- Publisher: Aly James Lab
- Product: VSDS-X
- Version: 2.0-V.R
- Formats: VST3/VSTi
- Requirements: Windows (64-bit)
You probably already heard a Simmons drum synth without even knowing it… wondering what was used to produce that huge drum sound?
The Simmons hexagonal shaped Electronic drums were all over the place, on countless records and live shows during the 80s , used by artists and bands like Genesis, King Crimson, Jean Michel Jarre, Prince, Herbie Hancock, Pink Floyd etc…
The sound was not especially realistic but it was not the goal…the goal was to be huge and versatile.
Invented by Dave Simmons, the most famous drum brain called the SDSV or SDS5 was a drum synthesizer, bringing synthesis into the drummer’s hands.
Often used abusively to generate only those pewww pewww tom tom sounds, the SDSV module produced a wide range of sounds. With a great punch and sensitivity, a truly unique and cult sound, it can be used for almost everything. The SDSV successor called SDS7 bring some digital low-fi samples in the game and a bunch of additional features like bend direction or FM modulation for a broader range of possible sounds.
The SDSV is a historical piece of gear that has a place in the sound of the 80s and is still used today as a secret weapon.
Only around 5000 of these things are out there so don’t count on finding a working one easily or for cheap.
The machine was made by a true innovator. As there were no accurate VST for this legend out there…
I had to make the VSDSX and draw additional features upon a perfect recreation! This is dedicated to Dave Simmons.
The VSDSX VST, which stands for Virtual Simmons Drum System Extended, provides the closest experience to the real thing, for each voice or as it was called (module) it models accurately the analog character of the sound generation, internal circuitry tuning, trigger sensitivity and all the details you can find inside the dedicated manual. for its hybrid voices (HIHAT, CYMBAL, PROM & CLAP are analog but also EPROM based) clocks and counters that read EPROM memory inside a variable sample rate system is perfectly emulated. DAC decodes and output EPROMS data in real-time etc.
It models the SSM2044 filters with fine tuning control over lots of internal circuitry resistors. CV, trigger shapes, and VCA response can also be tuned to produce a wide range of sounds and punch/response, this also emulates how the module will react if triggered with pads or sequencer…
Separate outputs for your DAW, velocity handling etc…You will obtain that legendary powerful analog punch! On top of the cake, one voice can load your own external EPROM image data like on a real SDS1 (EPROM based) pad…This opens up onto a whole new range of sound, still being processed by the circuitry.
VSDSX is now in version 2 and features among other cool things a perfectly emulated Simmons Digital ClapTrap module, a secret weapon which combines a variable sample rate digital source combined with a pitched analog noise, an original feature of the unit was to never produce the same sound twice. Although it is integrated inside VSDSX a dedicated plugin with stereo widening capabilty is provided as a bonus.
VSDSX provides a huge synthetic drum sound by itself and can also be used with great efficiency in drum layering. Parameters automation and modulation can turn this thing into a crazy an creative sound source
Using it for layering with VPROM VST can really bring a nasty funky sound which combine analog and early digital!