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Erica Synths LXR-02 Drum Synthesizer

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“Sonic Potions and Erica Synths joined efforts to develop a drum machine that would stand apart from the masses and the LXR-02 was born. The LXR is a fully-fledged digital drum machine with an integrated sequencer. Its sound engine provides 6 different instruments, each with over 30 parameters to tweak, producing sounds from classic analogue emulations to crunchy digital mayhem, thus offering some of the most extensive sound design capabilities found on a drum synthesizer.”

Erica Synths web site

So reads the descriptive blurb for the Erica Synths LXR-02 Digital Drum Synthesizer. One has arrived here to help round out the drum-and-groove roster. So, let’s take a listen to, and look at, what this thing can do.

Sample patterns made using one of the sample kits, with a few tweaks to pretty much every sound.

I’m not going to go into a ridiculous amount of detail here. The internet has hours of videos and pages of text devoted to this little machine. But, at least a brief description is in order. At it’s most basic level, it’s a six-voice (or six-track, depending on how you look at it) digital percussion synth with sequencer. It has the capacity to store 64 projects, each project contains up to 64 different kits and 64 songs. Each song can be up to 64 patterns, and patterns can be up to, you guessed it, 64 steps.

Pattern and track lengths are variable and can be mixed and matched as needed. For example, with in a song, patterns can be any number of beats, and within patterns, each track has independent length settings. This can lead to some really complex polyrhythmic grooves.

The first three tracks are called “drum” tracks, but they can be any monophonic sound you can make using subtractive or 2-operator FM synthesis, and they can be tuned. The electronic kicks that can come out of the thing are wicked! Track four is for “snare” drums, mostly, with a cymbal/clap track and open and closed hi-hat tracks rounding things out.

I listened through a few of the included kits and drum sounds and determined that most were not to my liking, so I pretty much deleted everything and started from scratch playing with designing sounds, which is surprisingly easy given that the display can show a whopping 2 lines of 16 characters each. Most of the menu structure makes sense. Saving things can get a bit tricky, though, as there’s a hierarchy that I have yet to come completely to grips with.

Basic sequencing is pretty straightforward, too, as it’s much like the familiar TR-REC style of programming. There are parameter locks as well (though I’m not sure how many per step) that are set by selecting the track you want to effect, and then holding the button for the step and twisting whichever knobs are appropriate. With patience, it’s even possible to program melodies or bass lines on the “drum” tracks. Sweet.

There are a ton of more advanced features I haven’t even begun to play with, such as a Euclidean rhythm generator, but I’ll come back around to them at a later date — there will, I’m sure, be videos about this on my YouTube channel at some point.

Speaking of YouTube, I’ve collected a fair few videos on YouTube about the LXR-02, and I invite you to have a look at those as well:

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