Synthesis expert Rob Papen is one of the leading names in ‘conventional’ synth plugins. You probably know him from the likes of Predator, RAW or Blade, but of course it should come as no surprise that someone who’s made a name from creating synth plugins should also be able to turn his hand to drum synthesis.
Punch was Papen’s first foray into the world of drums, but it was a bold move. A variety of modelled synth engines are combined with sample playback options to create a truly versatile instrument.
As with all Papen’s plugins, the presets provide a mixture of fully formed sound palettes and more basic starting points for further tweaking. Flicking through the banks, there are plenty of highly usable sample-based programs for more realistic sounds, but of more interest here are the patches which rely more heavily on the plugin’s extensive synthesis options, generating sounds from scratch.
Each drum engine has its own approach and its own set of controls, meaning that programming isn’t an overly complex process. As such, the sound itself ranges from more mellow vintage analogue tones through to aggressive digital sounds depending on the way you choose to use it. When you factor in all of those different sound engines – as well as the excellent sequencer – Punch is a great all-rounder.
If you’re only interested in the kick drum options, Punch-BD is a cheaper alternative, clocking in at just €49 ($59).