Herbs and Stones’ newest release the Gentle Wham, a crazy analog “drony” drum Synthesizer is out now and the first videos go into the depth of the instrument
Already in May, I reported about the upcoming second product from Herbs and Stones, the developer of the Liquid Foam, the TB-303-style Synthesizer from hell. For his second product he stays in the synthesis domain, but this time he focuses on drum and percussive generation.
Let’s introduce the Gentle Wham, an analog drum synth with the somewhat crazy sound character.
Herbs and Stones Gentle Wham
Gentle Wham is a new unique drum synthesizer from the makers of the Liquid Foam, the crazy, experimental brother of the Roland TB-303. It offers 6 analog drum voices that have to be triggered with a separate CV/gate sequencer unit of your choice. Thus it’s not a complete analog drum machine/computer as it doesn’t have its own sequencer. Alternatively, you can also play it with your fingers using the dedicated buttons on the bottom.
One of the special features of the Gentle Wham is that it’s not only a unique Boutique analog drum synth. It can also be your six-voice noise-making analog drone synth by pushing and holding down the buttons. Clever design. So easy you can turn the drum synth into a drone synth. And the engine is just as unique. It is not a clone of a 707, 808, or 909 but a crazy take on a drum Synthesizer.
Every drum voice has its own sound generator that is suitable for certain sounds. Each of these is adjustable thanks to a handful of sound-shaping parameters. There are not many, but the spectrum is wider than in an 808 or 909. It starts with a voice that works nicely with bass drums or laser zaps. The second works as a zapper. Then you have an odd, noisy version of a clap and snare sound generator. Very bit-crushy and different.
Next to this, you have a triangle-based Synthesizer voice that can be cross-modulated/crossfaded with a ring-modulated-like sound, great for basslines. The fifth is a voice for cymbals and the last one is based on signals you are feeding in the external input. This voice is cleverly implemented as you have a length function to the signal perfect for field recordings.
The next step is all about filtering. All six analog voices are sent on their way through a master 2-pole resonant filter/isolator. It has selectable lowpass and highpass characteristics via a blend knob. Each channel has also a handy mute switch and its own dedicated output. More precisely, you can exclude a single or more voice from the master output by inserting a cable in the independent outputs.
Herbs and Stones promises a wide bouquet of sounds: “from warehouse-shaking kick drums to harsh metallic percussions, via a more classic palette of hi-hats, rim shots, snare drums and tom-toms”. Those who watch the first videos will see the truth in this promise. Sonically very special and refreshingly different.
It is nice to note that the developer has thought further about the connections. The Gentle Wham not only gives you classic 3.5mm jacks but also banana inputs.
At first glance a very special instrument. Just as crazy beautiful as the Liquid Foam Synthesizer.
Herbs and Stones Gentle Wham is available now for 509€ including international shipping fees and a universal 9V. Excluding import taxes.
More information here: Herbs and Stones
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