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Rhythmic Robot launches with 8 new Kontakt instruments

Rhythmic Robot

Rhythmic Robot, a brand new website selling characterful Kontakt instruments at pocket-friendly prices, has just launched. Their product line-up currently includes sampled recreations of old analog drum machines, some acoustic-style organs and keys, and a variety of hand-rolled synthesisers made from unlikely components (such as 1950s tube signal generators, or banks of vintage Stylophones). Prices are typically £4.95 or £3.95.

More products are promised for the coming weeks, but at the moment the website offers:

  • Tubes & Wires: a polysynth with oscillators sampled from three different vintage tube signal generators.
  • MR11: an analogue drum machine sampled from the Yamaha MR10.
  • SR88: an analogue drum machine sampled from the Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR88.
  • StyloSynth: a polysynth with oscillators sampled from vintage Stylophones.
  • ShelTone Suitcase: a recreation of the ShelTone 226 reed organ.
  • Snaps 'n' Claps: a very simple little handclap and finger snap generator.
  • Bad Bad Bass: a bassline mono synth with oscillators sampled from vintage 1950s tube equipment.
  • Bad Bad Lead: a lead line mono synth with oscillators sampled from vintage 1950s tube equipment.

Coming soon should be Doctor 55 (the Boss DR55); StyloDrum (Stylophone scratches, glitches, blips and bloops turned into an analogue drum machine); and Magnus (a 1950s Magnus Bakelite reed organ).

StyloSynth (£4.95) is a polysynth whose three oscillators are sampled from old Stylophones. The "Modern" oscillator is sampled from a new Stylophone and is an aggressive squarewave with plenty of overtones. The "Vintage" Stylophone is taken from a 1960s Woodgrain Stylophone with a very mellow tone. Finally, the "Stacked" oscillator is a whole bunch of old Stylophones stacked up and detuned to be very rich and warm.

Features:

  • Three oscillators: Modern, Vintage, and Stacked.
  • Full filter control with envelope.
  • Oscillator Drift control for added analogue warmth.
  • Chorus effect built-in.
  • Stereo spread control on the rear panel.

Tubes & Wires (£19.95) is a Kontakt.nki instrument whose three oscillators offer six sampled waves from old signal generators: a 1940s valve (tube) Advance unit, a 1940s valve (tube) Taylor unit and a 1970s transistor-based Goodwill unit. All the signal generators were to some extent faulty, malfunctioning and distorted. This provides a unique and unusual tonal palette from which to begin crafting sounds.

Tubes & Wires builds on these basic waves (sine, square, sawtooth and triangle are all represented) with a full complement of synth controls, forming a complete polysynth with a distinctive old-fashioned sound.

Features:

  • Advance valve (tube) oscillator offers Sine and Square waves.
  • Taylor valve (tube) oscillator offers Sine and Square wave.
  • Goodwill transistor oscillator offers Sawtooth and Triangle waves.
  • Multimode filter with cutoff and resonance on each oscillator.
  • Full Amplitude and Filter envelopes on each oscillator.
  • "Rail Voltage" control on each oscillator increases harmonic distortion.
  • Oscillator Drift control for additional analogue warmth.
  • Phaser, Chorus and Stereo Spread controls.

Bad Bad Bass (£3.95) is a dedicated bassline monosynth in Kontakt.nki format. It offers a primary squarewave oscillator and a sub-osc sine wave an octave below, both sampled from a 1940s Taylor valve (tube) laboratory signal generator. The waveforms contain multiple distortions, instabilities and eccentricities that make Bad Bad Bass sound much more complex and warm than a standard sampled instrument.

Features:

  • Valve (tube) oscillators sampled from 1940s hardware.
  • Multimode filter with envelope and resonance.
  • Tube drive, distortion and compression built into the signal path.
  • Poly / mono voicing with glide (portamento) control.
  • Oscillator Drift function for added analogue warmth.

Bad Bad Lead (£3.95) is a dedicated leadline synth offering two oscillators: a sawtooth wave sampled from a 1970s Goodwill transistor signal generator, and a super-sine sinewave oscillator one octave above, which is taken from a 1940s Taylor valve (tube) signal generator. Distortions and instabilities in the sampled waves combine to give Bad Bad Lead a singular character of its own.

Features:

  • Main sawtooth oscillator sampled from a 1970s transistor-based signal generator.
  • Super-sine oscillator sampled from a 1940s valve (tube) signal generator.
  • Multimode filter with resonance and envelope.
  • Tube drive, distortion and compression effects in the signal path.
  • Oscillator Drift control for added analogue warmth.

sr88_front_panel.png The Memory Rhythm SR88 (£4.95) is a recreation of the 1980s Sound Master Memory Rhythm SR88 drum machine. All the kit pieces through the entire travel of the hardware unit's Tone control have been sampled, which allows the user to dial in precisely the tonal adjustments that would have been possible on the original machine -- but on a per-kit-piece basis, which was certainly NOT possible on the original machine.

Furthermore, three "hidden" sounds that the hardware unit was only able to produce in programming mode have also been sampled, allowing access to longer versions of the snare, hat and crash cymbal sounds. These "new" sounds have been given full attack and decay envelope adjustment, allowing the user to create brushed cymbal effects, long snare drum decay tails, and so on.

Features:

  • All the sounds of the original SR88 captured through the full travel of the Tone control.
  • Kit pieces individually adjustable for level, pan and Tune.
  • New "hidden" kit pieces also adjustable for attack and decay.
  • Velocity Retrofit button allows incoming velocity to control the Tone function instead of the front panel pot (for humanized beats).
  • Bitcrusher, Tape saturation, Distortion and Compression / Limiting on the outputs.

mr11_front_panel.pngMR11 (£4.95) is a faithful recreation of the early 80s Yamaha MR10 analog drum machine. The original machine offered some unique sounds, and also a "Tune" control that altered their tone and pitch. The Tune control has been sampled through its full travel, allowing the user to dial in exactly the sounds they would have created on the original -- but on a per-kit-piece basis, which would have been impossible on the hardware unit.

The kick drum and snare are the stand-out sounds. The effects block includes bit reduction, tube saturation, drive distortion and an output compressor / limiter, and kit pieces can be panned, adjusted in level, and Tuned individually.

Features:

  • All the sounds of the original MR10 captured through the full travel of the Tune control.
  • Kit pieces individually adjustable for level, pan and Tune.
  • Velocity Retrofit button allows incoming velocity to control the Tune function instead of the front panel pot (for humanized beats).
  • Bitcrusher, Tube saturation, Distortion and Compression / Limiting all available.

snaps_n_claps_front_panel.pngSnaps n Claps (£1.50) is a simple handclap and finger snap generator, allowing you to choose from high- or low-pitched claps and snaps, and to choose how many simultaneous claps or snaps are generated. A fine-tuning control allows you to position the sounds in the mix with accuracy.
Subtle stereo spread is introduced as more snaps or claps are selected, imitating stereo miking of a group of people. Simple but effective.

Features:

  • Natural handclaps and finger snaps, recorded dry and unprocessed.
  • Choose how many simultaneous claps or snaps you want.
  • Different sample sets for High and Low claps and snaps.
  • Random sample selection eliminates machine-gunning.
  • Fine-tuning of pitch for precision siting of the samples in the mix.
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