Forever 89 Visco, new drum synth plugin takes drum modeling to the next “gooey” level

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Forever 89 Visco, a new fascinating drum machine that takes you into novel areas of drum sound scalping featuring a gooey hybrid synth engine.

Drum machines use samples, drum synths, or a mixture of both. For example, the NI Maschine or MPCs have flexible drum engines and samplers, so you have the best of both worlds. Thanks to modern tech, merging both worlds is now also possible.

Rikard Jönsson and Svantage Stadler, former Ableton, and Teenage Engineering developers, are breaking new ground with their new plugin, Visco. Drum machine/drum Synthesizer rethought with an innovative, fascinating concept.

Forever 89 Visco

Forever 89 Visco

Visco is not another more of the same drum machine plugin for macOS and Windows system. They’re taking a radically new path with an engine that behaves like glue.

The sound core consists of a smart drum engine with 32 voices. Smart because it does something that no drum machine has ever been able to. You can import samples and turn them into a synthesized replica but with the ability to bend and stretch the sound across frequency and time. 

Forever 89 promises that it works without the usual limitation of working with recording audio. On top of that, you can morph smoothly from one sound to another.

Grab a sound from the library or put one of your own in one slot and another in the second, and blend them from A to B. The transition, which is also automatable, is stunningly smooth. It’s like gliding on a gooey soundscape. 

Then, you can shape your sounds further with the parameters time, frequency, timbre, velocity, variation, and more. Intriguing, there is also an option to shape all active sounds at the same time, giving you the instant a completely different pattern vibe.

Forever 89 Visco

Visual feedback gives you the blob. WTF! Blob is a gooey, malleable representation of your sound on a 2D grid. It is as stretchy as glue.

Tools like a hand, magnet, eraser, and a crossfader allow you to pull and deform the blob in any conceivable direction. Every modification results in a new sound.

Modulation + Sequencing

All these wild, gooey sound transformations are also fully automatable. An advanced modulation engine with an 8-line mod matrix manages this task. Four IADSR envelopes and four LFOs with waveform drawings give you much modulation flexibility. 

Of course, a sequencer should not be missing in a drum machine. There is one, and it has eight tracks with mute & solo per track and swing. It also offers a unique parameter called loose time that brings randomization into play. And you can export patterns to MIDI.

Like the engine, it also draws attention with a slightly different representation—not with classic steps but through the actual audio that is played back. Modulate a sound and start the sequencer. You will notice that it changes audio representation in real-time. Very eye-catchy. 

Forever 89 Visco

Flexible Mixer With FXs

The built-in mixer is just as fun to use as the other features. Each channel features a DJ-style filter and clipping distortion. Then, you can adjust the volume, pan, and stereo width. There are also effects, two send- and two main FX.

Chorus, various reverbs, delay, compressor, and stereo fuzz are selectable in the send effects, while the main FX gives you compressors, limiters, tape saturators, and more. Convenient is the option to route the channels either all together to the output or in different busses.

Forever 89 Visco ships the plugin with many factory prestes and sounds. 

First Impression

This is a wild, completely reimagined drum machine. The plugin flashes me just like the Sonic Charge microtonic. There are so many beautiful ideas built in here. Visco sounds great and is very inspiring to use. I have to say that the SC microtonic has faced stiff competition. 

Depending on how developments continue with Visco, it could push Microtonic out of first place on my personal drum synth plugin list. 

Forever 89 Visco is available now for an introductory price of 99€ instead of 139€. It runs as a 64-bit only VST3 and AU plugin on macOS (native Apple Silicon + Intel) and Windows.

More information here: Forever 89

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    • try it, they are pretty open-minded with the demo version. I didn’t try it yet with melodic stuff, but each drum engine has 4-voice polyphony

      • i tried, but still cant figure out what exactly polyphony does (how do you even play it, if every note responds to different drum sound). Even in the manual its not really clear

        • so i asked the dev and apparently its just to play notes from the same drum over each other (with longer release perhaps)

  1. I tried it, nothing melodic yet but I use bitwig which allowed me to set parameter locks using a modulator which really opens it up. Would be nice if the sequencer did this since its weird having 4 LFO’s for pretty much drum samples but i have to dig in more. BUT, programming it with the piano roll and using the parseq8 modulator, it can get really weird sequences which is what i wanted, to go beyond simple drum machine sequencing with great morphing parameters. With is were more like th elogic pro sequencer or toriaz from wave alchemy. All in all, the sounds mangling parameters are great, will either sequence in the daw or just sample the sounds and make racks.

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