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Best Drum Machines Reviews 2019

Best Drum Machines Reviews

If you are one of them who has to purchase a drum machine then you also might be having questions like, which is the best drum machine for you to buy?

It’s absolutely natural to develop confusions and question as there numerous models out there in the market, that selecting one out of them is a tedious task.

To lighten up your burden, we have curated this list with the aim of sorting the best for you.

Here there are 10 best drum machines described in detail along with its features and the major points that you need to consider before making the final purchase. 

Best Drum Machines Under $300


ALESIS SR18 - multi sampled electronic drum machine

Alesis SR-18 - Studio-Grade Standalone Drum Machine Under $300

This drum machine has been designed by Alesis keeping in view the demands of the next generation sound wizards.

The foundation of the SR18 HD multi-sampled electronic drum machine is the success of the SR16.

But as usual advanced model always has that extra tint and so does the SR18 as it presents before you more of drum sounds, extended composing, editing and performance capacity.

The drum machine is a pack of about 500 drum sounds, that also includes the modern percussion and electronic sounds.

It offers 50 bass sounds too, for you to have the best experience.

There are no boundaries to your creativity other than the ones you create for yourself as there are about 200 patterns available in which there are 100 reset and 100 user patterns.

The other options available with SR 18 Drum Machine is that one can manage the drums bass sounds generated via the keyboard by hooking it to the MIDI keyboard and even sync them to your system for the time of other devices and samplers are adjusted in accordance to it.

Due to these features, one has access over entire control features of the drum machine.

Next, it even supports diversified connections like your guitar can be plugged in or other instruments into the input to match the beats.

To assist you in carving the sound in accordance to your desires, there is the effects engine, that comprises of effects like compression, reverb plus EQ.

The Alesis SR18 high-definition drum machine awaits you eagerly and has lots in store for you.

Reasons To Buy

  • Total number of patterns are 200 wherein 100 are for user and 100 for preset.
  • Around 500 drum sounds that includes electronic, and percussion as well.
  • There are around 50 bass synth sounds.
  • Multiple connectivity options.
  • User-friendly.

Reasons To Avoid

  • Lack of USB port.

Korg Volca Beats Analog Rhythm Machine

Korg, 16-Key Synthesizer

Do you ever wish if your beats could always be by your side, be it anywhere? You must have given it a thought for once.

The Korg Volca beats machine is your solution as it came into existence to serve the purpose of mobility and energetic performances.

Coming to the facts, the machine delivers standard sounds comprising of 10 drum parts further bifurcated into 4 for analog and similarly 6 parts are PCM based.

Its greatly instinctual controls, assist well in editing as well as adapting loops and the outcomes are really fantastic.

16-step sequencer simply raises the bar of your creativity and you can store the beats in any of the 8 present memory spaces.

Korg Volca Beats offers the option of either creating and playing beats on real time basis or to enter and monitor the notes’ worthiness in the measure.

Keeping in view the features present in the particular machine, designing your dream drum sound is now an easier task.

There are variety of connectivity options for you. Other instruments such as the Korg Mono tribe and ones from Volca range can be synced to it via its Sync In and Sync Out functions.

The design of the drum machine is compact and handy for you to carry it without much efforts to wherever you go.

Its in-built speakers facilitate hearing of your creation even in the absence of headphones.

The battery power makes it apt for mobile compatibility. 

Reasons To Buy

  • 8 banks for storage and sequencer comprising 16 steps.
  • Syncing and controlling with the DAW is possible.
  • In-built speakers to comfortably listen your creation.
  • Battery power is provided.

Reasons To Avoid

  • Lack of power supply.
  • Snare quality is an issue with many of the users.

Drum Machines Under $500


Arturia DrumBrute Analog Drum Machine

Arturia DrumBrute Analog Drum Machine Under $500

For the ones who cherish and desire the analog sound, the particular drum machine presented by Arturia is a bliss for them.

The production of the Drum Brute analog drum machine was done by Arturia with respect to the classical molds, which was further carried to the next level by structuring the classic design, and implementing modern improvisations thus making the drum machine a major attraction of the musical world.

The next question is that is it actually that good or worthy?

The answer to this can be derived after reviewing all the features that it has got to offer, starting from the 17 analog percussion and drum instruments.

This offer is just like a flash deal. The audio specifications of the drum machine are commendable due to the low noise floor. Arturia claims to offer organic, intrinsic sound creation.

Let’s try to understand this feature at a slow pace by fragmenting it into steps.

With its congenital sequencer, you can easily make innovative and exhilarating beats.

With the aid of its in-depth editing features, you have the option to fabricate either an entirely new beat right from the beginning or construct a fresh beat by maintaining the existing beat as the foundation.

This drum machine is absolutely user-friendly.

If you are a performer then this drum machine has in store endless options for you.

The stunning 64 step plus 64 pattern progression are majestic.

The performance controls are truly impactful and coherent.

The weightage and importance of the control functions of the drum machine in making a live performance, a success or failure is best known to a solo performer.

Lastly, the Arturia Drum Brute analog drum machine hands over to you the classic analog drum sounds. Further, it also provides you the means to try these sounds with, and to bring into reality any style or pattern that you can imagine of. 

Reasons To Buy

  • 17 different drum instruments.
  • 64 step- sequencer along with the song mode making creation of entire song sequences enjoyable and easy.
  • Numerous connectivity ideas.
  • You are at liberty to chain up to 16 patterns to generate a song.
  • Facilitates easy operation.

Reasons To Avoid

  • Not so realistic feel.

Mikro MK2 Groove Production Studio

Native Instruments Maschine Mikro MK2

If you are a novice and making your baby steps in the drum machine world then this model from Native Instruments shall give you a kick start with the machine Mikro being compact and affordable version from the Native Instruments.

It should not be mistaken to be a inferior version.

The version is fully loaded with software functions adding the entire content of the maschine.

So, the point of difference lies in the fact that it has miniature body that is easy to fit.

The instrument’s complete version of software synth is also added which comprises of numerous amazing sounds.

Due to the size comfortability, Mikro MK 2 Drum Machine user has full control over each and every operation of its right from sequencing to editing and giving the final touch to your creation.

The Maschine software can also be loaded into DAW in the form of a plugin, creating lots of opportunities.

It can be used even as a controller for the transport functions of the DAW.

MK 2 offers an effortless collaboration of the hardware and software.

Even the new users will be absolutely comfortable and creative in generating amazing beats in a knack of time with the aid of its superior quality sounds and easy control interface.

Reasons To Buy

  • Entire content of complete version is available.
  • 24 executive types of effects.
  • Interface and control operations are instinctive.
  • Offers the best of features and satisfaction at this price point.

Reasons To Avoid

  • Won’t be able to serve the function of a sampler.
  • The installation and setup consume lots of time.

Korg ELECTRIBE

Korg ELECTRIBE

If you wish to create and perform electronic music from whichever genre, the Korg is the ideal partner you might be looking for.

It was brought into existence to serve the purpose of methodical work progression, since the multiple functions are accessible without any interruption to the production process.

Coming to the features, Korg Electribes 16-conjoined LED pads sensitive to velocity adds all the charm to the process of creating beats.

Its entirely up to you whether you wish to create the beats one step at a time or while playing in real-time basis.

Electribe offers a wide selection of sound alternatives and their alteration as per need has been made easier than before, and speedy, with all credits going to the well managed controls.

Once done with the creation, there are various awesome effects present onboard which you may add to enrich your beats.

Yet more to discover, the drum machine can store around 250 patterns and the patterns can also be imported, and it widens the prospects through tools to ease music creation and even adds the fun element to it. 

Reasons To Buy

  • Import of samples is possible.
  • Inclusion of sounds and demos give a quick start.
  • Real-time knob adjustments can be made.

Reasons To Avoid

  • The pattern you are using maybe lost midway.
  • The quality of manual could have been better.

Drum Machines Under $1000


Akai professional MPC touch

Akai Professional MPC Touch Drum Machine Under $1000

Akai launches this music station which is a pleasure to the eyes as well as coherent in usage.

If you have any such wish that your instrument should be the center of attraction, then the Akai professional MPC touch, is the perfect choice for you because of display lights and a display screen of 7-iches.

It actually looks awesome as its beauty is enhanced by the 16 RGB lights pads sensitive to velocity and its 7-inch display with color is an add on to its beauty.

It is a blend of effortless workflow and the modern tint to the traditional MPC machines to generate an amazing effect.

Akai MPC touch functions via your computer’s power and its MPC software.

It can produce beyond 20,000 quality-level sounds, by making use and combining features such as the 809, the Bank, the Vault, EDM and Future house, Essential instruments, AIR instruments and MPC essentials.

It’s a win-win deal, as functions like creating, editing or finalization of beats have never been so simplified.

The 7-inch multi-functional touch screen allows you to draw the MIDI events, expansion of waveforms, splitting of samples and much more to do.

The machine functions are absolutely under your control. 

Reasons To Buy

  • More than 20,000 superb quality sounds.
  • Workflow is superfluous and instinctive interface.
  • 16 velocity sensitive pads.
  • Sampling of what you hear is easy.

Reasons To Avoid

  • Can’t serve the purpose of a sole equipment.
  • Issues related to the display controls and settings may arise.

Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm drum machine

Boss DR-880

Also popularly known as Dr. Rhythm, this DR-880 model is felicitated with a doctorate degree in rhythm so its least starts from the highest. To prove the claim as true, next in line we shall discuss its features.

It has in store for you over 440 percussion as well as drum sounds to give you the best of options.

For the ones in praise for rock-bottom grooves, this drum machine also contains 40 bass sounds, with addition of some COSM bass speaker models.

Dr Rhythm DR-880 has 20 pads that are sensitive to velocity eases the process of creating beats.

With 500 patterns for preset purpose and 500 patterns for user purpose, there is always adequate space for pattern accommodation. EZ compose function has further simplified the generation process meanwhile the transferable pedal inputs, adding supplementary presentation recourses.

One can even connect their guitar as well as the bass instantly to the machine and the sound can be curated as per your desire with the help of the COSM speaker models.

For finalization purposes, include any of the effects among EQ, compression and integral sound domination. 

Reasons To Buy

  • Fusion of 440 sounds for drum and percussion and 40 sounds for bass.
  • Instruments like guitar and bass can be rightly connected to the machine.
  • 4-negotiable pedal inputs.
  • Supplements nearly 1000 patterns further divided into 500 for preset and 500 for user.

Reasons To Avoid

  • Loading of own samples is not supported.
  • Editing of files cannot be done live.
  • Pads can seem small for few.

Drum Machines Above $1000


Akai professional MPC renaissance

Akai Professional MPC Renaissance Drum Machine Above $1000

If you are in search of a drum machine with identical working standards matching to the processing power of your computer, then your search ends here itself.

Akai MPC patronizes it and tackles the processing power of your computer for producing superb beat creating capacities.

Being apart from many other drum machines, here we have a software and hardware fusion.

With the support of its user- friendly control settings, you are at liberty to generate your own beats, and none other than the MPC software brings into existence all of these on your system.

The MPC software is compatible with be it either the MAC or PC diminishing all hindrances to your creativity and exploration opportunities available with this drum machine.

It does not end here;

It is beyond simply a drum machine, the vintage mode and audio interface gives you access to the previous MPCs such as the MPC3000, SP1200 RING, MPC60 and few more.

It can be used as your DAW, the choice of using it on your persisting DAW as a VST, RTAS plugin or Au.

There is a sound collection of 9 GB and 128 sequencing tracks, and in addition the 7GBA memory consists of around 300 instruments that almost covers all the sounds that may require for music generation.

As it promises more, there are three best MPC extensions – firstly, 809 delivering awesome analog drums, then the Noise curated for old school songs and lastly the Wub supporting electronic music.

As these functions run via the RAM of your system, so it’s up to your system that how much it can handle.

Reasons To Buy

  • Fusion of hardware and software.
  • Can be substituted for DAW.
  • Utilizes the processing power of the computer.
  • Provides access to the sound collection of around 9GB.

Reasons To Avoid

  • Is only compatible with the computer.
  • The software needs frequent updates.

Dave Smith instruments tempest

Dave Smith Instruments Tempest

The birth of Dave Smith instruments tempest is the brain child of two of the best and greatest instrument designers of the industry, and this drum machine is the outcome of that brainstorming that was much awaited by the music industry.

It was the determination and the burning desire of instrument fashioners Dave Smith and Roger Linn to sculpt an extra ordinary and superb stuff, which lead to the creation of the Tempest.

Let’s have a quick overview of its features and functions.

Blending the parallel expertise of Dave Smith and the digital expertise of Roger Linn, Tempest presents mighty sound generator with an eminently pioneering and staging intended operating system.

Real time recording function is also available with this drum machine and the step programming pads enable you to swap among different beats and record them too.

Its advanced control settings give you the opportunity to make changes and re- structure any sound to your taste and once you are done, all you need to do is to arrange the beats as and when you play and plus can even record the song.

The interesting fact is that there isn’t any need to halt midway which makes it so comfortable to be used during live performances.

This a really elegant and full of creativity drum machine best suited for professionals.

Reasons To Buy

  • Analog as well as digital features are blended well together.
  • The 6 analog sounds present in it make a good substitute for keyboard synth.
  • Large collection of samples is there for you to experiment on.
  • Uninterrupted switching between beats.
  • Has pads that are sensitive to pressure as well as velocity, which facilitates control of the dynamics of the beats.

Reasons To Avoid

  • The price of it is very high.
  • Loading of own samples isn’t there which may be made available with updated models.

Elektron - Machine Drum

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1 UW MKII +

When we talk about sound quality, there are hardly many drum machines that can match the sound quality of the Elektron Machine drum SPS-1 UW MKII+.

The machine was designed particularly for music patrons who considered the sound and feel as the ultimate factor.

Its pattern mode makes creation of patterns easier than before, and here one is able to produce a chain pattern with 64 series, which can be further presented as a perfect song.

Elektron Machine Drum offers easy to access parameters such as muting, velocity accents, swing and slide aids you in shaping the sequences, all of which is accessible through the function button.

This machine is renowned not only for its sound quality but also because of the comfort the user derives from it.

Be it the synthetic or self- sampled sounds, one has the absolute control over all of them.

In order the best of sound and functions from your drum machine, do give a try to the Elektron machine drum SPS-1. 

Reasons To Buy

  • Supple 16-track sequencer.
  • Quick MIDI interface ensuring faster transfer of data.
  • Quite pragmatic sounds.
  • Perfectly designed to suit the stage and studio.

Reasons To Avoid

  • There isn’t any USB port.
  • Headphone output being located at the back is not comfortable to use.

How To Buy Drum Machine - The Definitive Buying Guide


drum machnie buying guide

A huge difference can be created to any live performance or music production at the studio by the presence or absence of a drum machine.

You can spice up your daily musical activities, by creating fun beats.

Whatever may be the reason for purchasing a drum machine, professional or recreational purposes, timely assistance is still required to guide you for making the best possible choice, as there are so many options revolving around you.

As of now, we have already curated the list of 10 best drum machines, out there in the market, here we will instruct you regarding the points to consider and ignore while making the most rational choice.

The task gets simplified when the customer is aware of the features essential for you and the ones that are not.
Few of the must present features are:

Which Drum Machines Are Best Analog or Digital ?

Analog-VS-Digital Drum Machnies

The very first dilemma is that if you require an analog drum or a digital drum machine?

To decide one must know the difference between the two first.

To be concise, analog drum machine puts to use its very own hardware to synthesize the sounds whereas a digital drum machine makes use of the system hardware.

A drum machine offers you more enriched and realistic quality of sound and its flexible to integrate with the system. One who requires classic sound may opt for the analog drum machine.

Does Size Of Drum Machines Matter ?

Though it is not a prime deciding factor, you surely wish to show some concerns towards it.

If portability is your necessity then you will surely be in search of a compact and easy to carry drum machine and if it is required for studio purposes then the criteria can be ignored or be of minimum concern.

Hence it is advisable to make an analysis of the space assigned for it, and then make choice of the size that shall fit in.

Pads

This is the main component of the climax part. While many pads are sensitive to velocity because of which you are able to produce zestful modifications for your beats.

The pad size is a major decider in bringing comfort while using, so ones which are too small shall definitely pose issues. So, you must go for the most convenient ones.

Key components like editing, programming, and functions and control settings

The above functions are the focal point of any drum machine. It is these feature that help in determining that how liberal the creation process is. So, it is best if you choose one with impulsive and facile controls.

Functions of drum machnies

Memory

For any live performer memory provided matters a lot.

For hassle free performances, one should go for a drum machine that supports adequate user patterns and song mode for conjoining these patterns.

Sample uploads

Consider a situation wherein you wish to upload your samples and wait, your drum machine doesn’t support it, isn’t it the worst that can happen in such a situation.

Therefore, this shouldn’t be taken lightly, and always opt for one that supplements sample uploads.

Built-in effects

This is like the garnish to a dish, wherein you garnish your creation with some toppings and spices, and this is possible only when the one you choose has onboard effects.

Stand-alone

While some drum machines are self-sufficient, few of them require the support of a computer and this effects many users.

So, if you are one such, then do give it a check whether your drum machine is a stand-alone one or needs a computer. 

Extra Features

Nowadays, the drum machines promise extra features, and also fulfills it. It may be in the form of double audio interfaces or any other form. Even tough they are not the main features, giving them a second thought while making the purchase is certainly not a bad idea.

My Final Thoughts On Best Drum Machines

My FInal Thoughts WIth All The Drum Equipments and Machnies aI used

Since it’s the ending and we have already have had a glance at the 10 Great Drum Machines and essential points to consider while making your final purchase.

We hope that the above points have guided you well in recognizing your needs and requirements when it comes to choosing a drum machine.

Consequently, this eases the selection process to a great extent.

Now, as we have reviewed the 10 drum machines, only one is the ultimate winner.

After deeply analyzing each factor, in our opinion, we have picked up the top 3 ones, namely the first one being the Arturia Drum Brute Analog Drum Machine, the second one is the Dave Smith instruments tempest and the third one is the AKAI Professional MPC Renaissance.

Here also, the Dave Smith though belonging to the higher price point, does justice and is worthy of the price.

Similar is the case for renaissance from Akai.

This gives us the deduction that keeping in view the price as well as the functionality, the clear winner is Arturia Drum Brute analog drum machine.

And when your budget is tight then Korg VocalBeat might be the best option to consider.


That's all from our end.

Hope this review helped you in making a better decision in choosing your next drum machine.


Till Then,

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