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  SDS9 At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 198?  Specifications
arrowUser rating: 4.0/5 |  Read reviews (1)
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Ralph Detko writes:
The unit is made mostly of metal with a single led for patch number, midi channel etc. Kind of a neat retro look to it. The knobs are plastic and break off or bend quite easily. It is a tabletop unit and takes up a lot of space really. I haven't tried the pads as I don't care for them there are much better available and I'd rather trigger by midi as I am not a drummer. But I love tweaking up some weird sounds and sampling them. Some ambient and techno sounds can be had and with effects would probably be quite useable. It has individual outputs for each sound and trigger inputs with knobs for adjusting sensitivity. Also has mono/stereo outputs. There is midi in/out and a separate input for a sequencer, likely a dedicated Simmons one. I've heard the SDS5 sounds better...I've had fun with this one so far. Now if I can just get a manual and save a few of the bizzare kits I create and trigger them with midi -figuring out the midi is not that intuitive. I think the back-up battery must be dead cause when I hit "save kit" it doesn't. I don't think I'd pay a whole lot for one of these (minus pads). $200 if it was in good shape. The pads are big and ugly, probably better to buy something more recent. Oh - NO CYMBALS-none! Bass Drum, Snare/Rim, Tom 1, 2, 3. That's it.

Comments About the Sounds:
The Simmons sound is well known from the 80's. The SDS9 has 6 instruments, with Snare/rim which can be mixed together. The cool thing about this unit is the filters for the snare. It can be tweaked so they sound like strange analog-sounding squeals and wooshes, the filters are all analog as far as I can tell, so the knobs are infinitly adjustable, in other words tweaking is infinite. A tiny tweak makes a huge difference. I have had one on loan with no manual but the owner says he used to trigger other drum machines with midi. Sounds can be tweaked then stored in kits. The 3 toms can be tweaked and tuned quite low or hi with sweep tune up or down for some interesting boings and bwomps. The bass drum is not as flexible but a few fat ones can be teased out. Sampling detuning it probably sounds better. The preset kits are not that interesting. Program your own sounds for creative payback. There is a little door on the front where there are eproms for snares but where/if these are still available I have no idea.

(Thanks to Ralph Detko for this info.)
and WIRE-X for the pic

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