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The Pearl Syncussion SY-1 is an extremely rare analogue drum synthesizer originally manufactured in 1979 by Pearl Musical Instruments.
This freaky little box is capable of producing a huge palette of percussive sounds, powerful kicks and experimental sound effects which carry a vintage sound inherent to its unique drum synthesis methods and extremely raw sounding oscillators!
After finally getting our hands on one of these rare instruments we just knew we had to sample it!
Syncussion Drums by Wave Alchemy captures the Pearl Syncussion’s unique sonic character by offering no less than 1885 carefully recorded 24-bit drum samples.
Download our 6 page Syncussion Drums booklet.
Sampling the Syncussion
Our goal was to record a versatile collection of drum hits from one of the rarest and most powerful drum synths ever made…
We worked extremely hard to capture the raw sound of the Syncussion SY-1 by recording both a huge selection of dry/unprocessed drum hits as well as a variety of round robin samples and velocity variations.
On top of this we recorded a wealth of sounds directly through our boutique selection of analogue outboard processors and high-end pre-amps.
Additionally, a number of sounds were re-sampled through our EMU SP-12 Turbo to obtain a more lo-fi and gritty sound.
Last but by no means least we visited the world of analogue tape (a Wave Alchemy first) by recording over 800 drum hits to 1/4” tape via a Studer A80 Mk1 tape machine!
What's included in the sample pack?
1885 24-bit electronic drum hits, 839 analogue tape hits!, 162 unprocessed kick drums, 74 processed kick drums, 16 layered kicks and huge subs, 148 round robin variations, 158 percussion hits and weird tones, 134 blips, glitch and noise hits, 71 SP12 drum sounds, 95 tom samples and 48 stereo SFX sounds
Despite the seemingly infinite popularity of Roland’s 808 and 909 drum machines, many producers are starting to look further afield for more obscure analogue drum sounds to give their tracks a little more edge. Master of the electronic drum hit, Wave Alchemy, has taken this onboard, and it’s latest samples library is a collection of 1,885 24-bit drum hits that have been created using a rare Pearl Syncussion SY1.
The unit was originally manufactured in 1979 and features a set of raw-sounding oscillators that can be used to craft a wide variety of electronic drum sounds, which is exactly what Wave Alchemy has done. Not only will you find beefy analogue kick drums, but also a massive array of glitch hats, blips, percussion, toms and crazy SFX, plus several multi-sampled sounds that can be played up and down the keyboard. Although the sample hits are all laid out in the individual instrument folders, there are also 60 sampler patches with a selection of pre-made kits in Kontakt, Battery, Maschine, NN-XT, HALion, EXS24, SFZ and Ableton Live Pack formats. This is a nice addition that allows you to play beats directly into your tracks, although you’ll probably want to compile several of your own drum kits.
These raw sounds on their own are good, but the Wave Alchemy team has taken things much further with the inclusion of additional processed kicks, layered kicks, round – robin hits with subtle differences, hat and percussion sounds given the lo-fi treatment via an EMU SP12 sampler. On top of that you get an alternative set of the whole lot sent through a Studer A80 MK1 tape machine. These extra processed samples have been subtly saturated through analogue tape to give them a slightly thicker sound – although some may find the differences hard to hear, they offer up more choice when selecting hits for your track. This is an excellent value pack that has a surprising amount of variety given that it all comes from one machine. If you’re writing and form of electronic music and are tiring of the same old drum sounds, this library is definitely worth a look.
Music Tech Verdict
Raw and punchy electronic drum sounds with a surprising amount of variety and plenty of subtle variations in processing!
There's been a bit of a trend among indie sample developers in the past couple of years of releasing libraries of sounds from rare, obscure bits of vintage gear - those pieces that just sort of fell through the cracks for whatever reason, but upon further inspection, turned out to be really cool. That's exactly what we have here with this collection of drum and percussion sounds produced by the Pearl SY1 Syncussion drum synth.
Back in the late 70's, drum manufacturers Pearl decided to enter the electronic drums market that was being stirred up by the disco movement. Although it was an unusually capable drum synth, for whatever reason, it seemed people were more interested in using it for novelty type sounds and the unit eventually faded into obscurity. But now Wave Alchemy has picked it up, dusted it off a bit (but not too much), and, in combination with extensive processing from an impressive (and expensive) gear list, they've attempt to give this old curiosity a second lease on life.
Wave Alchemy's Syncussion Drums consists of nearly 1,900 24-bit one-shot samples sourced from the Pearl SY1. There is a good selection of cleanly recorded sounds, but for me, the processed sounds - run through high-end compressors, an E-mu SP-12, a Studer tape machine, and the like - is the most interesting section. There's some really aggressively processed stuff here and there is a beautiful grit and weight to these.
The library comes with 63 pre-mapped kits that arrange the samples in a logical way for all the major software sampler formats. The types of sounds are surprisingly varied, considering the age of this machine. There are classic analog sounding drums, clangy FM cymbals, gritty, hard snares, rumbling subs, Kraftwerkian bleeps & bloops, cheesy FX - a very nice spread of different types of sounds. Some of the really hard, compressed kicks and snares are going to appeal to French House enthusiasts and electro-heads on the harder end of the spectrum. The best thing about the sound of the SY1 is that it wasn't really trying to sound like anybody else. It has a very unique sound that can take you beyond the wonderful, but overused Roland TR samples and add a more unique edge to your productions.
As always with Wave Alchemy, the sound and production quality is superb. Everything is clear, it punches where it's supposed to punch, and it sizzles where it's supposed to sizzle. I think dance producers looking for a different sound will especially appreciate this collection, but at such a cheap price, there's really no reason for anyone not to just get it. (Especially because for a limited time, your order will also get you some free processed TR-808 samples.) More obscure stuff like this, please!