The Simmons CLapTrap, 80s Clap Machine

Simmons Digital Claptrap

Authentic and repeatable ensemble handclaps, never sound the same twice

The first Claptrap was analog and it was a Musicaid device, built approximately 1979/80, likely assembled by Dave Simmons himself, followed by the analog Simmons Claptrap (technically the same as the Musicaid but with a humanizer function and a slightly different case) and completed in 1984 by the digital version: the Simmons Digital Claptrap, one of Simmons most important bread and butter products.

Wolfgang's blog - Simmonsmuseum

The Clap Trap has been designed to produce authentic and repeatable ensemble handclaps at your command - it can produce other sounds such as percussive crashes and bursts of noise to give a long decay to snare drums.

The instrument assembles its characteristic sound by controllably blending a digital recording of people clapping, stored in memory, with a general background crash of white noise. The recording is approximately 1.5 seconds long, however both the clap and noise components of the sound have individual controls governing pitch and decay time. A switchable "humanizer" allows a different part of the digital recording to be outputted each time the unit is triggered, giving a random, human feel.

Digital Clap Trap flyer 1984

The digital part is played using the variable sample rate technology, a variable clock is actually used to change the pitch. This vintage technology produces additional harmonic content and contribute to the sound character we all love.

The analog part is a pitched noise, produced by filtering the noise source.

This is a one on one recreation of the mighty Simmons Digital ClapTrap from the 80s in plug-in form. Thanks to reverse engineering my hardware unit, the digital source is bit accurate, the random technique (HUMANIZER) is perfectly replicated and the virtual analog parts are modeled as closed as possible, in addition I did some modifications like true stereo capabilities, extended ranges, fine tuning and CV/MIDI response options.

True Stereo is done by running internaly two ClapTrap units at the same time with offsets to EPROM Clocks and Filter CVs, the offset amount is controlled by the WIDTH knob.

The ClapTrap plug-In comes as a free bonus with any VSDSX 2.0 plugin License

Simmons Claptrap VST plugin

Read the Stereo CLAPTRAP Manual

Master the CLAPTRAP extended bonus plugin!


CLAPTRAP Plug-In User Manual

Get It !

The ClapTrap Plugin-In is not distributed as a standalone, it comes free with any VSDSX 2.0 License and will only work on a VSDSX 2.0 authorized computer.

CLAPTRAP comes with both Windows & Mac Installers and Manual