The 606 is an analog drum machine from 1982, originally built to accompany the TB-303. The original drum machine's sound is similar to an 808, but perhaps a little more unique. The bass drum, hi hats and toms are classically analog and warm, and the hi hats and cymbals are unbelievably groovy and organic sounding. The 606 can be heard all over early Plastikman, Aphex, Autechre and more.
But while undoubtedly excellent, the 606 is extremely limited - with no tuning or even parameter controls for any of the drum voices. Because of this, we've also sampled a modded 606, which has an entire second body of controls built onto this classic drum machine. There's now a MASSIVE bass boost to the original tom, transforming it into a monstrous, booming sub kick that sounds like a cross between an 808 and 909, tuned toms, multi-pitch enveloped snares, uniquely metallic hi hats and trashier cymbals, none of which you'll find in any other 606 samples.
We sampled both the regular 606 and modded 606 through an API 512 preamp and Reddi (an amazing tube DI) directly to our 1/4" Otari mastering reel to reel, gating many of the hits after tape with an SSL channel gate for added analog punch, capturing the results through Apogee conversion.
When you start using the accents on the 606, the internal mixer becomes clipped and you get a great natural grit to all of the drum voices with accents, with the accent amount, drum voice volume, and master volume all playing a role in this dynamic distortion. So, in addition to capturing each hit cleanly (at low volume), we also multi-sampled every regular 606 hit at 6 different accents which provided 6 different levels of distortion. This sounds great in the right context, and is much needed on the bass drum:
For the modded 606, we recorded many different variations using the tone and tune controls - most notably, we tuned many different decays of bass drums and toms, labeling each by note name. We also used an Overstayer saturator to aggressively clip the long and boomy subs for loudness and greater sustain. Additional filters, EQ and compression also made their way into the picture.
The end result is a very dynamic 606 sample pack with unadulterated, classic 606 sounds, but also a huge amount of tunings, filter and pitch settings for unique cymbals, trashy hi hats, huge, and booming sub kicks (both 909 and 808 style):