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 VSDSX SDSV Drums by Aly James Lab is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin. It functions as a VST Plugin.
Product VSDSX SDSV Drums
Developer Aly James Lab
Price (MSRP)
15.00 €
Type / Tags Drum Synthesizer80sAnalogSimmons DrumsSimmons SDS7Simmons SDSVVintage
Plug-in, App & Soundware Format(s)
Operating System Availability
Download Released
- Released
System Requirements
Windows XP/7/8
Multi-core compatible VST host.
Supported Sample Formats (loads or saves) include
BIN 8-bit companded EPROM image
Miscellaneous Information
Copy ProtectionCustomized Per Customer
Max. 6 items
Latest Version Changes [view all]

VSDSX SDSV DRUMS (Virtual Simmons Drum System Extended) is an authentic Simmons SDS-V VST which emulate all the character and internal circuitry of the legendary 80s Analog Drum brain synthesizer with those famous hexagonal shaped pads. The Simmons SDS-V Drum Brain, invented by Dave Simmons in the early 80s.

The Simmons drums were all over the place, on countless records and live shows during the 80s, used by artists and bands like Genesis, King Crimson, Jean Michel Jarre, Prince, Herbie Hancock, Pink Floyd, etc. The sound was not especially realistic but it was not the goal... the goal was to be huge and versatile. The most famous drum brain called the SDS-V or SDS5 was a drum synthesizer, bringing synthesis into the drummer hands. To this day the unique sound of that machine is highly regarded and only using samples of Simmons Drums cannot reproduce the wide range of sounds this machine can produce and especially the warm and punchy analog character. The whole circuitry stands next to the unique sample based characters of the hihat & cymbal in that unique sounding team.


VSDSX provides the closest experience to the real thing, it models accurately the analog character of the sound generation, internal circuitry, clocks and counters that read EPROM memory, feed the 8bit DAC which decodes the hihat and cymbal EPROMs data in realtime. It models the SSM2044 filters with fine tuning control over a lots of internal circuitry resistors. CV, trigger shapes and VCA response can also be tuned to produce a wide range of sounds, and punch/response, this also emulates how the module will react if triggered with pads, Simmons pads or sequencer... Separate outputs for your DAW, velocity handling etc. You will obtain that legendary powerful analog punch! On top of the cake, one voice can load your own external EPROM data like on a real SDS1 (EPROM based) pad... This opens up onto a whole new range of sound, still being processed by the circuitry.

VSDSX uses a custom C++ core and 3r party licensed code where nothing fancy was needed.

Runs on Windows 32/64-bit Systems and is multi-core compatible with 32-bit DAW/Host (works on x64 DAW via bridging). OS X will be available next year.

VSDSX is Donationware with a minimum of 15.00 €.

VSDSX Features:

  1. Analog modeled oscillator: The special tone character of the drum synth is mainly caused by the raw analog waveform generation and by the circuitry itself, it generate harmonics that are normally not present in an ideal triangle waveform, VSDSX emulates that behavior and also models the analog clipping that occurs when pushed hard. You can also switch to a clean mode which will behaves like an ideal system without OPAMP bandwidth limitation (more highs). These features alone offer a great versatility for sound design.
  2. Noise generator circuitry tweaking: The sound source of the drum synth was mainly a mix between a triangle oscillator and a transistor based noise generator. The way it was initially connected could be tuned for more or less frequency content. Each voice have different configuration and VSDSX offers user control over the internal noise filtering (especially useful on the snare voice card). A lots of the circuitry parameters can also be fine tuned, CV and VCA response, Trigger types (that will mostly impact the click attack generator time), etc.
  3. SSM2044 Filters: The noise source was filtered by an SSM2044 low-pass filter chip, the filter acts on the noise and click part and behave differently depending on the voice, on bass & toms the resonance resistor was usually set to no resonance, but this can be tweaked inside the VSDSX if you want.
  4. Pitch bending & SDS7 LFO FM modulation: One of the obvious thing that must be there in a drum synthesizer is a pitch envelope to simulate the behavior of real drums. the SDSV module featured a bending down effect that can be set to more or less amount of bending. VSDSX also features a bend up option and an optional FM modulation taken from the SDS7 module.
  5. Separate outputs: The SDSV have separate outputs for every voices and so as the VSDSX. You can choose from ALL to 1 Stereo Channel or Separate Channels for each voice in your DAW.
  6. Trigger sensitivity control & velocity: The drum synth is highly sensitive to the power with which a pad or a key is hit, VSDSX gives independent access to sensitivity tuning for each voice, pitch of the tone, VCF cutoff, click trigger etc...you can also disable the volume velocity tracking and only set a pitch sensitivity which gives access to a similar feature than the "run generator" found in certain Simmons Systems.
  7. GUI & automation: The GUI features all the SDSV controls (with the same weird naming :)) but can also gives access to a full module display with more in depth controls, most of the parameters can be MIDI learned and controlled by an external MIDI Hardware or automation.
  8. Loading external EPROMs DATA: The VSDSX provides one voice which is EPROM based (like SDS1 or SDS7) the imported sample will benefit from the bend and noise mixing feature with that crunchy 8bit sound. load your own custom made EPROM image. EPROM format is the same as VLINN VST (Linn LM-1) for easy compatibility between software.
    VSDSX Supports the following type and size EPROMs binaries (.bin):
    • 2716 (2048_Bytes) 2K.
    • 2732 (4096_Bytes) 4K.
    • 2764 (8192_Bytes) 8K.
    • 27128 (16384_Bytes) 16K.
    • 27256 (32768_Bytes) 32K.

Hihat & Cymbal:

The hihat & Cymbal modules were pretty rare and unique sounding, mostly they were sample based, same configuration for both cards, but in a very particular way. Honestly, the metallic waveform has nothing to do with a real hihat or cymbal sound, you can hear its looping and the raw 8bit character, but: This is a CULT sound! If you play this with bending up or down while toying around with noise and filter, you get these famous cymbal sweeps! Velocity can also act on the sample rate and it sounds pretty original. Memory was expensive at that time so you cannot store a long sample and be cost effective. So Dave Simmons looped the short sound stored onto a 2732 EPROM, a trick first used by Roger Linn in the LM-1 but this time, the sample is read forward then backward. The loop plays all the time inside the SDSVs digital modules and only VCA and VCF are triggered, this configuration opens up to very long decay settings.

Latest User Reviews Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

Reviewed By BrockHardcastle
July 7, 2014

This along with the VLINN from Aly James Lab make two of the most unique and incredibly detailed drum machine emulations on the market.

Like I mentioned in my VLINN review, I've now garbaged all my samples for Simmons drums. This is it. Some quick highlights:

Every perameter is editable and can be automated.

This thing can make HUGE 808 style kicks, or knocking little taps like a TR-606. The snares are surprisingly useful, and can stand on their own or be layered under other samples for depth. The toms are what the Simmons drums were all about and there is nothing to miss here. They are gigantic, and again - every piece of the sound you could conceive of is editable and customizable. The hi-hats were shockingly useful to me. They sound great if tweaked well. They have a realness to them, and sound like the Linndrum sample (which I believe they were originally cribbed from on the SDSV)

It has individual outs so mixing is super easy inside your DAW.

There are selectable levels of output which can really add the grit and definition of analog drums.

You can custom-load PROMS in it. So adding a clap or another snare, or whatever is easy. It then runs through the circuitry and comes out the other end sounding appropriately degraded.

Aly is on a roll with these plugins, and he's doing something NONE of the other developers are doing. Furthermore, he's doing it at 1/4 the price.

If you love the sound of the 80s. You need this kit.

If you have samples of a Simmons kit, throw them out and get this.

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Reviewed By arkmabat
July 4, 2014

Although I was born in the 90s, the Simmons sound is something that quickly became a part of me. From old 80s rock bands to ambient drum noise for 80s cartoons, there's something that always stuck out to me about a Simmons. Upon realizing how much I loved the sound, and after finding out who made the drum (and that it had been discontinued), I began the VST and sample search. I first came across some drum samples, but of course the SDSV was one of the only ones the website owner wanted a donation for, and it was only for samples. Then I came across a freeware VST that was "SDS-V'-style" which I was grateful for at the time, but in the end I forgot about as well. It wasn't a complete emulation. My search ended and I sort of gave up on the idea for a while. Then, out of nowhere I see the most beautiful drum GUI in a post on KVR. Something about a "complete emulation" that can load old roms and everything. I listened to the sound demos and instantly that sound I remembered from childhood came back to me. I donated and am now enjoying the drums very much. I never thought I'd be using them with modern synth sounds, but they actually sound great together. Alone, the SDS-V can sound odd, but mixed with other instruments it is surprising how well it fits in, even with more modern sounds. I see myself using this in many songs to come. It sounds so much more real and different from stock drum samples. It has more life to it. And it brings back old memories at the same time. Well done.

GUI - 9.

Sound - 9.

Usability - 9.

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Discussion: Active
1 July 2014 at 2:58am

Is there a demo available?

4 July 2014 at 3:47pm

The demo songs demonstrate it pretty accurately.

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Average user rating of 4.50 from 2 reviews

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