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Hardware Drum Machine? Worht it?

Nov 14 2008 | 5:38 am

Hi – I am considering purchasing a hardware drum machine. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I have a couple cheap midi controllers (25 key M-Audio keyboard, BCF 2000), but have been craving to get my hands on a physical machine, to learn it like an instrument. Plus, I think it would be wicked to sequence the midi information with max, and be able to play it with an actual drum machine rather than within th computer. Or to use max to augment the sequencing capabilities of a drum machine.

My musical tastes are, like probably a lot of these forums users, based around experimental electronic, but particularly chilled, beat driven electronic – favorite artists include Aphex, Autechre, Jetone, Trentemoller, Ezekiel Honig, etc – ambient, idm, electronica.

The drum machine I covet the most is the Eleketron Monomachine, but I am looking for something much more affordable. Ive been looking into the Roland MC-505, but don’t know of any other worthy models that are really in my price range (is the MC-505 really worth it?). I’m hoping for something < ~$300. Is that possible with any quality hardware?? Or should I hold out until I can afford the Elektron Monomachine?? (Which could be in quite awhile - I'm a student, not working. Would be saving up during the summer, and even then I might need the $$ for other things). Or, should I purchase an Akai MPD and just build a sequencer around that inside Max?

Any advice and/or experiences with various hardware would be much appreciated. Much thanks!

Nov 14 2008 | 6:27 am

Hey there,

I too am in the line of purchasing a Drum Machine myself. I have owned a cheap drum sequencer a while ago, which i cant remember the make. I love hardware, there is nothing like it
You said about the MonoMachine by Elektron. They are great, but the Machine Drum would be a better option
MonoMachine can be used as a Drum Machine but Machine Drum is obviously best suited.
I have demoed both of them, because one of my work colleagues has both. There fantastic, i do plan to get both, but the Machine Drum first.
Mainly for the fact that you do actually build the sound and even choose reverb/delay/distortion/etc… times for each hit, BONZA.

You could try and go a cheaper option until you save the money for a Machine Drum.
Have a look at the Electribe by Korg
It is cheap and cheerful.
I think i saw this one for about 120GBP, so around $240, give or take where you get them from.
Obviously it does not handle the amount of stuff that the Machine Drum can, but does do the job for getting beats together.

But, if you are into IDM and that sort, just save up and get the Machine Drum.

Look on videos of both of these machines and see for yourself. There are great ones of the Machine Drum.

The Akai MPD series are good. I had a MPD16 for a while. But felt it was cheaply made, but still nice none-the-less for hitting beats in.

But i would suggest just waiting and saving up for the best, rather than coming up short from something that you did not want 100%.
I could have bought a Machine Drum myself, and have been tempted. But i do need as much money possible to move away from Dubai. But once moved, i do plan to get it

Good luck on your search…

Nov 14 2008 | 10:31 am

Honestly this sounds like a question good for a forum of drum machine experts.

The Elektron Machinedrum is your best bet. Save your money for this.

Personally i have two Jomox xbase 09 and a TR=606, both are great, but for the standard "intelligent dull music" you’d probably want a more versatile sounding machine.

avoid mc 505 and alike. in a life combination with a jomox or elektron an mc-505 simply doesn’t survive the comparison, sounds like mp3 due to the extended use of data=compressed sample libraries.


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