more than the usual Rolands then here’s the full list: Roland 808, 909, 606, 707, 727, 505, CR-78 and CR-8000. Linndrum, Sequential Circuits Drumtraks, Emu Drumulator and SP-12, and the Oberheim OB-DX. Although, that appears to be 13 drum machines to me. The missing one is the drums from the Nintendo GameBoy which, I guess, is hard to put across as a classic, vintage, iconic drum machine.
Lots of samples
In their pursuit of “real” and “authentic” sound, Wave Alchemy have recorded tens of thousands of samples. The aim is to capture every nuance and possibility that these machines are capable of producing. They say they are not interested in “emulation”, they want to real deal. Or at least as real as you can get using samples.
The GUI is designed to give a very familiar and traditional layout. Within the mid-section you load up one of the 14 drum modules, each styled to reflect the original. The controls are fairly simple, giving sample selection and tuning along with some others such as character which depends on the drum module you’re using.
The top half is dedicated to the mixing of the drum voices. There are 14 channels which enable you to create a custom drum kit using a sample from every one of the 14 drum modules. Beneath the module are some voice controls: sample start point, envelope, filter and so on. And at the bottom there’s a traditional TR style 16×2 step drum sequencer. The sort of 80’s space age metering at the top is a bit cheesy but I can live with it.
Multi-track sequencer and more
If that’s not comprehensive enough then check out the multi-track sequencer. You get a full page of 32 step sequencing, with individual per-step modulation routings, and velocity editing. Then there’s the effects, both inserts and sends, covering EQ, reverb, compressor, shaper, delay and a convolution reverb.
It comes with 1000’s of presets, full support for Native Instrument’s NKS and it runs as an instrument for Kontakt (either the full or free version is required). It’s a comprehensive bundle of sounds that’s got you covered in terms of vintage drum machines. You’ll probably never need another one.
The price until the 19th January is £119.96. There’s a free demo version available that comes with 670 MBs worth of samples as opposed to the 8GB of library that the full version has. It gives you a couple of useful kits – for free, which is nice. More information on the Wave Alchemy website. The video below is remarkably unhelpful in telling you very much at all.