Synth Site: Simmons: SDS5: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 5.0 out of 5
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Reek Havok a professional user from United States writes:
The SDSV was supposed to be the next step in Simmons Drums after the SDSV. The SDSV was pure analog. The concept behind the SDSV was to combine that analog sound with digital sounds. Many of us at the time were triggering drum machines, like the LINN, Oberhiem or E-Mu along with the SDSV. Simmons decided they could make a unit that had both. It was .... different. The analog section wasn't as punch as the SDSV and the analog was 8 bit linear, which tended to be a lot noiser than the 8 bit "companded" format used by most everyone else. It was still very cool. I just unearthed over 140 sound chips for the SDS7. I used to make my own for various artists, and also for Simmons at the tail end of the SDSV run.

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-26-2010 at 00:04
kidtronic a part-time user from canada writes:
Love it for the kick and snap. My favorite is ganging the outputs of 5 channels of a TR-808 to drive the 5 simmons voices and mixing the tr-808 and the sdsV for a wild slamming sound. This is no antique! Tweakable and a unique professional sound. Lovely.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-May-15-2005 at 19:09
Jesper a hobbyist user from Malmö, Sweden writes:

I own a 6 cards version of the SDS-V including the rare Cymbal card. Mine was pre-fitted with a DB15-contact on the empty panel when I bought it and I found out just recently that it was controllable through the Kenton line of midiconverters. I soldered a cable and after some fiddling around it works. No velocity sensitivity though (but Kenton do have a retro-fit available) but I don't really care. The contact was there and I already had two Kenton-converters which didn't make use of the Kadi-port so...

Now, I'm not just a happy SDS-V owner, I'm a happy SDS-V owner WITH ability to midi-control my darling!

electronically yours, jesper

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-08-2002 at 06:11
percussion boy a hobbyist user from USA writes:
One clarification to my post below: ALL Simmons Vs have unusual XLR wiring (manual says pin 2 is hot, pins 1 & 3 are ground), and I think ALL Simmons Vs have the little plastic pieces that get loose sometimes. (I believe you can just look at where the rest of these spacers are inside the unit, and snap the loose one back in the same way.) My first post made it sound like these issues only relate to the Gutman-modified Simmons, but that's not true.

posted Sunday-Sep-24-2000 at 16:59
percussion boy a hobbyist user from USA writes:
There seems to be a shortage of info on Simmons nowadays. Here goes:

The SDS V is a rackmount case that contains up to 7 monophonic analog synths, each on its own card. The case has a simple mixer and various ins and outs to trigger the synths from drum pads or audio, such as a click.

The synths are designed to make different kinds of analog drum sounds; they do this well but are pretty much useless for anything else, since there's no MIDI and I don't think the trigger ins can precisely vary pitch by voltage. In other words, you can't really play tunes on one of the synths.

There are different kinds of synth cards marked "bass," "snare," etc.. Each card has six knobs and is very flexible soundwise, but does not have standard parameters -- So for example, you have a knob for controlling noise generator level, but no way to set the filter cutoff. There are four memories for each card: One preset, one adjusted by the knobs, and two adjusted by little screws (!).

The low end, noise generation, and attack of the SDSV are great, and of course you can use the individual trigger ins to layer the sounds with your sample-based drum machine.

There are Simmons Vs around that have been modified by Vince Gutman; these work fine and were used by pros in the 80s. Note that the XLR pad inputs use a different wiring scheme than on some other instruments. Also note there is a tiny flat plastic piece for each card which sometimes shakes loose inside the case and causes the synth card not to work right.

The SDSV is all analog. The SDS7, intended as the top-of-the-line replacement for the SDSV, is part analog, part sampled sounds on EPROMS. There was a Simmons PROM-blower for making your own sounds. The MTM was a trigger-MIDI converter with extras for the Simmons drum modules.

posted Sunday-Sep-24-2000 at 16:50
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