We all witnessed what happens when hardcore legends team up with an innovative software producer. It brought us RAW, a synth dedicated to the harder styles of dance music. Well, Rob Papen, DJ Promo and DJ Free-K did it again, resulting in monster synth: RAW-Kick. It’s a kickdrum synth with features like we never seen or heard before. It’s so RAW that most factory preset banks had to come with a warning message. So let’s see what this beast can do unleashed.
First of all, I’m very proud to be part of this product again. Like with previous Rob Papen projects, I contributed from very early beta versions up to the final product. There is one full Oddiction factory bank and one that I started and will be filled with new patches during updates.
Release date of RAW-Kick is set for the afternoon of October 16th, together with the new eXplorer 5 bundle. Which contains all the Rob Papen stuff and includes the all new Go2 synth, MasterMagic (mix/mastering tool), RAW-Kick and all their other products including the recently -with new features updated Predator2.
Layers, layers, layers!
The secret to a good kick drum is working in layers. Layer 1 is for the sub, depending on the type of kick you’re after; short attack, short decay and no sustain. Layer 2 is packing the punch and Layer 3 is for the click, snap or tail. Again, depending on the style of kick you’re after. It’s also wise to use 24 db HP filters on layer 2 and 3, you don’t want all the low-end in those layers.
In RAW-Kick there are 3 layers to use, in each layer you can choose between model or sample mode. In the model mode you can either draw your own user wave or select one in the wave menu (sine, saw, square or triangle). Had a lot of fun with experimenting and drawing my own. This is also where we see the first of the unique features. You can modulate the wave partials via the mod matrix! In the model mode you can also make use of the X-Y pad and the RAW module which works like in the RAW synth. You can create very expressive and odd material with this. In this mode you can also add Noise, it can be used to add body or a click/snap to the kick drum.
Like all other RP synths you can modulate and control a lot of things, depending on the model mode you choose. You can add the RAW/XY module for movement and creative sound design. Each layer has it’s own filter (with XY pad!) LFO, EQ (pre- and post) and effects section. All of this can be controlled and modulated from the mod matrix, 10 entries allow you to come up with endless possibilities.
Nipping phase problems in the butt
Working with sub low and layers often creates phase problems, sample mode has semi and fine tune dials. You can dial the tone in perfectly and it also let’s you reverse the entire sample and/or shift the start point. Also remember you can use a pre- and post EQ in each layer to sculpt your sound. If this wasn’t enough you can alter the sound even more in the Master Screen.
In the 4th screen you can easily alter the used layers. Have a visual insight in what’s happening in the 3D wave display. There’s also a 4th EQ and this one is a parallel EQ, again pre- and post EQing. Maybe the most important of feature in this screen is the mono/stereo split filter. Here you can nip your final phase problems in the butt and if you had none, I still encourage you to use it and hear how it influences the kick you made.
RAW-Kick comes with a good sample library and also contains Artist samples. Promo, Free-K, Caine, The Outside Agency, Neutroncore and Voltage Disciple, just to name a few. I also added an Artist folder with Oddiction sounds. My samples contain very weird tails and feedback loops made with the Sherman Filterbank. And various outboard effects and stomp pedals. Rob Mentioned there will be 700+ presets in the first release. So that’s a lot of banger materials!
Will it work in any DAW?
During the beta and alpha phase I tested the synth in all the DAW’s I own. So far I didn’t find any problems in the RC, using the latest versions of: Studio One Pro, Cubase Pro, Ableton Live Suite 10 and Reason 10.
Reason owners will have to use the VST version inside Reason. The synth has so many screens and controls that it will not fit inside the RE format. But this is no problem, Reason has VST support from version 9.5 and later.
The NKS tagged files will be released a bit later and I will do some more testing with RAW-Kick inside the Native Instruments Maschine Mk3.
Is RAW-Kick only for Hardcore/Hardstyle?
The answer is NO! And although it comes packed with preset banks from legends like: DJ Promo, Caine, DJ Mad Dog, Ophidian, Sinister Souls, Tha Playah, The Outside Agency. It’s not solely for harder styles. It can do anything you want it to do.
RAW-Kick is a very versatile kick drum synth which can benefit producers in any genre and style. It does it all from EDM to Trap, Grime and Moombahton. From Trance, Techno and Hardstyle. To Tekno, Rawstyle, Industrial and mainstream Hardcore. RAW-Kick is not a 1 trick pony, my preferred genres are Breakcore, Glitch- and experimental electronic music. So safe to say, this synth does those too.