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Unveiling the Top 5 Affordable Hardware Drum Machines: Beat-making on a Budget

In this entry we will be reviewing 5 affordable Drum Machines, most of all, for an entry level or some nostalgic user.

1- Behringer RD-6 (or variable colours) : Yes yes, we are nostalgic on this election, the machine is it basically a clone of the great Tr-606 by Roland’s. But this comes with a more punchy kicks, a refined control for the hit hats, and a global distortion, other than that, sounds like a 606, the sequencer works like a 606, the bottom tap works like a 606, it looks like a 606, so, it is a 606!!! and with a couple of more features that adds more than rest. For a classic nostalgic beat maker producer this is it! Don’t need to look forward, the 606 of your dreams is here!

Let’s listen:

Buy Behringer RD-6: https://amzn.to/3Oaak7Q


2- Arturia Drumbrute Impact: It is a clever analog drum machine, on the sound side, you have a total of ten analog sounds, kick, snare, Hi and Low Toms, Cymbal or Cowbell ,open and close Hit hat and a FM drum, each one sounds as the name said, brute. You can shape each or globally the sound with a different color and distortion, ok, you can not design the sounds with lots of parameters, you just have a few knobs to adjust some variables that each sound has, so overall the sound is harsh and brute. On the sequencer side, you can use it as MPC style, with pads to play the sound or you can use the XOX sequencer, a classic step sequencer, but and here is the fun thing, the sequencer have a series of options to run, such as random, swing, polyrhythm, step repeat and roller, these are kind a midi effects, and is super fun and inspirative to play with it. This two aspects of this drum machine makes a great option for the user.

Let’s listen:


Buy Arturia Drumbrute : https://amzn.to/3XOfnxW



3- Behringer RD-9 : For those who were looking for an Tr 909 here you got your clone by Behringer. The machines is basically a clone of the House imprint style of the 909, and hybrid machine with analog voices for kick, snare, claps, toms, and digitally as the original for Hi Hats and Cymbals. The device comes with two configurations, 1 which refers to the classic 909 and 2 A more modern adjustable features in the sound corner, they don’t did it so well, because you can emulate the Hi hat in the modern version by adjusting the parameters of the Hi hat to sound more close to the original TR 909, so we may say, it is not an exact clone of the Tr 909 by Roland. But it gives more range to shape the sound, a try to modernize the machine, we are not so sure how we feel that. But in anyway, it still a great drum machine, overall if you are looking for the classic of house and techno made with Tr-909 and with a bit of more features on the sequencer, like note repeat, real time triggering, live step overdubbing and autofill features. Ah and also has a dual filter included for as a global effect. Perfect to squeeze in a live performance.

Let’s have a listen:

Buy  Behringer RD-9: https://amzn.to/44GBuZE


4- Roland TR-06 Boutique Compact Drumatix: It is the digital version of Roland’s Tr-606, it does not sound even close to the original, but having said that, it comes with a large palette of different sounds per each voice, so you can choose between 4 o 5 sounds per voice, so you can combine some classic sounds other than just use the original 606, also you have a distortion effect to be more aggressive and a onboard compressor and delay, also in the sequencer side, you have racheted functions, step loop and step probability. The machine comes with a full connectivity for your DAW and for those how use eurorack or modular sequencers, nice touch from roland  Also, we must say, it looks awesome! And it is a good option to look at it.

Let’s have a listen:

Buy Roland TR-06 Boutique Compact Drumatix : https://amzn.to/3PVCRPP



5- Roland AIRA compact T-8: is a pocket drumbox and it comes with a convincing bass tr-303 style, in the sound area, is a digital emulator of the sounds of the tr-606, tr-808 and tr-909, combining this with the bass sound in the tr-303 style, just two wave sounds, saw and square and a very well made digital filter that emulate the original analog filter of the tr-303. Also it comes with these new features like probability, substep , silence and fill recharge. The global as insertion are effects are reverb, delay and overdrive. In synthesis, is a useful pocket drum machine, capable to make grooves in any place in anywhere.

Let’s listen:

Buy Roland AIRA compact T-8 here: https://amzn.to/3rrxv4O

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Music Producer, Sound Engineer, M4L Developer.

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