D16 Nithonat, Nepheton and Drumazon
Nithonat, Nepheton and Drumazon emulate the Roland TR-606, TR-808 and TR-909 respectively. If you’re going to try to replicate the sound of three of the most well-loved drum machines in electronic music history, you’d better do a good job. Luckily, in this case, D16 has nailed it.
Like their TB-303 and SH-101 emulations, D16’s Roland-inspired drum plugins aren’t just your run-of-the-mill sample-based instruments. All three synthesise their sounds in real time, based on models of the original hardware.
The D16 instruments recreate the sound of the originals with incredible accuracy. (Don’t believe it by sound alone? Just compare D16’s measurements of the plugins against the real thing.) But they’re also more flexible than the originals; where, say, an unmodified TR-808 offers just one adjustable parameter for the kick drum (level), Nepheton offers four (level, tone, decay, sweep). Sets of parameters can also be stored as presets, allowing you to expand the plugins’ built-in sound palettes with your own custom combinations of sound settings.
The built-in sequencers follow the lead of their TR-x0x forebears, with a few tweaks to bring them up to date (that means, for example, that Nepheton and Nithonat both have ‘shuffle’ (swing) controls, even if the 808 and 606 didn’t).
If you’re looking for the closest software equivalents to Roland’s legendary rhythm boxes, D16’s software tributes are an absolute no-brainer.