Gear Review: Vermona Kick Lancet

That solid four-to-the-floor sound of pummeling percussion, which permeates sound systems and ignites the soul, sums the driving force of modern dance music. Since this hard-hitting kick drum sound is the life of the music, it would only be a matter of time before someone built a piece of gear dedicated to creating this epic hit.

Vermona has been crafting handmade boutique analog instruments for many years and has been one of Germany’s hottest instrument exporters since day one. This sexy little box of knobs has been meticulously developed with everything you need to create the perfect kick drum. Encased in this vintage-styled box is not just some PCM based sample chip that plays back recorded drum hits; this machine has a 100% analog signal path and is essentially a drum synthesizer.

Starting with a sine or square wave, this lead oscillator seamlessly morphs from one wave to another depending on the overtone content you are looking for. Next, two envelope generators and a dedicated FM (frequency modulation) LFO to modulate the pitch, decide what sort of timbre and feel your custom kick drum will have. Add a bit of noise from the noise oscillator and you are on your way to blowing up the club. If your new kick sound isn’t fat enough, Vermona equipped this unit with a feature called “balls,” which for obvious biological reasons makes for a heavy-hitting addition to the kick’s man bits. Triggered via MIDI or your vintage drum machines, this box is easy to set up with whatever your studio profile demands in a matter of moments. When I first plugged this bad mo-fo into my mixer, I was instantly disturbing my neighbors with the pumping kicks that were at my disposal, ranging from deep 808 booms to more svelte 909 pitched knocks.

However, as easy as it is to get something up and running, the real magic lies deep within the programming, as a little knob turn here or there goes a long way. After hours of listing to the perfect kick of your dream, a slight adjustment of the pitch and subtle tweak of the FM knob could transform your timber to exactly where you never thought a kick could go. One of the things that really sets this device aside from all the other drum gear out there, is the fact that you can really tune your kick to the project that you are working on. Beyond just tuning the pitch of the kick to the pitch of your in-the-face bassline, you can impose very delicate subtleties to the tonal quality of your kick drum.

With the advent of inexpensive loop libraries and sample packs available to anyone with an internet connection, it is really an important epoch to start developing sounds unique to your inspiration. Look no further than this brilliant piece of German engineering, crowds worldwide will thank you eternally.

Vermona Kick Lancet (MSRP: $399)


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