Sonic Potions LXR Drum Synthesizer

This video, via perfectcircuitaudio, is a demo of the Sonic Potions LXR Drum Synthesizer.

The Sonic Potions LXR Drum Synthesizer is a full fledged digital drum machine with integrated sequencer. Its sound engine provides 6 different instruments, each with over 30 parameters to tweak. It can produce a wide variety of sounds, ranging from classic analogue emulations to crunchy digital mayhem.

Here are official audio demos:


  • Cortex M4 based
  • 6 voices (VA and FM)
  • 7 sequencer tracks (extra open HH channel)
  • 44kHz / 16 bit audio
  • 4 mono outputs
  • 4 different instrument engines
  • 1/128 step pattern resolution (32ppq)
  • USB/Din Midi
  • different lengths for each track possible
  • 8 chainable patterns per preset
  • Step probability
  • SD-Card
  • Cowbells!
  • 39 buttons
  • 6 LFOs routable to every voice parameter
  • complete kit. comes with all needed parts for assembly
  • No SMD soldering required
  • source code available
  • All! actions possible without stopping the sequencer playback

The LXR Drum Synth is sold as a DIY kit for 280 Euro. Acrylic enclosures sold separately for 70 Euro. The sourcecode and schematics are open source.

If you’ve used the LXR Drum Synth, leave a comment and let us know what you think of it!

36 thoughts on “Sonic Potions LXR Drum Synthesizer

  1. Looks great but checking the Perfect Circuit Audio website I cannot seem to find any information on ordering this drum synth (or else I have dirt in my eyes). 🙂

    If anyone spots it let me know!

    1. *Facepalms!* Listen to the demos and judge. That spec is obviously enough to provide the excellent sounds in the demos.

    1. ehm… that’s kind of a hard thing to fullfil. You don’t get a specific adjustable sound like on an xox, it’s all free parameters. For the snare voice you get noise+oscillator and a sample (pitch variable) alongside it. The envelope has repeat attacks (this makes for nice claps) and adjustable curve, and there is a filter with drive. There’s also drive at the end of the chain, an lfo (which can be set as a second envelope), and sample rate reduction as there is for each voice. That said, I’ll try and get around to posting some examples of the snare/clap sounds I’ve done in the near future.

  2. I would definitely buy this kit if it’s supporting wav files, of course I like a synthesis drum thingie, but as long it’s already digital…

  3. I built one this past summer. It sounds great, lots of fun, easy to program. I think of it as a Machinedrum Lite, but much more hackable, and now with the analog trigger out option.

    It’s useful to pass some swing over to my Yocto (808 clone), which doesn’t yet have it’s own shuffle feature.

  4. Doesn’t anyone else find (almost) $400 for a KIT a little overpriced? Can someone tell me why this is worth that much?

    1. Do the maths and tell me how much the components cost and then tell me again that you do not think that someone who publishes such a nice system for people to build and hack and enjoy shouldn’t be compensated a tiny bit for his efforts. Research and development isn’t free just because the product comes in kit form. Could you tightwad please begin to understand that? And no, I am not affiliated with the maker of this or any other kit, I just believe that people should get their fair share.

      1. I’m not a tightwad, in fact I make kits as well, so I know all about “research and development”. $500 for a digital drum machine that you have to build is a little pricey.

    2. Actually, Julian knocks off the VAT if you’re getting it sent to the US, so it works out to 235 euro or about $320. With the case and shipping, you’re looking at about $435 though, which I’m sure puts it up against stuff like the TR8 in a lot of people’s minds – and it’s fair to make that assessment, though they are very different machines. The economics work out a little differently in Europe, where co’s like Roland are in the nasty habit of straight up pricing higher than in the US (even taking VAT into account). The TR8 streets for 485 euro here, which works out to $660 and the economics start to make a lot more sense. Price paid for free healthcare I guess 😉
      But in all seriousness, there’s nothing else quite like it, plus you’d be one of the only folks in the states to have one! 🙂

    3. Full DIY kits take a ton of work to put together. The labour comes from sorting, bagging and labelleing potentially dozens of different parts, different values and then making it all easy enough for someone to navigate.

      The price is worth it unless you’re an organizational guru and feel like doing it all yourself. You *might* save a bit less than $100 doing it this way but I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners in electronics.

  5. There are 2 big strengths of the LXR that differentiate it from other drum machines. First, the filters sound great and there are a ton of different modes (LP,HP,BP,Notch,Peak,I might be forgetting something…). Second, the sequencer is really deep (and has a steep learning curve because of this!). You can do some things I haven’t really seen anywhere else, like p-locking voices or retriggering lfos from other tracks, which can have arbitrary lengths, to get some very cool ‘masking’ effects. To be honest, it would be nice if there were more knobs and buttons, and some on-board reverb/delay would be nice, but in the long run I’d rather have a box that does one thing well than one that does many things poorly.
    Shameless plug! 🙂 quick tech jam with lxr…

    1. There’s a list of builders on the site, I think it’s a sticky in the forum. I certainly can, but you probably want someone in the same country. I saw someone selling prebuilts on ebay for a very reasonable price in the UK. You might also ask perfect circuit if you’re in the US. I imagine their not-so-subtle reason for posting this is to see what kind of demand there is for built units 🙂

  6. randy on June 2, 2014 at 8:48 am said:

    p.s. don’t be a jerk”

    You should follow your own advice.

    Lets have a link to your own kits so everyone can piss and moan about something you create.

    ‘Empty vessels make most noise’

    You sir are an empty vessel.

  7. Wow, I should hope you don’t represent this company, “Dork…”, you’re being extremely rude. I was simply inquiring as to why this costs what it does, which I believe is fair and hardly “bitching and moaning” and definitely not deserving of your personal attacks.

  8. sorry “Dork…” I was getting you confused with the other guy who called me a “tightwad” for challenging a $500 price tag.

  9. Ho my god, people are always complainig about the price.
    Source your component if you find it to expensive. Burn your PCB, print the case!
    Julian put an amazing work in LXR and he still supporting and updating this project. Try to find a 7 track sequencer /synth for cheaper before complain like a jerk.

  10. And for the solder noob, i did that as a first project. Just did 2 shitty electronical kit before to learn the basic soldering skills. I read some solder guide, and all things went smooth as the assembly guide is really weel made. Excuse my english i’m french.

  11. And for a few bucks more, you can buy the trigger I/O extension, with CV out for each voice, and some other jacks in and out (clocks, etc.)
    One of the most underrated drum synth/sequencer on the market !

    Just couple it with a Shruthi-1 or two, and a few eurorack DIY modules 🙂

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