Erica Synths Pērkons review: A uniquely thunderous drum machine

Image Credit: Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

In fact, after years of primarily making more relaxed and atmospheric styles of electronic music, I found myself choosing harsh, blown-out guitar tones a la Nine Inch Nails Broken jamming with Pērkons. I was taken back to my high school days with black t-shirts and long, greasy hair. And I wasn’t mad about it.

The only tip I have is hold the drive knob tight and be generous with the supercharger. I think part of the reason I was a bit lukewarm at first was because I was trying to dial in these effects subtly and sensibly. Which, frankly, was probably pretty stupid of me to expect subtlety from a drum machine named after the Baltic god of thunder.

Once you’ve accepted the sonic palette at your disposal, you need to explore the technical features of Pērkons. This is where things can get a little chaotic. While programming a simple 16-step drum pattern and playing it back is relatively easy, some of the more advanced features aren’t always that intuitive. At least in the beginning, I would strongly recommend keeping the manual handy. Even if it’s just about what the parameter knobs control for each voice mode.

Erica Synths Perkons

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

The Pērkons is decidedly old school in its approach to interface design. There is no screen or menus to dive through. Instead, almost all of the machine’s functions, from sequencer playback mode to shuffle percentage to LFO target, are controlled via the 64 step buttons or four trigger buttons. This means that basically anything beyond simply entering individual drum hits requires pressing a combination of two or three buttons at the same time.

For example, if you want to set the probability that a certain step will be played, you need to hold down the step you want to change, the probability button, and one of the four trigger buttons to select a percentage (10, 25, 50, or 90 percent). The benefit is that it’s easy to manipulate a pattern while it’s playing since you don’t have to do any menu diving. And once you figure out the basics of how the interface works, it’s pretty easy to understand since everything is labeled. The downside is that some things have relatively limited options, such as B. the probability. If you want to make a move to play a 33 or 75 percent chance, you’re out of luck. Similarly, in shuffling, there are predetermined percentages, although these are not labeled.

Erica Synths Perkons

Terrence O’Brien / Engadget

You also need to be careful to press the keys you want in the correct order. When you press the pattern/ratchet button before You start holding down a certain step, then you won’t add a ratchet, you’ll change patterns. And if you haven’t saved what you’re working on, it’s gone forever. Pērkons can be fun, but it can also be very unforgiving.

Although the user interface is dated, Pērkons has a number of new-school features to keep it from becoming too robotic. In addition to shuffle and probability, you can change length, add accents, multiply or divide tempo, choose one of four “grooves” and choose one of four different playback modes: forward, reverse, ping-pong or random. And all of this can be done per track. So you can make track four just 13 steps long and ping-pong from start to finish and back at half speed, while track one plays at double speed with a 50 percent shuffle, and track two has a unique groove, but only eight steps long is . Erica Synths Pērkons review: A uniquely thunderous drum machine

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