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Bastl Kastle Drum: Quirky Pocket-sized Drum Synth

Based upon their popular pocket-sized modular synth, the Kastle, Bastl Instruments has taken the same hardware and repackaged it into an experimental modular drum machine.

Bastl Instruments is a small company in Brno, Czech Republic, that specializes in eco-friendly electronic instruments and eurorack modules. In 2016, they released the original Kastle Synth, which gained instant popularity. After considering user feedback, they released an improved version 1.5 a year later. After revisiting the design of the Kastle, Bastl decided to create a special edition of the Kastle which focused on algorithmic, industrial, glitchy drums.

Repackaged as the Kastle Drum, it features a unique dynamic acceleration charged envelope that produces a lot of rhythmic variety. Drum patterns can be fed into the Kastle Drum from other sources with the two Control Voltage (CV) inputs, or they can be generated from the built-in stepped pattern sequencer. Just like the Kastle Synth, the Kastle Drum is designed for experimentation. It features 8 drum synthesis styles, a noise output for less tonal sounds, decay time, pitch control, voltage-controlled clock,8-stepp and16-stepp pattern loop generator, 2 CV inputs and outputs, and modulation controls. It uses the same “jumper wire” patch cables found in the Kastle Synth and other modular synths from other manufacturers like the Korg Volca Modular and Moog Werkstatt. These devices can be patched with the Kastle Drum to create a larger, more powerful system. It is powered by 3 AA batteries or USB. The Kastle Drum is also open source. The source code is available on GitHubb for anyone who wants to modify its functionality.

Overall, the Kastle Drum has been a lot of fun to play. It provides the user with so many possibilities. When you combine it with the Kastle Synth and other synths the magic really happens.

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