Herb and Stones Gentle Wham

I haven’t seen any discussion about this, so I’m wondering if any body has one and what they think of it?

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I’m curious too…
(Here’s some characters)

Yeah, got one yesterday!

First, build quality. Very impressive. First-rate. Fit & finish is great, seems very solid. Nothing is loose, etc. The knobs have a satisfying amount of resistance. The LEDs are amber, at least to my eyes, and are big & bright. The wood sides are a nice touch.

Next, size. The unit is maybe 10-15% bigger than the Stereo Field, if you have that (I do). So you have plenty of space btwn knobs and buttons and won’t feel cramped while noodling.

As for the sounds, really nice. It can be very punchy, and the first voice is capable of making really nice, deep and full bass drums. A couple of others are great at more experimental, noise-inflected sounds. All of them are great, and the LP/HP, resonance and cutoff really give you a lot of variability.

It’s capable of some nicely-muted ambient or experimental stuff, which is what I’m after, though it can definitely provide some club-shaking attitude if that’s what you want.

The sixth voice is cool cuz you feed it from any external sound source and it gates the output. I immediately hooked up a handheld radio/walkman & reveled in the radio going in & out in time with everything else. Sounded good with a sequence coming from the Volca Modular, too.

Works with both 3.5mm & banana jacks. I’m sequencing it from an Ornament-8, and it works great.

Every channel has it’s own out, and using that cuts that channel from the main out.

I think versatility is the main thing which comes to mind with the Gentle Wham. From the individual outs and mutes, eurorack & banana ins, the external in, the per channel volume & decay, and being able to play it via the buttons on each channel, morphing it into a drone synth… it’s just really versatile.

I think it’ll take a while for me to work it into what I do, cuz I haven’t included a percussion synth in my tracks in a long time. But I’m excited for the adventure.

Watching the Hainbach video sealed the deal for me (per usual). Watch it if you haven’t, as he shows off the wide range of timbres and textures it can give you.

FWIW, Perfect Circuit had seemingly more than one discounted unit, which is what I got. I say that cuz that page was still up a day or two after I bought it. It looks absolutely brand new, it’s in great shape and was 20% off. This thing is definitely worth at least that discounted price.

If I think of it later, I’ll post a short vid. Hope this helps.

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Sounds great! I have one specific question, is it possible to make it drone via voltage control, e.g. by sending a gate that stays high?

That’s a great question. I ran two tests.

First, I thought I could approximate a drone by increasing the speed of the sequencer to an insane level, which I did. But that was still sending individual gates obviously. It -almost- sounded like a drone, but it wasn’t quite right.

After I posted my initial reply, it occurred to me that the sixth voice, the one for an external input, is switchable btwn envelope and gate. So I thought, how can I send the envelope some continuous voltage? My Stereo Field. The SF’s touch plates acted just like the Wham’s buttons to create a sustained sound. Nice! But that’s not using an internal oscillator.

I thought ok, just plug it into a gate input on the Wham and see what you get. This does get you closer. You have to keep the volume down, otherwise the Stereo Field bleeds through, but I was able to sustain the second voice on the Gentle Wham by using the external controller.

Because the Stereo Field is wild & wooly, it’s voltage was a bit all over the place. So, the drone from the Wham fluctuated. But using a more consistent sound source would probably yield better results.

I imagine if I went from the Stereo Field into a mult and then fed multiple voices from that, I’d get a multi-oscillator drone. Thanks for the question, gonna give that a try!

Also, I got the discount % wrong. It was 30% off ($420 instead of $599).

Ah I just saw this on Perfect Circuit’s site, which I hadn’t noticed in the manual:

Gentle Wham’s gated decay-based envelopes can be turned off and switched into a drone mode when you push and hold down all the manual gate buttons

Curious how that works, if you get a chance to try it!

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I just tried that on my unit …

EDIT COMPLETELY DISREGARD

The PSU I was using completely bit the dust and was creating very strange behavior. I replaced that and it’s working as expected, without the bizarre “drone” mode I some how unlocked with it :slight_smile:

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Two convos with Gianluca of Herbs & Stones:

“Yes you can feed eurorack level signals into the Gentle Wham inputs. All of them are protected from over voltages and negative voltages so no worry.”

That wording you quoted from Perfect Circuit’s site I haven’t seen anywhere else and it made me a bit confused, so I asked Gianluca about it.

He said that’s not a feature as stated. Meaning, it shouldn’t stay in drone mode when you let up on the keys. You have to hold the keys down in order to drone.

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the overall manipulation of the all the drum sounds is REALLY great.
one of my favourite extra features of the Gentle Wham is the Aux input.
i really like using this sort of effect.

i even use a couple of JMT Synth KD-2 pedals as well.

if you want drone in a drum synth…the The Division Department 01/IV has an actual drone mode. :stuck_out_tongue:

also…
the LepLoop bass drum is a PHENOMENAL drone source.

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If I could like your reply multiple times, I would! :blush:

I also love the aux input. I use it all the time. I’ll look into those other drone sources. I don’t have a drone synth per se but love the idea of one synth that can do multiple things well.

I was going to make a list here of the Gentle Wham’s shortcomings, but the only thing I could come up with that it’s missing was an led for the filter section for incoming CV, similar to the ones present for each of the voices. Outside of it’s own sequencer or effects section, it really does everything that you’d reasonably expect a percussion synth to do.

Thumbs up!

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