The 909 kick drum has been a staple ingredient of electronic music since the 1980s and in particular the late 80s when secondhand 909 drum machines were embrace by a new generation of producers in Chicago and Detroit working in the burgeoning house and techno scenes.
While much modern music production and trends favors heavily processed kicks from other sources there’s still plenty of tracks released every year that deploy classic 909 kicks to form the foundations of their grooves.
If you’re tired of clicking through sample folders full of hundreds of kicks and you’re hankering for a bread and butter vintage or classic style 909 bass kick sound then the free Synsonic BD-909 VST plugin is well worth a try.
While other TR-909 emulation plugins seek to emulate every voice of the Roland TR-909, the Synsonic BD-909 is a model of the TR-909 bass drum only. Synsonic’s developer has analyzed the original bass drum circuit and created an easy to use and passable digital model. When it comes to soundshaping possibilities you get distortion, noise decay, tune depth and hold and pitch and you can always run the output through your own effects changes too, of course.
Turn on the ‘Pitch KYB’ switch and the pitch of the BD-909 will respond to the note value of the incoming MIDI messages meaning you can play the BD-909 as a bass-synth.
Enabling the Accent KYB switch makes the accent of the BD-909 respond to the velocity value of the incoming MIDI messages so you can play the BD-909 dynamically.
The plugin comes with 16 ready to go presets and you can also create and save your own too.
The Synsonic BD-909 plugin is 100% free but you’ll need to sign up to Synsonic’s mailing list to access it which is a fair deal plus you’ll also get their BD-808 thrown in for free so that’s your 808 kicks covered too!
Synsonic BD-909 is available for Mac/PC 32/64-bit. See the Synsonic website for more details and sign up to their email list to download your copy.