As a producer or engineer, it’s important to not only use good sounds but sounds that you can rely on time and time again. You could be producing trap music or pop music, it doesn’t really matter, you just need something that is reliable and repeatable.
With these 3 drum machines, you can’t go wrong. You will be making music consistently for a long time to come, no doubt about that. Let’s get into it.
1. Akai MPC 2000
The Akai MPC 2000 is a favorite sampler that has been used in music for many years and is now often referred to as an important piece of electronic equipment for the development of genres such as Hip-hop and Dance music. The Akai MPC 2000 was originally designed by Roger Linn and was developed by Akai, which is a Japanese company who took on the device in 1988. The machine was originally conceived as a drum machine, and the square pads were created by Roger Linn.
The most important aspect of theAkai MPC 2000 was that it could be used as a sampler, and this means that you could sample sounds from other devices and store them within the machine and then play them back. You could also affect the sounds and tweak them in certain ways by adjusting the pitch so that sounds fit together when you played them. This meant that you could take a section from a record and chop it up into individual pieces and then replay it using the drum pads in the new sequence. Since the Akai MPC 2000 was released, Akai has now developed a whole range of MPC products that were based on the original device, and these have all also been incredibly popular.
The Roland TR 909 is, simply put, the king of all Roland drum machines. You’ll never hear anyone call it a bargain though you’ll never hear anyone complain of limitations while using the machine. It’s a premium Roland product; that’s for sure. If you love everything other Roland products have to offer and have some serious cash to put down on your next drum machine, the Roland TR 909 might very well be the drum machine for you. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
What’s So Great About the 909?
- Users can Customize Their Drum Tones – The programming capabilities of the Roland TR 909 are amazing when it comes to drum tones. I think this is a pretty important aspect for both intermediate and advanced users. The snap, the attack, the accent, you name it; everything about every drum tone can be easily tweaked to user preference. When only looking at drum tone customization, the Roland TR 909 reigns over all other drum machines every time.
- It has Great Sound Quality – Even before undertaking any major programming steps, the sound quality you’re getting here is just perfect. The drum tones sound very realistic (although, if this does not do you want, you’ll be able to change it) and every tom and cymbal sounds exactly like you’d expect it to.
- Sounds Used on a lot of Modern Songs – The samples from this drum machine have transcended their time and are still being used across a lot of popular songs you hear today. These are the definition of classic samples that will be around for a long time to come. These sounds are also a staple in all trap drum kit libraries for their snappy and bass heavy quality.
Is the Roland TR 909 Right for Me?
If you have the money, certainly. While the crashes mentioned above may be a bit of a burden, as can the unit’s cost, the quality of the Roland TR 909 should more than makeup for it. Producers, performers, and songwriters of all types will see value in this product. While the initial learning curve may be a bit steep, once mastered, you’ll find you can tweak sounds to your liking more than you ever thought you could with a drum machine, making the TR 909 one of the best products of its type.
3. Native Instrument Maschine
This hybrid software/hardware beat machine claims to deliver the best of both worlds. The Native Instruments Machine is an innovative, cutting edge beat-production workstation with built‑in sampling, drum sequencing, and loop slicing. A single DVD makes installation of the library and software a snap. The controller operates via USB. Once installed the stand-alone app can be launched, or the plug-in can be inserted into the DAW of your choice. From this point, virtually every operation can be performed on the hardware. The main pads are a double-display, and a line of eight buttons and knobs make up the main user interface. These have the ability to light up for an even more visible display.
Far from being “just a drum machine”, the NI features a full library of sampled instrument loops, patches, etc., and far more impressive a selection than hardware beatbox equivalents, since each sound features its own effects such as filters, velocity assignments, envelopes, etc. These alternate instrument sounds can be accessed from the pads via a laptop, or from any MIDI keyboard in the studio.
The Native Instrument Maschine most definitely lives up to the hype and features many pleasant surprises not expected in a piece of equipment this humble. Beyond impressive.