Drum machines are steadily making a comeback after several years of absence in mainstream music production. Many composers are slowly moving away from using less reliable digital audio workstations. Drum machines are very versatile and can help composers precisely tweak the beats and grooves of each track. Some of these devices even come with a library of built-in percussion sounds. This article outlines some of the top drum machines currently available in the market.
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Top 10 Best Drum Machines In 2021
10. Korg Volca Beats Analogue Drum Machines
Product Description: Korg’s line up of drum machines has been praised for its remarkable performance and builds quality.
Design and Quality: The synth engine built into this device gives users complete freedom to flex their creativity. You can produce a vast range of synthesized sounds as well as play with a limited number of preset percussion sounds.
- This device lets you add effects automation to the tracks you synthesize. Their latest Volca line up of drum machines have become popular among up-and-coming music composers for its intuitive digital interface and sequencing ability.
9. Elektron Digitakt DDS-8 Drum Machines
Product Description: If you are looking for the best deal in sample-based drum machines, make sure to check out the well-reputed Elektron Digitakt DDS-8.
Design and Quality: On the surface, the drum machine resembles a groove-box. Users can input their innovative samples into the device.
- The Elektron Digitakt DDS-8 has around eight voices for you to sample.
8. Dave Smith Tempest
Product Description: Originating in the 80s, the Tempest is the result of a collaboration between the famous electronic musical instrument designer Dave Smith and Roger Linn.
Design and Quality: It is particularly hailed for its high-performing analog synthesizers that synchronize well with the included oscillators.
- You will be able to add your samples into the drum machine. The effects knobs on the drum machine are very accurate.
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7. Arturia DrumBrute Impact
Product Description: Although Arturio DrumBrute has an affordable price tag, the manufacturer did not skimp on performance and functionality.
Design and Quality: The drum machine has a classic design, reminiscent of the 80s. The base synthesizer offers multiple useful functions and there are a total of 10 adjustable sounds.
- The DrumBrute has 10 physically represented channels that can help you swiftly make changes to your tracks. Its minimalist interface makes it a great choice for novice composers and it is often compared to other known drum machines such as the Roland’s TR series.
6. Roland TR-08 Drum Machines
Product Description: Despite having a digital interface, Roland TR-8 compares well to the well-liked TR-808. It offers nearly all the attributes of its predecessor along with a few additional features such as implementing sub-step beats to your tracks and alternating sound patterns.
Design and Quality: The Roland TR-8 has a vintage style and looks nearly identical to the TR-808.
- The device lets you compress Kick and snare sounds. Options such as Tuning and Decay can also be used on a few select sounds. The drum machine comes with numerous editing options and can produce punchy percussion sounds.
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5. IK Multimedia UNO Drum Machines
Product Description: The IK Multimedia UNO Drum is an excellent sample playback machine that doubles as a well-functioning drum machine. It sports a powerful synth-engine that can imitate six percussion sounds including kick, snare, clap, and hi-hat. Users have applauded this device for its warm and detailed tunes.
Design and Quality: The outer case of the UNO drum is entirely made from plastic. Even though this design choice makes the drum machine exceptionally light, it is prone to scratches and can deteriorate with prolonged use.
- The drum machine comes with a versatile sequencer with roughly 100 pattern-memory embedded into it.
4. Novation Circuit
Product Description: Novation Circuit has built a remarkable reputation for offering a multitude of functions that aren’t commonly found in other drum machines.
Design and Quality: Novation Circuit only provided users preloaded percussion sounds when it first launched. However, this soon changed after the company started expanding the drum machine’s capabilities through its Components app.
- The sampling ability of this device is impressive and easy to catch on. Not only does this instrument excel as a detailed sequencer, but it also comes with two six-note synthesizers and a four-part sampler.
3. Alesis SR-18 Drum Machines
Product Description: Even though Alesis SR-18 launched decades ago, it is still believed to be the gold standard of analog drum machines. Other than its beautiful vintage design, the SR-18 has custom pads for producing unique percussion sounds.
Design and Quality: In contrast to several other drum machines, the Alesis SR-18 can run on batteries. Because of this, it can be used remotely.
- It comes with a built-in Equalizer configuration. The drum machine can recreate the sounds of full-range drum sets, electronic drums as well as a plethora of effects.
2. Akai MPC Touch
Product Description: The Akai MPC Touch stands out because of its mix of digital and analog features and is widely considered to be one of the best drum machines out there. It combines state-of-the-art technology to conduct a variety of functions useful to music composers.
Design and Quality: Unlike any of the standard drum machines, the MPC touch has its chipset and a large touch screen for tweaking the built-in step sequencer.
- The device comes with a backlit MPC pad. Furthermore, you will be able to configure the RPM, change velocity, and so on.
1. Boss DR-880
Product Description: Boss is one of the well-known brands making a wide selection of quality musical equipment. Their DR-880 drum machine has been praised by professionals for its unparalleled performance and dependability.
Design and Quality: The DR-880 brings back the old-school look of analog drum machines, and only adds a handful of new functions. The presets waveforms, percussion, and bass sounds feel quite natural. The device also gives enough freedom in terms of programming your samples.
- The drum machine has an LCD for displaying all important parameters.
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This article covers the most well-recognized drum machines available in different price ranges. Try to purchase the drum machine that fits your budget and does not skimp on delivering optimal performance.