Dedicated to the creation of hi-hat and cymbal sounds, AudioThing's new instrument combines a synthesised noise generator with a sample layer, each offering its own set of parameters, and a bank of four effects for processing their mixed output.
Two distinct sounds – Short and Long – can be defined, each triggered by its own key range, enabling programming of closed and open hi-hats, or any other pairing.
The noise synth comprises six square wave oscillators (like the Roland TR-808's Cymbal), with the Grain control adjusting their tuning. The sample module lets you load separate Short and Long samples from a 55-strong menu of vintage drum machines and acoustic metals – or from your own library.
Short and Long samples are editable separately or together using Pitch, Gain and Sample Start knobs, with Post/Pre switches placing them before the effects section or after the Filter within it.
Two Attack/Decay amp envelopes provide volume shaping of the Short and Long tones, and an LFO is onboard for modulating one of a number of destination parameters – Filter Cutoff, Sample Pitch, Noise Grain, etc – at any rate between 1Hz and 1kHz.
The effects section consists of Filter (serial band-pass and high- pass), Ring Modulator, Reverb and Bit Crusher modules, reordered by dragging and dropping. With two knobs each, they're all simple but perfectly effective, given the focused remit of the plugin. The Master section features a Randomness knob, which dials in pitch and volume variation between notes.
By default, Hats is in One-Shot mode and outputs at a fixed pitch, no matter what the triggering note. Both of these behaviours can be turned off, though, facilitating pitched play up and down the keyboard, and killing of the sound with MIDI note off. AudioThing's de rigeur Randomiser is built in too. Our only issues with Hats are that the LFO can only target one parameter at a time and the price is bordering on a bit high.