Did Simmons reveal it's own sound?

As we all should know in the meantime, the SDSV rung in the age of electronic drums. The analog sound was a result of the technical stage at that time. And of course the way Dave Simmons developped his circuits (malicious gossip has it that ARP and Moog also considerably “influenced” Dave…) brought a random aspect in that what was later called “the Simmons sound”. But from that milestone on, every generation of Simmons drums increased the distance to that point of origin. How is that? The SDSV was released in a time when the digital sound generation already forged ahead. The Simmons company had a great product, but also a great portion of luck that they could sell it in a reasonable number. The SDSV HiHat and Cymbal modules had even already been based on samples. The analog sound was a period of temporary fashion. Every music epoch (since mankind is playing/singing music) requires it’s own sound and also drops the sound sources when the time is right for a change. If Simmons wanted to survive as a business company, they had to listen to the requirements of musicians and react. If Volkswagen would still offer the Beatle as their only car, the company would definetely not exist anymore.

If you follow the timeline it is obvious that the analog parts had been substituted by digital:

  • 1981: SDSV (fully analog)
  • 1984: SDS7 (all channles hybrid analog and digital)
  • 1985: SDS9 (digital bassdrum and snare, analog toms)
  • 1986: SDS1000 (digital bassdrum and snare, analog toms)
  • 1987: SDX, SDS2000 (fully digital)

So the whole development was a matter of fashion and competion. If Simmons would have kept building analog drums only, they would have smashed much earlier. Still they embedded Simmons sounds. For example there were several SDSV libraries available for the SDX, the SDS2000 had a bunch of sampled analog sounds on board.

The answer is: no

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