What drum machines are ppl using and why?

Im thinking I should buy a new drumcomputer and Im not really sure what to get.

I now have the “arturia drumbrute” & the “volka drum”.

the volka is great cause you can synthesize all the sounds, and animate pretty much all parametres in an easy real time kind of way, and the interaction is pretty nice but the format is a bit small and annoying and the machine often crashes, and it only has 16 steps.

the beatstep is fantastically designed in its interface and format, and I iove playing on it, but it i a bit simplistic and doesnt sound very good.

I borrowed a tanzbär from my friend which sounded really good but had a crappy interface, so I dont know if that is a very good option.

any inputs are welcome!

also does anybody use the “drummer from another mother”? I would be curios to hear how they experience it.

I have an Elektron Digitakt and an Akai Force.
The Force is much more than just a drum machine, the Digitakt is a drum computer/sampler. Sounds great and the workflow is really nice, no song mode (but pattern chains) .
I think a drum sampler would work great with your setup, you have some sound sources, now a sampler/sequencer can pull it all together…

Akai MPC One might be worth considering too…

I’ve owned a fair few drum machines so I’ll give you the low down on some of my favorites.

Roland TR8S: has all the classic Roland drum sounds and you can control certain aspects of their sounds like on the original machines. It also allows samples so you can roll your own sounds as well. The sequencer and interface were all pretty easy to use for me. I’d recommend this only if you really want those classic sounds.

Elektron Machinedrum: Possibly one of my favorites ever but as it is no longer made or supported I don’t necessarily recommend it. The first version only also you to design sounds with the “machines” or drum voices Elektron designed. There is the UW version which allows samples.

You’ve got a DrumBrute so I’ll skip that. I’m sure you are like me in that while you enjoy it, the sound pallette somewhat limited.

Elektron Model:Samples: there are no “voices” you have to load your own drum sounds. The interface is very easy. There isn’t much menu diving, the controls are all right in front of you (or accessed with Function button). It holds a crap ton of samples, gives you pretty good control over six sample voices. You can sequence other gear via MIDI with it. Finally, it has the classic Elektron sequencer. They are currently selling them for $300 (USD) and I think its an absolute steal. The form factor is nice as well, its only about 10.5 inches long.

I haven’t owned an Elektron Digitakt but virtually everybody swears by them. It is the big brother, so to speak, of the Model: Samples. It is strictly a sampler but if you are just using it for drums I don’t think you’ll need another drum machine (though you might want one lol). The learning curve could be steep? If you look at reviews a lot of people don’t like the Elektron workflow. I’ve always found Elektrons very easy to use though. And once you know one of them you pretty much can hop on any other Elektron and know your way around. If a Digitakt magically showed up at my door today I’d be making music on it in a matter of minutes no problem.

I’d strongly recommend against the DFAM. It is a single voice w an 8 Step sequencer. It would be good paired with another machine that can sequence it or a modular setup. To me it is a lot of money for one programmable drum voice. I"m sure it sounds lovely as it is Moog but it feels like a cherry you add to the top of a larger setup to me.

I agree with Auto that a sampler would be your best bet since you’ve got some cool sound sources already.

I can’t speak to MPCs, not owned one.

I also have a Force, and while there are a lot of things I don’t like about the whole package, the drum sampling/sequencing on it is fantastic. I’d absolutely consider a cheaper MPC because the sampling and sample sequencing and playback sets the bar for all samplers as far as I’m concerned.

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I use a Drumbrute. Cool analog sounds, has a nice basis for building a rhythm. Love how it looks too. Doesn’t feel like a toy. Use it along with my Moog Mother, it’s a nice pair.

I have an Elektron Model:Cycles which I use for FM sounds. Really great at what it does, except from the snares. I ususally double it up with an Elektron Digitakt loaded with samples I’ve made other ways

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Thanks so much for the input guys!
especially @relic for the comprehensive laydown!

I will definitely look into the Digitakt and Model: samples.

Does anyone have experience of both these machines?
I understand that the digitact can do more things, but as I pretty much only want to use it as a drum machine, is it worth the €700 compared to the model:samples that goes for €300? if so, what makes it worth it?
(I make melody and so on other machines like minilogue/microfreak)

The digitakt will also sequence another 8 tracks of midi and stream all 8 tracks of its audio to your DAW plus whatever is coming through the inputs. It’s basically a mini studio centerpiece. Just get one, pretty easy to use as well.

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Take an look at Elektronauts.com. Im sure there is more than one Digitakt vs. Samples thread. I only suggest this because I’m not sure anyone here has owned both.

Basically w the Digitakt you are getting more of everything.

Also RFJ’s addendum mentions some very cool features.

The new electribe sampler might be up your alley but Id read about it first. It has some limitations/bugs that might be a deal breaker. Bit if you are literally just sequencing dry one shot drums it could be OK.

I love the classic electribes. The new sampler Ive owned twice and never quite got on w it.

I kind of use everything for drums to be honest. Of the main gear I use on a regular basis - the Octatrack, Machinedrum UW, Digitone, Analog Four, and Nord Modular, at one point or another they’ve all taken the lead on drums.

The Octatrack mostly spits out what you put in, but there are so many modulation and effect possibilities, and for drum “textures” it’s my favorite, especially as a live resampler.

I recently got the Machinedrum, it was my mid-life crisis Farrari, basically. I wanted it for a long, long time, and to be honest at first I wasn’t so impressed. After a while though, I really got into it and enjoy the wide variety of sounds and modulation possibilities. I don’t know if it’s the best, or even my favorite, but it’s definitely the right out-and-out drum machine for me.

The Nord Modular can be anything, and I enjoy doing a lot of weird PM and FM percussion sounds, and lately have been pairing its internal sequencers and modulation with the Octatrack for some interesting stuff.

Honestly though, I really like both the Analog Four and especially the Digitone for drums. It takes a while to program the sounds, but you can get such a wide variety of sounds from both of these synths, and with the Soundlocks, even with just 4 tracks each, you can make a lot of complex sounds. The DN especially has been one of my go-to’s for drums lately.

If you’re on a budget, I honestly would take a look at the Analog Four or Analog RYTM mk1’s, since they can be found for around $600 in some cases, and are a steal for what they do, and the Digitone may be had for even less. You won’t get some of the bells and whistles like accent or retriggers, but it does sound great.

Great inputs guys!
provided me with some directions to investigate further.

I would have liked to have a place to just go try all of these things, but in the city I live in we don’t have such options, maybe I’ll investigate if there are any such things around, like festivals or events or something, but that is question for another thread I guess.

Not being able to see and use the gear you’re going to buy is tough. Best recommendation is to look on YouTube, Instagram, and check if there are tutorial videos by groups like MacProVideo and others. You can also see if there are forums for that particular product or brand (for instance Elektron’s Elektronauts forum is great), and as a last resort, see if someone here has what you’re interested in and willing to answer questions. If it’s anything I have I’d be down.


I’d say most of us can’t try out gear first. After you’ve owned a few drum machines/samplers you’ll get a feel from demo videos for what is and isn’t for you. I’ve been using music related hardware for a while and at this point I kinda know from watching/reading what is for me and isn’t.

Buy from a place with a reasonable return policy and put in some serious hours while you can still return an item if you are concerned.

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I primarily use a Pioneer DJ Toraiz SP-16 and Roland TR-8S. I keep both drum machines setup in my studio. Due to heavy use of MPCs in the past, I tend to prefer samples for drum sounds, as I have a very large collection gathered over the years.

I initially purchased the TR-8S with the intention of supplementing drum samples with Roland’s Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) sounds. However, the sample management is very poor on the TR-8S, which led to the inclusion of the SP-16. The combination of the two drum machines works great. However, if Roland improves the TR-8S’ sample management, as they did with the MC-707, I would more than likely sell the SP-16.

In addition to the SP-16 and TR-8S, I also own an Arturia DrumBrute, Elektron Model:Cycles and Elektron Model:Samples.

yea sure, its just how it is I guess.
threads like this are very useful though for ppl like me who are new in the thing and not sitting on tons of cash :slight_smile:
so thanks for that!

@txh003, fair enough. I have been a bit reluctant to sample machines as I thought them to not allow as much spontanious action, but I the ppl in this thread managed to convince me that this is what I should get.
I guess also the plus of sample machines is that once you have established the sample bank you have a lot of freedom playing with it as you know everything in it.
I decided for the digitakt in the end, so Ill grab that in the end of the month.

Sounds like you may have already made a decision, but my two cents.

I would recommend a used Maschine MkII on the caveat that it is not a Mikro, those two screens on the larger models really help you keep your eyes off the screen and more on the sounds. Additionally, from my experience I did not enjoy hosting the Maschine software in another DAW and used it standalone instead. You can do everything with the Mikro still, but the one screen does feel cramped at times, as well as some controls being on a shift key. I have not used the MkIII series to have a good opinion on them. I do like its sample editing workflow, as it is not hard at all to work through chopping and editing. You are bound to the computer though since it host’s Maschine’s software. Overall I enjoy it as my current “DAW” but if I could go back, I would get the standard MkII model, not the Mikro. I believe MKIIs are less than half the price they used to be on the used market now, so they are a bit of a bargain currently I think.

See that’s a bit of the consensus I have seen so far with it. I am wondering if you get it below market how does that change the opinion? I have seen Drumbrutes and impact versions going pretty low on used markets. Seems like a cool budget-friendly pickup getting it.

@othernode do you prefer the Volka drum with its problems over your Drumbrute?

How is maschine for importing drum loops from a daw and chopping them and re sequencing them?
I have a komplete keyboard and am wondering if I should just get maschine since I already am neck deep in NI stuff as is. I just need to know that it’s as good at sampling as an mpc.

Picking up one of these tomorrow. The 96 is discontinued, so got a for a steal. Mainly to jam on and build up stuff to play along with. They do a 48 that doesn’t have the same features, but I does have midi din out and usb compared to the 96’s usb only.
Will let you know how it goes. The 48 has been done with live performance in mind, but I think this will be more than capable.

Well, I have a bit of mixed feelings for the drumbrute.
The interface is awesome as everything is just there infront of you.
And its really fun to play on.
(Especially the roller/record thing is very nice)
So in some ways I really like it.
But its quite limited in its spectra, and it doesnt sound great.
You can make it sound pretty good with some filters and so of course, but I’m generally trying to stay away from the DAW when Im playing as I find it brakes the flow.

The volca is kind of the opposite.
it sounds great and you have a lot of freedom as all the sounds are synthesized, and you have a bunch of animatable parametres, and the sequences is also nice in how it works.
but then its also super small and buggy an have no dedicated knobs/buttons, so its not ideal…

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