AnalogKick

Download v. 1.0.1 (for Max For Live)

Download Max Project (only works if you own Max or use the Max Runtime)

Overview

AnalogKick is a bass drum synth modelled after the Roland TR-808,and it is capable of producing sounds quite similar to the original.

It also adds features not found in the original, including FM and distortion, as well as adding the ability to change the tuning curve of the oscillator envelope to adjust the snappiness of the attack. Since it has key-following, you can use it as a percussive synth with FM. It also has built-in presets and the ability to morph between them easily.

Amp

AnalogKick uses a three-stage Attack-Hold-Decay envelope to control its amplitude (volume) over time.

  • Atk time affects the crispness of the attack. For most uses, you will want a value less than 20 ms.
  • Hold time determines how long the envelope stays at its peak, and this will affect the perceived body of the sound. 4 ms is the default length.
  • The Dcy time sets the approximate length of the decay. Generally speaking, you will want a value less than 150 ms, though you can use longer values to create booming kick sounds.

Freq

The frequency of the oscillator is also controlled via an AHD envelope. By sweeping from a high-pitched frequency to a lower one, a percussive transient is created.

  • Atk time affects the crispness of the attack. For most uses, this should be very small.
  • Hold time determines how long the frequency envelope stays at its peak. Like Atk, use very small values here unless trying to create special effects.
  • The Dcy time sets the approximate length of the decay. Experiment with this length in relation to the amplitude’s Dcy time.
  • Min sets the base frequency for the frequency envelope. Generally, this is the minimum frequency for the sweep, though it is possible to set min greater than max.
  • Max sets the peak frequency. This frequency may not be reached if velocity scaling is turned on and softer notes are played.
  • Expon sets the intensity of the frequency sweep’s curve using the formula y = x^n. At 1, it is unchanged. For values less than 1, the curve will be weighted towards higher frequencies; values greater than 1 will weight the curve towards lower frequencies. 5 is the default.
  • Tune adjusts the pitch of the drum in semitones. This is a simple way to adjust the min and max values.
  • KeyTrk turns on keyboard tracking. This determines how much the incoming keyboard pitch affects the oscillator pitch.
  • Base sets the base note for keyboard following. If you want to use AnalogKick as a mono synth, set Base to 69, KeyTrk to 100%, and Min (and optionally Max) to 440 Hz.

FM

The frequency of the oscillator can also be modulated by a second oscillator to produce more complex sounds.

  • Off / Fixed / Pairchooses the FM algorithm.
    • Off means that the FM section will have no effect on the main oscillator’s frequency.
    • Fixed uses an oscillator at a fixed frequency to modulate the main oscillator.
    • Pair uses an oscillator tuned in a ratio to the main oscillator.
  • Freq / Harm
    • If using the Fixed algorithm, the Freq control allows you to set the fixed frequency of the modulating oscillator. Though the main oscillator will sweep its frequency, the fixed oscillator will not change.
    • If using the Pair algorithm, the Harm control (Harmonicity Ratio) sets the ratio of the modulator’s frequency to the main oscillator’s frequency. For example, a value of 2 means a 2:1 ratio. The oscillators will remain in that ratio as the frequency sweeps. Simple ratios such as 1:1 (1), 2:1 (2), 3:2 (1.5), 4:1 (4), etc. will produce harmonic spectra.
  • Depth determines how much the modulating oscillator affects the main oscillator. It generally corresponds to spectral complexity.
  • Env uses the frequency envelope to scale the depth value dynamically. At 0%, the depth will be constant. At 100%, the depth will only reach the value set by the depth when the envelope is at its peak.

Mix

  • Beater sets the level of the “snappy” signal in the output. The snappy signal is the amplitude envelope of the oscillator sent directly to the output.
  • Oscillator sets the level of the oscillator signal in the output.
  • Vel Sens determines how velocity affects the height of the amplitude and frequency envelopes. At 0%, every note will be the same; at 100% amplitude and frequency will scale in proportion to the velocity.

Distort

It’s common practice to run the 808 signal through a distortion pedal or preamp to dirty up the sound and add harmonics.

  • Off / Distort 1 / Distort 2 chooses the distortion algorithm.
  • Drive sets the intensity of the distortion. Note that 0% will not produce the same results as setting the algorithm to Off.

EQ

AnalogKick has a switchable low/high shelf filter to shape the sound after the distortion. You can drag the graph around or use the dedicated controls to alter the shape of the filter.

  • Low / High sets the filter type.
  • Freq sets the corner frequency for the filter.
  • Gain determines the gain for the shelf-filter.

Presets

AnalogKick comes with 21 factory presets. The two menu-boxes, A and B, select presets, and the slider interpolates between A and B.

This can be a very useful performance tool as it provides an easy way to make drastic, temporary modifications to the sound of the kick drum.