Ready for some poppy, retro Cocteau Twins feeling in your Mac or Windows plug-in collection? The aptly-named “Vintage Drum Elements” does the job for free.

The sound source for the plug-in drum machine is the classic Yamaha RX5, with its distinctive, synthetic sound sets. And while this is advertised for your synthpop and chillwave 80s fans, you get a range of cutting timbres you could easily apply to something else – not just Depeche Mode throwbacks.

There’s also more than one kit. Four basic drum selections are included, including a harsher “synthetic” option and and “ethnic” variant, plus some really silly effects for when you’re blowing off steam in the studio. But you also get some decent ready-to-play Yamaha DX synths – bass, clavecin, marimba, and orchestra.

Now, sure, this could just be a sample library. But I actually love having the odd instrument like this around for some focused inspiration. And there are some nice paired effects. Vinyl might be a bit much, but it’s there, but the cavernous digital reverb is a good touch. Tremolo, sub-oscillator, and a “Punch” compression knobs round out the set.

It fits together into the whole 80s-retro package; have a listen to the demo song for some proof:

All in all, it’s a fun play, and a good song starter if you need a break this week. And there’s a nice demo song, too. Interestingly, the author has chosen to offer this up on Bandcamp – with donation or free with mailing list signup. That might not be Bandcamp’s primary purpose, but it works well enough.

Have a go, and let us know if you make something fun:

Single Cycle Audio @ Bandcamp

For more free goodness, if this isn’t quite retro enough for you, check out the hissing tape samples coming out of the same author’s recreation of the Thales Model I, one of the first computers to make music. (There’s also a set of free samples; the full instrument is US$12.75.)