Pearl, a company known primarily for building drum kits, were one of the first to sell an electronic instrument designed specifically to complement acoustic drums. The Syncussion SY-1, released in 1979, was meant to be triggered by a pair of toms sitting within a traditional drum kit. With its pewww-pewww sounds being closely tied to the disco era, the Syncussion fell out of fashion, only to be repurposed by '90s producers like 808 State and Aphex Twin, who used it to create alien percussion and big bass sounds. It has since become prohibitively expensive, leading small companies to create clones of the original design to meet demand.
In this video, we look at the Michigan Synthworks SY0.5, the latest Syncussion clone and the first in the Eurorack format. It shows off the original's wide range of strange sounds while using the possibilities of modular synthesis to push things forward.