MiniSpillage, an appetizer for a new drum synth

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I told you these are good times for software based drum-machines: we’ve reviewed Driven Machine Drums, a new sample library, we’ve talked of the latest Toontrack’s product, Electronic EZX, and while waiting for the upcoming Tattoo from AudioDamage, we’re glad to see a new developer entering the arena.

The company’s name is AudioSpillage, and its first release is a freeware compact drum synth, MiniSpillage. It’s an OS X AudioUnit plug-in (no VST and no Windows version). We could say it’s an “appetizer”, since it only offers a subset of the features available in DrumSpillage (AudioSpillage’s forthcoming commercial drum synth).

From the press release: “MiniSpillage is not a recreation of classic drum machine glories nor a homage to the past but instead aims to break new ground and provide the modern musican with an original electronic percussion instrument”.
Well, I don’t know if it breaks new grounds, but for sure this is not the usual vintage sounding drum machine and it has an interesting approach to the synthesis of sounds.
MiniSpillage features 3 drum pads/parts and 3 synthesis models, and its intuitive interface lets the user getting new and often inspiring sounds in in a very short time.

Splice Sounds

The synthesis models are found in the Model Editor, which is the core of MiniSpillage. That’s the place where you can work on “the fundamental ingredients of the sound you are editing”. Each model has different parameters. The good thing is that each pad/sound can be set to use any of the 3 models available (in this case: Bass Drum, Wood Drum, Electro hi-hat). This means you can end up having some interesting kits, not based on the usual kick+hat+snare+toms+percussions standard rule (ok, in this free plug we have only three pads but you get the idea).
Among MiniSpillage’s features: a couple of LFOs, a distortion section (with two different algorithms, Soft Clip and Decimate), some pitch warping stuff, etc.
Especially those into experimental electronica should check out this plug-in and its bigger brother when it’s out. It could be a nice surprise for many users.
The developer told us that “DrumSpillage will feature a wider range of percussion models capable of a richer and more varied sound palette. It incorporates a number of different synthesis techniques: subtractive, additive, FM, custom noise generators and elements of physical modeling”.

A few notes on MiniSpillage’s visual interface: I find it a bit heavy on the eyes, I’d like to have a different colors combination (at least as option). Some controls, like the tuning parameter, need some kind of visual indication. Probably some of these things will change in DrumSpillage’s GUI, and given that MiniSpillage is a free (and very good sounding) plug-in I should not complain much!

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