Punk Labs OneTrick SIMIAN, a new Simmons SDS-V inspired drum synth plugin

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Punk Labs OneTrick SIMIAN is a new colorful 10-voice drum Synthesizer plugin that takes inspiration from the iconic Simmons SDS-V.

With free additions, DAW content, or countless subscription-based offers, music producers have countless sample libraries from various drum machines. For me, the static character is a disadvantage of such samples. You can only mangle them to a limited extent.

To build drum sounds according to your sonic wishes, you can’t get past drum synths. There is a new from the young company Punk Labs.

Punk Labs OneTrick

Punk Labs OneTrick SIMIAN

OneTrick SIMIAN is a new drum Synthesizer plugin that takes inspiration from hexagonal classics like the Simmons SDS-V. The latter was a drum Synthesizer from 1981 and the first viable electronic replacement for acoustic drums.

It consists of various modules that represent the individual voices (kick, snare…) and that can be triggered with futuristic-looking drum pads. The original is capable to create “thumping kicks, punchy snares, and sizzling cymbals coalesce with its clacky claves and crunchy claps”. The developers at Punk Labs have melted all this charm and flexibility into their first audio plugin.

Drum Synthesis

The plugin features 10 fully-customizable voices. Almost no samples (LoFi EPROM for cymbal sounds) but flexible synthesis is on the program here. Each voice has its own synth engine with which you can delve into the depths of drum/percussion sculpting.

For example, the kick section offers a tone module with control over the pitch, bend, waveform, and velocity. Then, you can apply a filter, work with an envelope with punch, and fine-tune it in the mix section pan, room, tone/noise, and transient controls. The last step is an amp section with velocity and optional saturation. And you have this flexibility for every drum voice.

Further, you get a global saturation, a gated reverb bus, and an 1176-style limiter with drive controls. All parameters are also automatable so you can record them in your favorite DAW. If that is too much for you at the beginning, there are 33 factory kits with which you can have fun without detours.

Two things get big plus points: first, the source code of the plugin is open-source and made to inspect, learn from, adapt, and improve. However, not to publish it 1 to 1 as an own free or commercial plugin. Furthermore, the plugin is DRM free which means it does not require any license or annoying third-party software or dongle like iLok.


Sound demos are available directly from the developer’s website. An exciting drum synth plugin that draws attention with its crazy, colorful UI. From the demos, it sounds very solid and it’s definitely not just a one-trick pony drum tool. If you are looking for the well-known pewww pewww sounds and of course tone of other Simmons SDS-V inspired timbres, this is the right place for you.

Punk Labs OneTrick SIMIAN is available now for $35 USD and runs as a VST3 and AU plugin on macOS (Intel + Apple Silicon), Windows, and Linux. The code s open source and available on GitHub

More information here: Punk Labs

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1 Comment

  1. It’s clear Punk Labs OneTrick SIMIAN were also “inspired” by the layout of Oblivion Sound Lab’s Hex Drum: https://oblivionsoundlab.com/product/hex-drum/ Right down to the structuring of the kit pieces and sections.

    Punk Labs clearly has an eye for their own flair with UI theming and I note some functional differences, but I encourage them to make their layout more unique so it doesn’t feel like a derivative/copycat/ripoff — but rather, its own distinct instrument.

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