Synapse Audio EKS Pro
Kick drums are central to almost all forms of dance music, and getting a great one has always been one of the holiest of grails for music producers. Synapse Audio is, it seems, determined to fill our cups.
EKS Pro is a dedicated kick drum synth, offering six kick models derived from four distinct synth engines. Offering up a straightforward selection of controls, you can play the kicks chromatically up and down the keyboard or tune them with a knob.
Then there are the envelope controls which are nicely tailored for anything from short, snappy kicks to balloon-burstingly boomy, long ones.
The timbre section comes next, letting you tailor the frequency content of your kick, followed by a fantastic LFO applied to the pitch, which is useful for realistic wobble or even full-on evolving basslines.
As mentioned, there are six models, with the Progressive and Distorted ones being the most immediately gratifying. But delve a little deeper and you can get those classic low booms of the Roland TR-808, and the classic house punch of its sibling the 909.
We'd suggest ignoring the presets and just diving right in manually with this for half an hour, but if you want presets, it's got 'em, with a selection for all occasions, plus some empty slots for you to save your own.
EKS Pro is not the last word in kick drums, nor will it spell the end of the sampled kick - they often have too much personality and character for that.
But for almost any kind of modern music, this will enhance your output, creativity and workflow, and at this price, we'd say it's pretty much an essential purchase.
Excellent range of kick sounds can be achieved easily. User-friendly controls. Price.
None at this price.
An excellent value, easy-to-use kick drum synth at a price that makes it an essential purchase.
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.
Kick drum synthesiser