Superbooth 2021: Rabid Elephant Portal Drum
Rabid Elephant had the Portal Drum module on demo and it has developed quite a lot since we last saw it at Superbooth 2019.
It’s a kick drum module. It does kick drums and clicks and energy-filled booms that will cut through your mix and deepen your understanding of the nature of the universe. It’s been in development for about 3 years so it’s got to be one impressive kick.
It’s certainly fascinating and versatile with a wide range of possible tones, lots of dynamics, transient crafting, wavefolding, saturation, overdrive and “Meow”. If you’ve ever wanted to sculpt the perfect kick drum then Portal Drum is for you.
What it offers is a range of controls that interact and bounce off one another and each knob is cleverly split to offer turning in 2 different directions. Through exploration you’ll find kicks, thuds, booms and also high frequencies ticks and clicks tracking through the high-pass filter. The redesigned oscillator will track 6 octaves. The saturation circuit has a wavefolding options which when overdriven starts to fill the decay with all sorts of pleasing chaos. There’s a punch setting to give the low frequencies and opportunity to come through.
There are CV inputs for Tuning, Amp Decay, Drive, and EQ Span and each one has an attenuator and a sample & hold circuit to keep hold of that last value. A “DynaCtrl” dynamics system can use a variable strength gate to individually affect the force response of the kick elements depending on the attenuator. The idea is that you can program in all sorts of responses and changes depending on the voltage coming in.
The Meow takes front-end harmonic energy and sends it back into the drive circuit so that all that upfront energy is transitioned into later parts of the waveform. It has a sort of softening effect.
The current availability of chips is making the release date difficult to judge but otherwise, it’s ready to go. Preorders have now opened at $795 with an up to 18 month wait time – those are both quite extraordinary numbers.