Best Drum Machines Reviews With so many choices of drum machines there’s never been a better time to be a musician. Find the drum machine that is best for you to play and see your how it enhances your musical career!

10 Best Drum Machines

We’ve got rhythm, we’ve got music, and so will you, if you purchase one of these drum machines. Whether you’re a full-time music maker or a bedroom hobbyist, chances are your studio is limited to some extent, by your budget. Packed with today’s latest features and capabilities, and ranging from affordable to professional quality, DJ’s and studio musicians will find the perfect model to add to their gear. Choosing best beat machine that can check off your list of requirements, requires that you gather as much information as possible about your options. That’s why Reviews Bee is providing you with all the data you need in this drum machine review.  Find out what experts and consumers have to say about the best options.

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  • Expert Popularity Score : 9.9 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 9.7 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 9.5 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 9.8 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 9.5 of 10
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  • Expert Popularity Score : 9.4 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 9.3 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 9.6 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 9.2 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 9.5 of 10
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  • Expert Popularity Score : 9.1 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 9.1 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 9.1 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 9.2 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 9 of 10
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  • Expert Popularity Score : 9 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 8.8 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 8.9 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 8.9 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 8.9 of 10
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  • Expert Popularity Score : 8.6 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 8.5 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 8.5 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 8.4 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 8.5 of 10
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  • Expert Popularity Score : 7.8 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 7.7 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 7.9 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 7.8 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 7.7 of 10
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  • Expert Popularity Score : 7.5 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 7.5 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 7.5 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 7.6 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 7.5 of 10
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  • Expert Popularity Score : 6.5 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 6.4 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 6.6 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 6.5 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 6.5 of 10
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  • Expert Popularity Score : 5.6 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 5.7 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 5.6 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 5.6 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 5.7 of 10
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  • Expert Popularity Score : 5 of 10
  • Expert Ratings : 5 of 10
  • Consumer Popularity Score : 5 of 10
  • Consumer Ratings : 5 of 10
  • Consumer Complaints : 5 of 10

Important Features When Choosing a Drum Machine

You want to be sure that you choose the machine that meets all your requirements for space, features and reliability.  Then you’re on your way to experiencing the best features a drum machine has to offer. We will help guide you in choosing the right one.

128432-200 Drum Machines

A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument that imitates the sound of drums, cymbals, other percussion instruments and bass lines. Drum machines are most commonly associated with electronic music genres such as house music, but are used in other genres, too.  Many modern drum machines can also produce unique sounds and allow the user to compose unique drum beats and patterns that might be difficult to perform with as a usual drummer.

Drum machines offers a selection of classic drums, meticulously sampled to faithfully reproduce the original sounds. Drum machine are easily tweaked with cleverly mapped controls, allowing users to experiment with the inner workings of the instrument and adjust it to their personal taste.

A drum beat is the most important part of nearly every song. The drums set the pace for the other players in the group and help to keep everyone on time. Because drums are so great, the question has to be asked, what do you do if you don’t have a drummer? The answer is quite simple; you invest in the best drum machine. With it, you can easily build your own beat to play, and listeners will be none the wiser.

128432-200 Portability

Portability means you can practice designing kick drums and snares, or work on making loops and beats anywhere, anytime. Although most drum machines are technically portable, we recommend purchasing a slimmer, lighter weight model, if you’re intending to travel frequently. A great thing about majority of drum machines is their full portability. Most drum machines are relatively lightweight too, so you can easily carry them with you when needed to go to a sound studio, or a venue for a live performance. Most models provide hands-on control over the parameters of the built-in effects, which is great because they let you do finger sweeps, and allow you to trigger the instrument sounds for playing scales. It would also be good to enjoy the creative and intuitive control over the touchpad, during live performances. Some premium models even feature an internal modulation sequencer, so you can record your hands-on manipulations, to have better creative potential on your musical pattern.

128432-200 Sounds

Top models that professional sound engineers use are equipped with a great number of editing features that a recreational music enthusiast would consider overwhelming. Premium quality drum machines let you record your own sounds and combine them on your timing, with the preset, or built-in sounds of the drum machine. With the programmed styles numbering well into the thousands, that gives you a whole lot of fantastic choices on how you want your drum sounds.

Exotic instruments, bass guitar tracks, patterns and tones are just some of the built-in sound effects in a drum machine, that allow you to combine realistic preset sounds, with your own sounds. A fantastic feature to have at your disposal, the built-in sound effects are great, especially when you can’t have a live guitar player with you to provide the guitar tracks.

128432-200 Sequencing

Some exotic instrument sounds on drum machines include djembes, tablas, and sitars, with horns, keys and strings being the most popular musical sounds. This feature is included in many drum machines as a sequencer, which allows you to program a sequence of drum beats, to form a musical pattern, which you can then play back. For example, some built-in sequencers allow users to program up to 16 instruments simultaneously. for complex beats and compositions.

128432-200 Number of Percussion Sounds

Percussion sounds are that sounds that emulate drums. Some drum machines may have over 50 bass sounds, plus more than 500 drum and percussion sounds to use, and enable the music professional to create heart-thumping music that will take the concert hall by storm, even during live performances. If you are going to use this feature, choose the one that has a few hundred of percussion sounds. In this case, more is better.

128432-200 Filters

The drum filter appears on certain drum machine models and is terrific for club track effects. The filter helps when the increased sound becomes dull and muffled, as if emanating from behind a wall.

Drum machines may, and should have filters. They may have a single one, but more filters is a better option. Models with multiple filters, give you a wide range of sound-sculpting tools. A drum machine can have up to 16 filters or more. You’ll almost always get smoother, musical results going through an analog filter. If you’re after musical results, this is the right choice.

Invest in a quality analog filter box and use it on everything; it will give you a better perspective on music-making, recording and your synth-GAS, although digital filters are also nice. For example, the A/D+D/A circuits add some very good grit.

128432-200 Distortion

Some drum machines may have a distortion pedal, others may not. But, you can always purchase it separately. Distortion on electronic drums is fairly synthetic, adding a dirtier, fuzz tone. Here the individual beat sound effects are made more “buzzy”, and more aggressive at high levels. But, think about it beforehand, since you may want a stereo distortion pedal, which are difficult to find.

128432-200 Compression

Compressor controls, as the name suggests, squeeze in sound, but as you increase the dial, the track feels louder or wider.

When you are learning to play on a drum machine, it is best to realize that the actual compression part of a compressor never makes the sounds louder. It always compresses, in other words, it always reduces the volume. The ‘makeup gain’ that follows is responsible for making the sound louder again, and it’s a good idea to understand this thoroughly before you start.

These are the quick steps to set up a compressor:

  • Set “Attack” to the fastest
  • Set “Threshold” to the lowest
  • Set  “Ratio” to the highest
  • Set “Release” to the fastest

You should now be able to hear the maximum squashing effect, and there is probably a lot of damage to your sound. But this is just the starting point, at least now you know it’s working.

Here is what the terms actually mean:

  • Attack – the longer the attack, the more of the ‘stick’ part of the drum comes through, before the compression pushes down. Adjust it to your preference and this is how you get “punch”, you are basically reshaping the envelope of the sound.
  • Release – the end of the envelope. You want the compression to have fully released, before the next hit; or, you want the compression to flow with the groove. (Adjusting attack and release is difficult if you can’t hear what’s going on, which is why I recommend doing these first, while the compression is maximized.)
  • Ratio – decrease it until you get the effect you want without obvious squashing or damage, unless that is what you want, of course.
  • Threshold – with the lowest threshold, the whole sound is compressed. Perhaps you want to control the very loudest peaks only, and leave the other stuff alone. Raising the threshold adjusts just how much of the sound actually gets compressed.  (Low ratios don’t achieve much unless you have a low threshold. This is more of an overall compression effect. High ratios can be very excessive, unless the threshold is higher. This is more of a limiting effect.)
  • IMO – with the drum machine sounds, they have already been limited and shouldn’t need a “limiter”. They are probably compressed, too. (You might want to use a compressor to blend a kick drum together with a bass line, so the bass fills the gaps, instead of just riding on top. You can compress groups of instruments together for this effect. It’s not all just about smashing individual tracks for volume.)

128432-200 Power Source

Power sources option can be of a few different types: 12V Internal, 15 VDC Power, AC Adaptor, 12V AC, AC Adapter, AC Adapter, 9V AC.

For example, the 12V high-quality power supply adapter can serve as a replacement PSU for the Alesis SR18 drum machine. The adaptor features overvoltage, over a current and short circuit protection, to safeguard it from damage. This power supply comes with a warranty that covers up to the lifetime of your device, or 10 years – whichever is greater.

128432-200 Display

When choosing a drum machine, pay close attention to its display. It comes in the following options: color LCD, custom LCD, OLED, backlit LCD, and regular LCD, (no backlight). You also want to make sure that your display has some sort of backlighting. If not, you may have a hard time seeing what is being displayed, when the room is dark.

 

Drum Machines Accessories

To help make things clearer, we took a look at the other important features that come with drum machines. So, after this, you can be sure you’ll choose the “best of the best”.

128432-200 Midi

With the newer breakthroughs in MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface software, etc., today’s drum machines are capable of creating more sounds than ever.  Another advantage of these, is that they are more affordable than they used to be. This is great news for novices who want to start to use these drum machines for their play and recordings. It seemed, that for the longest while, these expensive instruments were almost exclusively used by the professionals.

Some are relatively “old school” and “vintage” options, that don’t know what the word MIDI means, while others come with not only the compatibility, but provide the ability to edit the MIDI within the machine. MIDI is the ability to plug your drum machine into an interface, using MIDI ports. MIDI inputs are now common among digital sound equipment.

128432-200 USB

The top drum machines are the ones with computer connections, such as USB 2.0 ports, and multiple inputs and outputs.

Inputs are important because they allow you to plug other instruments into your drum machine, which may be handy, at the time. When you are able to do this, you can jam along with your drum machine without the use of an instrument amplifier.

Drum machines which have sampling abilities can record the instrument that is plugged in, then that recording can be edited, saved and used on your machine at a later date.

128432-200 USB

When you are considering your present needs, determine if you could use this option.  If not, you might be able to save yourself from money.  Just remember to also think about whether you may use this in the future.  If that’s a possibility, and your budget allows, it may be ideal to purchase a drum machine with the USB port now, so you don’t have to buy another machine in the near future, to get it.

128432-200 SD

SD cards can add more memory to your drum machine. You can use as much storage space for saving the sound files, depending on the size of the SD card you use.

Since the SD card is communicating via SPI, or serial peripheral interface, it can access only one file at a time. But the accessing is happening so fast, that it is almost impossible for a human to strike 2 drums at the same time.

128432-200 Footswitch

Footswitches allow you to start and stop your drum machine without using your hands. With some of them, you can also add drums fills when needed.

Footswitch outputs are especially important for live performances, because they allow you to control your drum machine, without using your hands, when you may need them for playing another instrument.  This gives you the ability to play musical instruments at once!

Expression pedals allow you to control the volume and intensity of the drum machine as well, without the use of your hands. This is crucial for those special tracks where you need to increase the intensity in certain parts of the song and then return it to the original level.  When you are engaged in playing a guitar, for instance, both of your hands are already busy. So, without this feature, you couldn’t get the higher intensity levels that you really want, so that your music sounds even better.

Both of these features are vital, if you plan to use your drum machine in live applications.  Once you have used them, you will never want to perform without them again!

128432-200 Headphone Input

This is the ability to plug your headphones right into your drum machine, without any extra cords or connections.

Being able to plug the headphones into your drum machine helps you when you are practicing, and lets you play without needing external speakers. The other definite advantage, and your family will agree, is that when your headphones are plugged into the drum machine while you are rehearsing, they will not be able to hear the sound.  This is important for the good of the whole household. Imagine the ability to practice anywhere and for as long as you want to, without bothering anybody else in the vicinity.

When all you need is your drum machine and headphones, the whole setup is much more portable.  It will be easy to pack up your equipment and go anywhere, without needing extra help to carry or transport actual drums.

128432-200 Audio Inputs/Outputs

Audio inputs are a type of inputs that each drum machine has in its system. The audio outputs allow you to plug your drum machine into speakers and other hardware.  Let’s say you are a musician who performs solo, with the only other instrument being played by you as well. Remember, you can use your drum machine, hands-free, so you can play music, sing, and still have a beat or added percussion instruments without the needed for other musicians.

Audio interface helps you to hear the depth and range of its sounds properly. You can directly record the audio output onto any device that can record an audio signal, without any ambient noise. For an acoustic drum you may need a studio to record it ambient free.

This means that you experience much less, no actually, no distortion or ambient noises with a drum machine.  

Total ReviewsBee Rating

The total Reviews Bee rating sums up the overall picture of every product. Reviews Bee works tirelessly to ensure that we are providing the best product recommendations to you and your family. In rating the various drum machines available, we strive to give you the best information possible.Our algorithm includes information from both expert and consumer resources. There is no need to spend hours on researches, because Reviews Bee instantly gives all researches and analysis for you and creates a Top list to save your time and money.

1. We Collect Data from All Around the Web

Reviews Bee collects consumer review information from popular retail websites including Amazon, eBay, BBB, Yelp, Consumer reports, etc. In addition, Reviews Bee utilizes reputable market niche websites, to include in the product ranking decision. Using the feedback of actual customers in coordination with expert evaluations enables us to provide each product with a score that takes into account all trustworthy information available on that item.

2. We Analyze the Data Expert Popularity Score, Expert Ratings, Consumer Popularity Score, Consumer Ratings and Consumer Complaints are inserted into our algorithm in order to calculate our Reviews Bee Score. This score, in turn, is used to rank each drum machine in our Top 10 recommendation. The Reviews Bee score is a summary of each of the most important factors indicating the value of a drum machine.

3. We Deliver The Best Results By taking each of these essential factors into account, we are able to give each drum machine an overall Reviews Bee Score that ranks each product against the others in our Top 10 list. By using a vast array of expert and consumer ratings, reviews, and feedback, Reviews Bee provides you with the most comprehensive analysis of product information available to you. You can make your purchase knowing that the best research was utilized to make your decision.

Overall Algo

Customer Rating Sources

Expert Rating Sources

Our Algorithm Factors

1. Expert Popularity Score

We came up with the popularity score for every drum machine provider while analyzing 26 expert sites that are trustworthy. Based on our detailed evaluation, each drum machine is assigned an expert popularity score based upon how many times each product is positively mentioned by experts in the industry.

2. Expert Ranking Score

By analyzing all the expert review sites our algorithm summed up the average ranking for every drum machine in their rankings and that is how we came up with the final score for each drum machine brand.

3. Consumer Popularity Score

We managed to gather more than 9570 reviews from 78 reliable sources and our algorithm calculated the average score for each brand.

4. Consumer Rating Score

In order to understand how satisfied those consumers were, we analyzed the total number of reviews. We collected all the reviews and the number of stars people gave for each product. Based on these findings we came up with the average customer rating. This is how we managed to bring out the drum machine reviews through which you know how the consumer can rate the drum machine.

5. Consumer Complaint Score

In order to make our results authentic, we don’t limit ourselves to just the positive rankings factors but we also take complaints from all over the web into consideration and figure out how many customers were complaining about the product.
Through this, we show both sides of the product whether it’s positive or negative in nature. This then makes it a negative factor in our algorithm. This as a result makes the best drum machines reviews. That is why drum machines reviews not only have positive comments mentioned but also the negatives as well.