Erica Synths wins musicradar award for the best drum machine of Superbooth 2021 synth show

The best drum machine of Superbooth 2021 in the musicradar rating – Erica Synth Pērkons.

There seems to be no stopping Latvian brand Erica Synths. Having already impressed us this year with the LXR-02 drum machine, the company stole the show with its hybrid Pērkons percussion synth. Erica Synths’ Pērkons percussion synth promises to “strike your ears like the skies breaking apart”. Pērkons – named after an ancient Baltic god of thunder – is a four voice drum machine combining digital sound generation with analogue filters and effects. This drum machine throws the clarity of digital oscillators into a heady mix of analogue filtering and modulation.

Each of the instrument’s four voices features a digital oscillator switchable between three modes and shaped by a pair of parameter controls. Sounds then pass through an analogue filter, switchable between low-, high- and band-pass modes, and equipped with a drive control for added heft.

Beyond this, Pērkons features an analogue bucket brigade delay and optical compressor. There’s also a global LFO with morphable waveshapes, which can be routed to any of the voices’ eight sound-shaping parameters.

The sequencer is where Pērkons looks especially interesting – there are four tracks for independently programming each voice, each equipped with probability, multipliers and dividers, ratchets and play direction controls. Shuffle and last step parameters look set to add further rhythmic variety.

Erica Synths is talking a big game when it comes to setting up Pērkons’ vibe. “It’s rather sudden – the bolt of lightning strikes quickly, but the roar follows behind, as if giving one time enough to inhale,” reads the press release intro. “Finally, it strikes your ears like the skies breaking apart and in all its magnificence it rides the wind. Pērkons – a deity of old known by many names and also by ours on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea – thunder, lord of the skies.”

If any synth brand can live up to such lofty standards though, it’s Erica Synths – users of their impressive Eurorack modules, analogue synths and desktop effects will be familiar with the company’s tendency toward meaty, distortion-powered sounds. Build quality looks familiar too, with Pērkons sporting a rugged-looking chassis and chunky parameter rotaries.

Around the back Pērkons has individual outputs, trigger inputs, and send and return ports for each voice. There are also MIDI in and out ports, plus an additional global send and return. As with the LXR-02, the instrument also features a SD card port used to store and share up-to 64 kits and patterns.


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Erica Synths

Development, production and sale of innovative electronic musical instruments


Address: Slokas iela 31-2, Riga, Latvia, LV1048
Contact Person: Ģirts Ozoliņš
E-mail: girts@ericasynths.lv
Website: www.ericasynths.lv