You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a drum machine. This guide is for you, whether you already know what you want or need some assistance getting started.
A drum machine is one of the most in-demand electronic musical instruments for making percussion sounds, drum beats, and patterns. Whether you are a professional, beginner, or a music enthusiast, a drum machine is an excellent tool to recreate drum kits or percussion sounds that you can store, modify, and replay for future use. You can create rhythms, beats, and even whole soundtracks just by tapping the drum machine’s pads or twisting its knobs. Some of them also come with pre-programmed beats and patterns for popular genres and styles, such as pop music, rock music, and dance music.
We’ve compiled a list of the greatest drum machines for various budgets and performers below. And not to worry, we’ve also included some basic knowledges about drum machine to help you figure out which instrument is right for you.
Roland AIRA Rhythm Performer (TR-8S)
Born of the most famous and influential drum machines ever made, the TR-8S combines the best of its Roland heritage with modern production techniques and professional sound design. The result? A forward-thinking, performance-tuned instrument unlike any other. Build your dream kit from the most iconic drum sounds of all time, plus the finest selection of samples from our vast library—or import your own custom samples. Tap, tune, and tweak with hands-on controls and production tools that make your patterns move and groove.
The TR-8S has every sound from the most sought-after TR drum machines, with detailed circuit-models of the 808, 606, 909, 707, 727, and even several modified versions. Keep things fresh and exciting, even during extended live sets. The TR-8S can store 128 patterns-each with eight variations and three kinds of fills-and patterns or variations can be triggered individually or chained together for evolving sequences. In performance situations, you can copy patterns on the fly and even stay ahead of the beat and work on patterns that aren’t currently playing.
Behringer Classic Analog Drum Machine
The RD-8 is a tribute to the most influential drum machine ever built. The RD-8 features all the same 12 tracks and 16 drums sounds as the original with the familiar layout, tuning, and level knobs. But Behringer has added a few features that bring it up to date. There’s a completely variable swing, flam per note and per voice, some randomization factors, and a dedicated tuning knob for the kick drum so you can use it as a bass line over MIDI. Of course, MIDI and USB-MIDI are implemented throughout. The sequencing workflow has been improved and simplified in line with how step sequencing has evolved and now programming 808 beats is now easier than ever.
The RHYTHM DESIGNER RD-8 provides all the tools you need to become a master beat-maker, including: 16 drum sounds; a 64-step sequencer; Wave Designer and dual-mode filter – for a full-fledged drum machine that’ll shake the house! Whether you’re new to drum programming or a seasoned pro looking to upgrade your setup, the RD-8 has everything you need to step up to the big time.
Elektron Digitakt DDS-8 8-Voice Drum Computer and Sampler
8-voice Drum Machine, Sampler and Groove Sequencer, with 8 Audio Tracks, 8 MIDI Tracks, 64MB Sample Memory, and 1GB+ Onboard Storage. Digitakt provides a compact drum machine solution for a computer based rig. It makes beat making a tactile and rewarding experience. It can also double as a sound card, making it perfect for the nimble studio. Elektron Transfer makes it easy to move samples from your computer to your Digitakt , and vice versa.
Digitakt comes pre-loaded with heaps of great electronic and acoustic sounds. Drums, percussion, synths, and FX are all part of the sound palette. The sample collection allows you to start creating, experimenting and producing right away. Also included is an assortment of absolutely stellar acoustic drum kit samples, meticulously sampled by the renowned drum sample company That Sound.
Akai Professional MPC One
From rich melodics and hard-hitting drums to the most infectious grooves, if you expect to get real professional production results you need next-generation tools that act as a natural extension of your creativity. Enter the MPC One, a Music Production Center engineered to enrich your workflow and create the ultimate standalone music production experience. rom the bedroom beat maker to the studio music producer – MPC One features the same power as the MPC X, skillfully combined into a compact standalone desktop unit that easily handles the most demanding tasks. Edit and chop samples with hand gestures on the bright 7” touch screen color display. Express your ideas effortlessly and directly with the dedicated knobs and touch keys that eliminate cumbersome drop-down menus.
The MPC One is ready to work with your current music studio equipment and will grow with you as your needs expand. Connect your USB MIDI keyboard controller (like the MPK Mini MKII) or line-level ¼-inch instruments. Control your MIDI devices (including synthesizers and drum machines) and your CV/Gate modules & racks. And there’s no need to worry about interconnectivity, since MPC One is ready to work right alongside professional music production gear.
KORG Volca Drum Machine
Korg has been making these little Volca machines for a few years now and each one has been a little box of genius. They’ve made percussion-orientated ones before with the Volca Kick and the Volca Beats but the latest member of the Volca club takes it into a digital direction with some wild and distinctive sounds.Volca Drum has a 6-part DSP synth engine that can generate a wide range of unexpected sounds. Starting with a simple trigger waveform it can be folded, overdriven, overtoned and distorted in all sorts of ways before running through a waveguide resonator effect to bring the sound to life. Whatever happens, it won’t be quite what you expect.
Along with plenty of knobs to play with, there’s a 16-step sequencer with parameter recording per step in either step or real-time. Up to 16 sequences can be chained, giving you 256 steps. You can play rolls by slicing, replace active steps, add accents and set choke priority. And there are two randomization functions to mess it all about.
Moog DFAM Semi-Modular Analog Percussion Synthesizer
DFAM is the first addition to the Mother-32 family of synthesizers and presents an expressive hands-on approach to percussive pattern creation. It requires no patching, and absolutely no experience is needed for human-beings of any age to quickly begin synthesizing new and unique rhythmic compositions.
Activated by an easy-to-use analog sequencer, DFAM’s emotive sound begins with a white noise generator and two wide-range analog oscillators – effortlessly transitioning between rhythmic pulsations, resounding bass and resonant bells in an instant. DFAM’s distinctive voice is then shaped by a classic Moog Ladder filter with two selectable modes: Low Pass mode imparts impact and dimension to each sound it touches, while High Pass mode opens the door to naturally expressive strikes, spikes and clangorous accentuations.
Native Instruments Maschine Mikro Mk3 Drum Controller
Maschine Mikro gives you everything you need to get creating music, and it also works as plug-in in Ableton Live, Logic Pro, Cubase, FL Studio, or any other compatible Daw as a VST or Audio Unit. Use it to build up loops, then work with them in your Daw to quickly flesh out tracks, making it a powerful addition to your setup, however you make music.
The dual-touch Smart Strip gives you ways to play with sounds. Slide your fingers to strum or bend sounds, and get creative with Perform FX. Automate any parameter, use Lock to try out ideas, and hit note repeat to create rapid fire drum rolls and arpeggios. Easily switch between different playing modes with dedicated buttons. Drum, play like a keyboard, or step-sequence without interrupting your flow. Sample, swing, change the tune/pitch of sounds, and adjust volume’ get quick access with dedicated buttons. Play, record, and stop, with dedicated buttons. Use Shift for quick access to deeper features.
AKAI Professional MPD218
Akai Professional’s MPD218 is a MIDI-over-USB pad controller perfect for producers, programmers, musicians and DJs alike. Its intuitive blend of MPC controls and technologies mesh with seamless USB connectivity to bring the feel of classic beat making into the world of computer music production. At the heart of MPD218 are 16 ultra-sensitive, hyper-playable. Thick Fat MPC pads, ideal for triggering drums, one-shots, melodic samples, basslines and more; with 3 pad banks available and a pressure- and velocity-sensitive specification, expand MPD218’s performance capability to 48 fully-assignable, ultra-reactive triggers that capture every subtlety and nuance of your performance.
Incorporating the finest parts of the legendary MPC workflow, MPC Beats features all the essential tools for pro production. Edit samples, mixdown your tracks, find any sound with the synth engines found on the legendary MPCs, record audio and much more. MPC Beats will host your AU/VST plugins so as you expand your arsenal, know you’ll have complete compatibility with industry standard virtual studio technology.
Alesis SR-16 | Studio-Grade Standalone Drum Machine
The Drum Machine That Started A Music Revolution A true studio icon. As one of the most popular drum machines ever made, the SR-16™ has been used by everyone from songwriters to live performers to remix engineers as their drum machine of choice. Fusing 233 professional sounds, on-board digital effects for added realism, stock & user customisable patterns, complete MIDI support, performance driven connectivity options, Alesis’ exclusive Dynamic Articulation and a compact, studio-friendly footprint, SR-16 can be heard on countless records, praised for its natural realistic sound and true versatility.
Taking your production to the next level of professionalism just got a whole lot easier with SR-16 – change up your workflow and redefine your expectations of a professional drum machine, your production demands it. In-Demand Sound SR-16 features a pro selection of 233 realistic, natural drum sounds, offered both in dry form and sampled with our incomparable digital reverbs. Realistic Performances Guaranteed Our exclusive Dynamic Articulation™ feature enables SR-16’s drum sound to change its tonal content as it’s played harder for truly realistic performances. Patterns for Days!
Korg Drum Machine (ELECTRIBE2BL)
The new Korg electribe is a powerhouse of sound, functionality, and hands-on features geared towards the creation of all types of EDM. Compact, robust, and laid out with seamless workflow in mind, electribe puts the power of production in everyone’s hands. A whopping 16 parts are available per pattern, and users can choose from an expansive collection of analog models or ready-made PCM waveforms in any combination, and all can be customized with tremendous ease.
Create either in real-time or step-by-step, add dedicated effects per part, finish off your production with master effects, record filter tweaks and other gestures, add instant phrases or arpeggios via the on-board touch pad; and on and on. One of the most exciting features of the new electribe is its relationship with the incredible Ableton Live DAW software. electribe can export each part within a pattern to a dedicated .wav file, and generates an Ableton Live Set (.als) file that puts your pattern directly into Abelton Live; completely laid-out, track-by-track, and ready to serve as the basis for additional music creation!