Erica Synths Pērkons overview: A uniquely thunderous drum machine


Picture Credit score: Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The truth is, after years of largely making extra laidback and ambient kinds of digital music, I discovered myself dialing in harsh, blown-out guitar tones, a la 9 Inch Nails Damaged to jam together with Pērkons. I used to be transported again to my highschool days of black t-shirts and lengthy greasy hair. And I wasn’t mad about it.

The one tip I’ve is, preserve that drive knob pinned and be beneficiant with the compressor. I believe a part of why I used to be a bit lukewarm on it at first was as a result of I used to be attempting to be delicate and considered with dialing in these results. Which, frankly, it was in all probability fairly silly of me to anticipate subtlety from a drum machine named after the Baltic god of thunder.

When you settle for the sound palette at your disposal, you need to come to grips with the technical features of Pērkons. That is the place issues can get slightly messy. Whereas programming in a fundamental 16-step drum sample and taking part in it again is comparatively easy, a number of the extra superior features aren’t at all times that intuitive. A minimum of at first, I’d extremely advocate maintaining the guide useful. Even when simply to reference what the parameter knobs are controlling for every voice mode.

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The Pērkons is decidedly old style in its method to interface design. There’s no display screen or menus to dive by means of. As a substitute, virtually all the machine’s features from the sequencer playback mode, to the shuffle share to the LFO goal, are managed through the 64 step buttons or 4 set off buttons. Which means principally something past merely inputting particular person drum hits requires urgent some mixture of two or three buttons concurrently.

For instance, if you wish to set the likelihood {that a} explicit step will play you need to maintain down the step you need to change, the likelihood key and one of many 4 set off buttons to pick out a share (10, 25, 50 or 90 p.c). The profit is that, because you don’t need to do any menu diving, it’s easy to control a sample whereas it’s taking part in. And as soon as you determine the fundamentals of how the interface works, it’s fairly straightforward to understand since the whole lot is labeled. The draw back is that some issues have comparatively restricted choices, like likelihood. If you wish to have a step to have a 33 or 75 p.c likelihood of taking part in, you’re out of luck. Equally, shuffle is in predetermined percentages, although these aren’t labeled.

Erica Synths Pērkons

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

You additionally need to watch out to hit the buttons you need in the suitable order. Should you press the sample / ratchet button earlier than you begin holding down a selected step, you then’re not going so as to add a ratchet, you are going to change patterns. And in the event you haven’t saved the one you had been at present engaged on, it is going to be gone for good. Pērkons could be enjoyable, however it will also be very unforgiving.

Although the interface is old style, Pērkons does have various new-school options to assist preserve it from being too robotic. Along with shuffle and likelihood, you’ll be able to change the size, add accents, multiply or divide the tempo, choose certainly one of 4 “grooves” and select certainly one of 4 completely different playback modes: ahead, backward, ping-pong or random. And every of those could be completed on a per-track foundation. So you can also make observe 4 solely 13 steps lengthy and ping-pong from starting to finish and again at half velocity, whereas observe one performs at double velocity with a 50-percent shuffle and observe two has a singular groove however is just eight steps lengthy.

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