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Rob Papen Punch Drum Synth review

Yo what’s good family!

Back with another review for ya, this time it’s another instrument from the one and only Rob Papen…love his stuff

This is a new drum synth he created, which I first saw at winter Namm back in Janurary, he was giving demos but it wasn’t out yet.

Anyway, let’s check it!

So what is Punch?

This is a synth and sample based drum/percussion instrument.

But it’s also a groove sequencer!

You get the combination of Robs synths and sampled drums as well as your own…

You also have access to multiple 4 track “grooves” to play sounds together.

Of course with Rob Papen you know there will tons of fx, modulation, and other tweakable parameters.


Quick Specs

  • format: 32/64 bit VST, RTAS, AU
  • price: $165.83

So how does it sound?

Huge! No seriously, the name Punch is not just a name, these drums have some meat and weight to them.

The dope thing about it is that you have samples AND synth drums. You can pretty much make any drum/percussion sound you can think of

The fx are very usable, I’d love to have “ensemble” and some of the others as a standalone (hint hint: Rob…a Rob Papen fx module that brings all your fx into one interface…with your creative routing and control….)

There’s tons of modulation options  and the groove sequencer is really useful. The fact that you have 4 tracks for each groove is pretty crazy, plus the fact that each groove can have it’s own 4 sounds.

That’s a mini sequencer on each key. Really you have 8 in total, 4 grooves and 4 breaks.  Being able to adjust the swing and humanization of the sequencer really aids in getting the right groove.

The sampled drums are just very clean and punch and the synths can get down right UGLY. You may think you’ve heard it all when it comes to drum synths and sounds…I know I did.

Trust me when I tell you this definitely adds something to any drum library

So what’s the bottom line?

Bottom line is this….

If drums are a major part of your music, then you can’t really justify not checking out Punch.

I’m going to be honest…I’m not a fan of software drum machines really…I prefer samples and such.

But that’s because of the way most drum machines and drum synths operate. It’s usually all about the sequencer and really not straight forward for triggering the single sounds.

That’s until I tried Punch, and trust me when I say, I’ve tried quite a few.

I give Punch 4.5 out of 5 subs, it’s really a straight forward and fun to use drum synth that has tons of character and a really heavy sound. This is very important when it comes to drums.

The fact that you can tweak and create your very own drum sounds quickly then turn around and sequence them in a way that can be triggered with one midi note is insane.

If you’re like me, you were wondering what was taking Rob so long to develop this one….until you play with it.

He really thought it out very well so that it’s intuitive and inspiring to use.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the sound, and Punch definitely lives up to it’s name.

Check out the demos or just go on over to time+space and get your own copy! Rob Papen Punch Drum Synth

leave a comment below, let me know what you think


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32 Responses to “Rob Papen Punch Drum Synth review”

  1. Jon says:

    Yeah, a lot of thought has gone into that. I definitely will check it out. Great tool.

  2. Jon says:

    63 bit huh? lol

  3. dion says:

    Nice but cant touch Maschine.

    • saintjoe says:

      @dion, it’s not meant to compete with maschine, totally different concept. Everything that has to do with drums and sequencing isn’t a competitor to maschine. Maschine can’t do drum synthesis, this can, so I like using them together.

      • Danllyon says:

        Precisely, im not really a machine fan, its good for the general consumer, i like a little more depth and options instead of an all in one place solution. But then again i was never a MPC fan either for which Maschine has become a replacement.

  4. jamari says:

    This is hotness! The sound designing capabilities are welcomed treat for a drum program such as this. I see so many possibilities for the sounds in my head to get out into the world. I’ve been slowly attempting to discipline myself to learn NI’s Battery yet it’s just so intimidating at first. Punch on the other hand, seems more friendly and approachable. Have you tried to see how Punch intergrates with Maschine (sound module/midi controller)? Thanks for giving a review on this I’ve been curious about Punch for awhile now. This may just make my Reason 5 upgrade play the bench *lol*.

    • saintjoe says:

      @jamari, brother I LOVE it in maschine, I can have a drum sound on each pad OR I can just setup a punch instrument on each pad and change the midi note so that one is a bd, snare, hat, etc and have all the controls mapped. Really depends on how you want to roll. but I love it in Maschine and the drum sounds in this thing plus what you can create are amazing. I have no need to bring in my own with this, just using the library and synth…it’s sick.

  5. baddboy2000 says:

    SJ,I like the flexibility & endless creativity that can be accomplished with this drum synth. The library seems large & anyone who likes to create their own drum sounds may have a new “hobby” with this one. Thanks for the review.

  6. sky says:

    dope..thanx homie.

  7. dj jambone says:

    Mannnnnn it has been a while,But Im back! You know this time of year mobile Dj’s is very buzzy. Anyway I glad had you keep in touch Saint. This new vst you’re showing Im wondering if I could drop parts of songs or vocals in the sample banks to manipulate jams during a live gathering? Like this vst could juggle the beat in different grooves with effects in stead of using stutter from izotope . Then I can maybe freak a crowed with the grooves and drum beats using my Dj software vst bank.

    • saintjoe says:

      @dj jambone, who knows man, it’s possible! Download the demo and see, it’s always fun to use tools in ways they weren’t designed for, get creative!

  8. Ronnie says:

    This is one top notch drum synth/sample instrument. Very flexible and superb sound.

  9. Madbull Studios says:

    Very nice!!! I like all of the Rob Papen software. I will get this no doubt.

  10. Paul W. says:

    Just purchased it, becouse of your review.. and I’m LOVIN it! :D Thanks Joe!

  11. Dukemoney says:

    Man that Bass drum was deep I could work with that.

  12. Thomasgreco says:

    Oh man I know I’m crossing over here but show us how you use it Maschine for us MT fam folk! YA!!

  13. Alex says:

    @Saintjoe… any chance of making a rob punch tutorial w/wo maschine?

      • Alex says:

        I just can’t seem to find info how to play this vst other than holding the keydown on my midi keyboard and recording this onto an ableton clip. Could you assist? I also keep looking for basic tutorials that explain how to play, record, etc on punch and ableton, harldy anything out there, any chance of doing a simple tut on that?

        • saintjoe says:

          You can trigger the patterns or you can trigger the individual notes, depending on which notes on the keyboard you use. And record that as MIDI.

          • Alex says:

            OK, so its intended to play and record what you trigger with midi and then you work with what you record? I guess I watched a tutorial and saw a display window to play/stop papen punch, it must have been for another device, reason why I was confused.


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