Best new drum machine 2023: Erica Synths Perkons HD-01 | Juno Daily

As 2022 draws to a close and we look ahead to 2023, we’re bringing you our picks of the best new gear this year, from drum machines to turntables.

Best new drum machine 2023: Erica Synths Perkons HD-01

One of the inevitable drawbacks of putting together end-of-year round-ups is that a few last-minute contenders slip the net. We mentioned Erica Synths’ Perkons HD-01 in diepatches last year but as it arrived so late in the year and sold out immediately we hadn’t managed to get our hands on one at the time we chose last year’s best new drum machine. This year it’s time to right that wrong and give credit where it’s due.

When supply finally caught up with demand and we got hold of a Perkons in the early summer, we’d already heard plenty of hype from the lucky few who managed to get their hands on one of the units from the first production run. Coming in at a fraction under £1,700, the Perkons is an unashamedly high-end machine, bucking some of the recent trends for more affordable instruments and retro-inspired analogue approaches. The Perkons has a classic, old-school inspired look, but its sound engine is cutting edge, with four hybrid voices, each with a digital heart feeding into a multi-mode analogue filter and analogue overdrive circuit.

To cut to the chase, the Perkons is a beast. Pērkons is the Latvian word for thunder but also refers to the god of the skies, hinting at its playfully ominous tone. The four voices appear to be identical from their controls on the logically laid out front panel, but under the hood each one is based on a series of different sound generation algorithms. Every voice offers a choice of three algorithms with three modes. Only one algorithm is duplicated, meaning you have a choice of 33 contrasting sound engines to choose from. Very few of these are intended for a single use, although there are a few engines designed specifically for things like bass drums, snares and hi-hats. On the main, though, the design is meant to be versatile and open-ended.

Read our full review here.

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Greg Scarth

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