Rating: 4.5 Stars
Fledgling company Vegas Audio’s new virtual instrument tempts you to take a chance on a roll of the fruit machine, through their uniquely styled drum plug‑in called Drumslot, offering a vast number of drum sounds geared toward electronic production.
The Drumslot concept begins by placing random drum‑voice selection right at its heart. Much like a fruit machine, three ‘reels’ provide a sample each. By hitting the Spin button, you generate a random selection of samples, with subsequent options to hold or nudge a sample to the next sample in line. It’s a strangely addictive concept, which can generate some impressive sounds by chance, in part thanks to the 600 or so samples which form the included library. If that isn’t enough for you, there’s also capacity to add user samples, although the diverse nature of the included sounds will take you quite a while to exhaust, not least thanks to Drumslot’s two modes of operation.
The first, and most obvious mode, is a layered multi‑mode, where each sample is triggered at the same time. Each layer is equipped with its own ADSR envelope control, as well as see‑saw filter and volume gain. It is also possible to invert the polarity of a sample, reverse its playback, or deactivate the layer altogether, should you feel that you only want to work with one or two samples at a time. When selecting an instrument category, spinning the reels (samples) will collate categories together, so the resultant patch would consist of, say, three snares or three kicks, maintaining coherence but delivering some surprisingly convincing randomised results. You can however manually combine different drum elements, combining a hi‑hat with a kick for example, by merely using the Hold function and clicking through the categories and samples. The included content clearly has a leaning toward electronic music production, being impressive and generated from stalwarts such as the 808, as well as substantial floor‑shaking kicks from modular systems. The three sample layers are summed to a master section, whereupon a further set of mirrored editing controls await.
It’s a strangely addictive concept, which can generate some impressive sounds by chance...
The second operational mode is Cut, which allows the splicing of the three samples together, to create a beginning, middle and end. The resulting edit can sometimes contain glitches; there is no crossfading here, but it’s possible to dial back any click or glitch noise with the ADSR envelopes. There is an argument that those noise colours become part of the plug‑in’s overall charm, though, as a form of happy accident.
This is a rather surprisingly cool little plug‑in. I can’t lie; I was slightly dubious about the concept, upon initial explanation, but it does sound huge and very usable, and could quickly find itself in numerous production environments, with a heavy leaning toward the commercial.