• Drifter Kontakt instrument front panel
  • Drifter Kontakt instrument rear panel


(8 customer reviews)

25.00 plus VAT

Designed to be the ultimate pad synthesiser


Triple Drift Clouds for constantly moving, shifting, drifting soundscapes • Massive modulation possibilities – including pitch, filter, amp, grain and stereo pan: this synth was built for stereo! • Core waveforms from classic machines, both analogue and digital, combined in drifting pairs to form sweeping clouds of sound • Glitch Control with finetuned parameters that home in on cool pad textures with one click • In-depth control set for hardened tweakers, or one-click patch creation for instant gratification!

Drifter is, at heart, a simple idea: build the ultimate pad machine. A synth dedicated to, and optimised for, pads. Big swooshy pads. Smooth analogue pads. Crisp, shimmering digital pads with grainy washes of sound running through them in stereo. Crusty vintage pads that crackle and tremble and sound like they’re emanating from old tube amps tied together with frayed patch cords. Delicate ethereal pads. Warm pads like wooly jumpers.

Lots of pads, basically.

Drifter panel boxoutDrifter doesn’t try to be a lead machine or a bass monster or anything other than a great big pad playground. It’s built from the ground up to create evolving, textural sounds with lots of movement and stereo interest going on. The central engine is based on three Drift Clouds, each of which harnesses twin waves which you can dial up from a variety of analogue and digital sources – smooth analogue tones from our vintage monosynths, crispy digiwaves from Ensoniqs and Yamahas, and of course the Korg Scale Noise we love so much. The twin waves of each Drift Cloud can be set drifting across the stereo field using the Drift controls; the big Drift slider increases the difference between the two waves to emphasise the amount of movement.

Built into each Drift Cloud are further LFO-based movement controls: Pitch and Amp are self explanatory, while Grain harnesses a modulating bitcrusher of the kind we used to such happy effect on Uproar to introduce shifting, sleeting clusters of graininess to the clouds. This is great for gently roughing up a pad that’s a little too smooth, or for creating the impression of noise across a tone.

The Drift Clouds are similar but not identical, so while cloud 1 has a Pitch LFO, Cloud 2 does away with that in favour of a simple octave selector, and Cloud 3 allows for full-range coarse and fine pitch adjustment – great for dialling in fifths or sevenths and detuning them against the core sound. Global High Pass and Low Pass Filters (the LPF with a dedicated envelope) slice up your frequencies and help carve the sound into something beautiful.

Drifter panel boxout 2And best of all, the Glitch control has pride of place. We’ve spent a lot of hours tailoring its behaviour very carefully to the parameters available in Drifter, so that its “hit rate” of getting you a starting point you like (or even a finished patch you want to save) is really high. Whenever you’re feeling bored, give it a click 😀

Finally, Drifter ships with over 100 factory patches carefully sculpted by us here in the lab and by our lovely friend Anatol Locker in his garret. These cover the key areas of pads, pads and more pads, with some extra pads thrown in for good measure.

Drifter really exemplifies everything we love about synths: wonderful, evolving sounds, loads of knobs and sliders, but also a big orange button you can hit and get instant gratification. If you like synthesisers (and you do, don’t you?!) then we think you’ll love Drifter.

(All our Kontakt instruments require a full copy of Native Instruments Kontakt v4.2.3 or higher (including all versions of Kontakt 5). Kontakt Player is not supported: instruments will load, but will time out after 15 minutes. See the FAQ for further information.)

8 reviews for Drifter

  1. AverageUnique (verified owner)

    Very nice. I love the glitch button. It gets to cool places fast and tweaks quickly. It doesn’t take long to understand how to tweak the inputs, although probably silence the faders of the other wavs while tweaking to better hear. I just got this today and have already saved 4 or 5 presets with some very interesting sounds. This is fun. 😉

  2. johnup12 (verified owner)

    The Glitch button has given me sounds that would make modular fanatics envious! Ten stars for Drifter!

  3. JAMES (verified owner)

    There are lots of evolving chewy pads to be had here. The presets are generally quite interesting and diverse. Since the samples are all loaded at once it is faster to vary your sound by just sliding between the sound sources (1,2,3) quickly for subtle tweaks, or by clicking on the glitch button for more drastic changes. Thats’s faster than waiting for the samples to reload all over again between presets. It’s great that reverb is there as one of the effects choices. It would be even better if there was more than one reverb type available in the GUI. That said, I can spend hours glitching away and creating and saving new fantastic useful presets. Pad lovers dive in a deep pool!

  4. aqaraza (verified owner)

    Drifter is humming away right now in the background, chewing on a midi loop I cooked up just to test its sensuous chops, and it is a splendid machine!

    Once again glitch/rnd shies through in this one, paving the way for endless experimentation. The core sound itself is rich and sharp, like a pad should be, but it still has the ability to surprise you. There is some tin in its bite, so I will definitely experiment with warming its sound, but probably through the mod wheel so I can bring up that soaring sheen so deeply baked into the thing.

    Absolutely recommended for the pad-lovers among us.

  5. Poesque (verified owner)

    I drift alone and shift with the sands of time by my side. There is a signpost up ahead. Where was I?

  6. Asterios (verified owner)

    The ultimate pad machine, indeed! A pad monster-master! Analogue, vintage, warm, shimmering pads with a retro feel & look! All I can say is BRAVO!! 🙂

  7. Philippe (verified owner)

    Another marvel designed by our mentors and I quote them: The Professor and Mongo.
    I just buy it at a more than democratic price. It’s the least we can say.
    But can assure you one thing: tomorrow after my morning coffee, I’ll rush on Kontakt and I will try Drifter, The ultimate pad synthesiser!
    Do the same if you can. I am absolutely convinced that these sounds of the 80s, will soon return to the top of the music scene.
    Thanks a lot guys.

  8. Craig (verified owner)

    This is the ultimate machine! Never have I heard such rich mixtures of the past, present, and future. You guys have thought of everything. Congratulations!

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