Rob Papen, world-renowned sound designer and synth guru, is known for creating some of the most popular and sought after soft synths available today. Recently, Rob Papen started offering limited edition bundles of his synths aimed at genre specific producers and beat makers. The ‘Rob Papen – Urban’  bundle is the perfect combination of  drum synth, analog modeling synth and bass synth.

I’ve been using Rob Papen Urban Synth Bundle quite a bit in Logic Pro and with the MPC Studio lately. Initially I had no preconceived notions of what to expect but I have to say that I was pleased with what I had to work with in these synths. 

Punch:  The drum machine with earthshaking lows.

As a producer that samples and uses synths “Punch” fits really nicely into my production workflow.  There are tons of features for synthesizing drums.

To begin with Rob Papen has included hundreds of classic drum machine sounds. These sounds can be manipulated by the powerful synth engine and sculpting tools included in Punch. There are “2 envelopes, 2 LFO’s and 8 modulation slots , which allow you to use a wide variety of modulation sources to control Punch’s controls.” There are a gang of effects and routing possibilities giving you seemingly endless sculpting capabilities. According to Rob Papen’s product page there are “4 FXs, each with 26 different type of fx” that can be configured and routed in 5 different ways.  The effects include,  “Mono Delay, Stereo Delay, Comb Filter, Reverb, HQ Reverb, Chorus, Chorus/Delay, Flanger, Phaser, WahWah Delay, Distort, Low Fi, Amp Sim, Waveshaper, Widener, AutoPan, Gator, Ring-Mod, Filter, Equalizer, Compressor, Noise-Gate, Ensemble, Cabinet, Multi Distort, AutoWah.”

For those that aren’t drawn in by the ability to manipulate the included classic drum samples, you can easily import “your own samples” into Punch. This gives you untold flexibility in creating you own kits and flexing your sound design ability. I for one come across new ways to manipulate my drums in this drum synth every single time I use it. It’s like having a new sound library every time. 

Additionally, Punch has a rather unique 8 track sequencer included. The sequencer rounds out this drum synth and makes it a tool you can depend on for shaking things up in your production workflow a bit.

Predator: Rob Papen’s top-selling analogue synth.

The Predator is Rob Papen’s most popular synth. This 16-voice polyphonic analog modeling synth has a mega library of 4000 presets including most of the sought after classics. But although the presets library is vast,  the ability to tweak and sculpt your sounds are nearly endless. Still the interface is nicely laid out and easy to use.

Predator features “3 Oscillators with 128 waves included Analogue, Additive and Spectral type of waveforms plus pink & white noise generators.” There are two filter sections with the main sections described as “an analogue modelled stereo Multimode Filter, offering 27 types in total. 6dB LowPass and HighPass, 12dB, 18dB and 24dB LowPass and HighPass, 12dB and 24dB BandPass, 12dB and 24dB Notch, Comb positive, Comb negative. Formant 2band, Formant 4band and Vocal Filter”

The effects section boasts a serial mode configuration of effects blocks which include the following gang of effects “Mono Delay, Stereo Delay, Comb, Reverb, Chorus, Chorus/Delay, Flanger, Phaser, Wah/Delay, Distortion, Low Fi, Amp Simulator with 5 models, Waveshaper, Stereo Widener, Autopan, Gator, Vocoder, FX multi-filter, 5 Band Equalizer, Compressor, Ensemble, Cabinet Simulator, Multi-distortion, AutoWah, Tape Delay (stereo), Tape Flanger and Analogue Phaser.”

Obviously, Predator is more advanced than many other analog modeling soft synths with its advanced sections and free modulation features. All of this combined with the huge preset library and ability to create and save your own creative sounds, Predator is a nice go to synth for any genre of music.

SubBoomBass: Ultra-deep groove bass synth with built-in step sequencer.

SubBoomBass is an obvious nod to urban music market with its graffiti letters and urban design style. I can’t say I’m a fan of that but the sound of this bass synth is great.

SubBoomBass synth is made up of  “2 Oscillators with Analogue types waveforms and tuned percussion waveforms.” Similar to the Predator there are two filter sections with the main filter boasting “an analogue modelled stereo Multimode Filter, offering 6dB LowPass and HighPass, 12dB, 18dB and 24dB LowPass and HighPass, 12dB and 24dB BandPass, 12dB and 24dB Notch, Comb and Vocal Filter” The filter section can be configured as “Serial mode, Parallel mode and Split mode”

The effects and sequencer makes SubBoomBass a full featured bass synth. You are bound to find the perfect bass sound within SubBoom’s 1000 presets. The fact is this is a monster bass synth. I was blow away by the low lows. The SubBoomBass is one of the few software bass synths that cut thru the mix with rich lows that you may be used to getting from well-known hardware synths.

Overall, the Rob Papen Urban Synth Bundle is a great way to get your hands on a few of Rob Papen’s most popular and well liked synths. These synths were specifically picked out to compliment the Urban producer’s workflow and production needs. I personally like each of these synths and have found myself using them more and more often with each session. Do yourself a favor and catch this bundle while it lasts.


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