Here comes a perfect treat for virtual drum machine lovers! Bayan has released AREX 2011, a freeware VSTi drum module boasting a built-in step sequencer which is also capable of sending MIDI note messages to other plugins.
The plugin is inspired by the Yamaha RX-11, a well-known hardware drum module from the 80’s. AREX 2011 comes with 29 high quality Yamaha RX-11 drum samples and the step sequencer includes several RX-11 swing templates. If you’re a fan of those fat digital 80’s drum, you should definitely grab this one and give it a try. Don’t forget that one of the common techniques in that period was to tune down the drum samples in order to get a fatter tone.
The plugin also features 12 individual audio outputs, which is pretty awesome if you’d like to process different drum sounds separately. This way you could use one set of effects on the kick drum and a completely different effect chain on the snare drum, for example.
AREX 2011 includes 55 factory drum patterns which can be used do get the basic idea about the functionality and workflow of the instrument. You can also save your custom drum patterns for future reference using the built-in pattern management system.
I really can’t wait to test this one. If it turns out to be as polished on the inside as it looks on the outside, it will make a perfect edition to the coolest free drum machine VSTi list in our freeware VST section. Although it’s a sample based instrument which can’t be used to synthesize new drum sounds, the fact that it comes with a fully functional step sequencer is a huge bonus. It can be used to trigger drum samples which are loaded in a 3rd party sampler instrument such as Shortcircuit 1, for example.
Check out the AREX 2011 demo video:
AREX 2011 is available for free download via Bayan’s website (3.9 MB download size, RAR archive, 32-bit VSTi plugin format for Windows, made with SynthEdit).