Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ableton Preset: Mattel Synsonics

In the pantheon of vintage analog drum machines, there's an unsung classic that isn't from a big name manufacturer like Roland or Korg, but from a toy company. Released in 1981, the Mattel Synsonics was an affordable black box that housed a fully analog kit consisting of kick, two toms, snare, cymbal and hi-hat - all playable via velocity sensitive pads.

Of course, since it was a "toy", few artists took it very seriously - with one notable exception: Kraftwerk.

Unlike the more insectile sounds coming from the Roland and Korg boxes of the same era, the sound of the Synsonics was vaguely reminiscent of the Simmons SDS-V or Pollard Syndrum. The toms had an aggressive vibe that few products from that time could match - and the cymbals were glorious blasts of white noise.

About a month ago, I pulled my Synsonics of its shelf in my studio, fired it up and started sampling. The results are in this Live 7 compatible Drum Rack. Hope you dig it.


- I'm posting the patch within a Live Set, as opposed to a Live Pack or single preset, so you can hear the patch with example clips and twist the macro knobs to see what's what. If you like it, then hit the preset save button on the macro and add it to your Library.
- The patch will run on Ableton Live 7.0.18 or higher.
- What you see/hear is what you get. I tested it on a couple of systems and the Zip file works as expected.

Download Mattel Synsonics Kit


  1. it's cool! thanks!

  2. Great! Soundfull greetings!

  3. Thanks so much for preparing and posting this. I am using it already and it sounds fantastic !

  4. Man I actually had this back in the 80's!!!! It was my first beat machine ,and I got it from my Big Bro..He bought It for $99 bucks at the time..Man the memories..I gonna love banging around with this...Thanx 1ST of DIRTY WORK PRO...

  5. Cool !! I still have one at home. Have to check if it's still working :-)

  6. Barbies 808, thank you. Still sounds cool.