If you fancy some electronic percussion sounds for Cubase, then try the Waldorf Attack VST Instrument plug-in. Attack can emulate the sounds of classic analogue drum-synthesizer sounds, such as the TR808 and Simmons SDS-5 bass. Shakers and maracas can also be simulated.
Complete simulations of these classic kits are provided – or you can create versions using Attack’s powerful synthesis controls. Two oscillator sections are provided, each with a choice of waveforms, tuning and envelope controls. You can also use the Crack controls to create handclaps using an amplitude-modulation technique.
Two envelopes are provided – each with the usual attack, decay, sustain and release controls – and a mixer lets you blend the sound of the oscillators and Crack modulator before feeding these to the comprehensive filter section. A delay section lets you create modulation effects, and the amplifier section provides eight audio outputs, which are routed via the channel mixer in Cubase. So, you can add EQ or effects to the drum sounds. Each Attack drumkit can have up to 24 different sounds and 30 preset kits are provided. These kits are grouped into banks of 16 complete kits, and two banks are included on the CD-ROM to get you started. Installing and using Attack in Cubase is straightforward.
A click on the Edit button in the VST Instruments window brings up the edit window for Attack. Now you can select up to 16 Attack instruments as MIDI track destinations in Cubase’s Arrange window – each on separate MIDI channels. A five-octave keyboard is provided in the Attack Edit window, so you can audition any sound at the click of a mouse. You can also control any of the functions of the Attack using MIDI-controller data from an external unit with knobs and faders.
I compared the simulated TR808 kit with a real TR808, and found the Attack simulations fairly disappointing. On the other hand, the CR78 simulation was excellent and several of the electronic kits are very usable. At the asking price, this one is well worth going for.