This isn't a finished product by any means, just a rough draft
A few nights ago, I was searching for the perfect kick in my sample library, and all of them seemed very generic. So I opened up VCV Rack, and during my fiddling around, I made a kick drum. I was using a sub oscillator, the Erica Synths wavetable VCO, a few envelopes for pitch and wave shaping modulation, some VCAs, and a filter... not bad. I made a pretty solid punchy kick. I hit record and then...
The result ended up with me recording over 1,000 different Kick Drums in one night in Ableton Live!
Doing the math, 4 kicks per bar X 16 bar wav files X 20 different wav files recorded = 1,280 kick drums (TOO MANY FUCKING KICK DRUMS) all with their own transients and lengths so that they're all different from one another. And it wasn't even hard! It took me an hour at the most! Recording, going in and changing a few parameters around, and hitting record again. It was that simple.
So I thought to myself "What if I had a skiff with the soul purpose of recording my own drum sounds?"
I know what your thinking, " Corban, why waste time and money to make a separate skiff just for drum synthesizing when you can have a full case filled with more options and modules that are drum sounds on their own, let alone, do it on your computer like you did in one night?"
The answer is simple: Variety of options, an analog sound, originality, and having a sense of control in my sound.
Allow me to explain...
There's a few things that you wanna modulate when synthesizing a drum.
In this example, lets say I'm making a kick drum.
The Click - A VCO like the Erica Synths Wavetable is perfect for creating those beginning transients in a drum hit that sound organic whether it be a kick, a snare, a hat, or a tom. And with a VERY subtle attack and decay modulation, its the perfect replacement for a standard noise generator for making those clicking transients. It has so many options that you can dial in between using a VCA, or just by itself. So that as the beginning shape of your drum can give you almost unlimited options for how your drum will sound in the sum of it all.
The Punch - The punch (thats what I call it) in a kick drum is the fast pitch modulation of the sine/triangle wave, and like the click, the punch is modulated with a subtle attack/decay ratio to the v/oct. It starts from relatively high, and drops fast to a very low frequency. That's how you get that solid bassy "oof" out of a kick drum. Especially when you throw it through a filter with some drive and tune it right. I chose the STO by Make Noise as that body, and the Polaris as my filter to get rid of some of the higher frequencies I might not need.
The Shape - the shape of your drum can be anywhere from very short and punchy to very long and driven. Having the option to shape your drum in anyway you want seemed very interesting to me. Especially since I like to make house music. The shape of my kick drum needs to fit my track and compliment the rest of the sounds without being too overbearing. I like it somewhere in between short and snappy and long and driven, as if it acts almost as a metronome, while still giving it that driving force to move my body and bob my head. Too long, and it drowns out the sounds. Too short and you cant feel it. I like to make it just right. Just long enough for that thump to hit me and let me know its there while also disappearing as fast as it came.
Having all this control, and all these options plus an analog sound, you don't get that with samples.
You get it with this skiff.
And you can create MANY different percussive sounds. The possibilities are almost endless. I guarantee you will come out with something different EVERY TIME.
You could maybe make something like it, or something that sounds close, but never again can you make that exact same one shot sample that is 100% you. Never in a million years. And that's what's so great about it. Having ONE specific instrument with ONE specific job that can make so many different variations of ONE sound, its nuts.
And, honestly, who the hell has a skiff where its soul purpose is to make hard hitting Kick drums? Nobody. That's who. So... that's why I'm going to do it.