Everyone needs a drum machine and I mean everyone! I’m quite serious because sequencing intricate electronic rhythms, no matter how simple or complex can really elevate your tune, no matter what kind of music you’re creating. Obviously, I am asserting my opinion here, but please indulge me for a moment.
Let’s take a look at a drum machine that happens one of my faves (clearly, I’m biased duh) and one that is truly unique – the Drumbrute Impact. This mini monster is juiced up to the eyeballs with analogue delish that sounds oh-so-fat and punchy (the kick drum is unbelievable, read on and I’ll talk about it in a sec), but it also has a healthy dusting of metallic digital timbres such as the FM drum that makes it edgy and weird. Anyway, rather than getting too emotional and bang on about it all day – I’m going to break it down into 3 quick reasons as to why I believe the Drumbrute Impact (DBI) is awesome. Who knows maybe it’ll become your first drum machine, or second, or third or ninth!!
Can I Kick It?
The kick drum might seem like an odd thing to mention as you might be expecting something less obvious, however, the kick drum on the DBI to be completely honest is nothing short of exceptional. Do yourself a favour next time you’re in a music store playing with one of these, set the pitch of the kick to about halfway and then open the decay to about 75%, then bang that kick drum pad like nothing else and marvel at just how gorgeous it sounds. Now, start riding that pitch dial and it becomes an instant bassline generator. You’re welcome, you can thank me later.
This is a unique feature that I’ve never seen on any drum machine let alone an analogue one. This feature allows you to manipulate the timbral quality and further shape or as the name implies colour individual sounds. Add some drive to the kick, decay to your toms or some harmonics to the open hats, every sound has a bonus colour layer that can be activated. Arturia takes this one step further, by allowing the colour layer of each sound to be sequenced via the step sequencer. What does this mean you ask? Well, rather than simply having the colour layer on or off, you can actually program when the colour layer is triggered at different steps across a pattern, making for much more dynamic drum patterns. Well played Arturia, well played!
The instantaneous nature of the DBI is what really adds to its charm. Once you’ve entered some steps into the sequencer, it’s easy to get lost whilst creating new and interesting rhythms. This is not a criticism, it’s a gooood thing! Each sound has dedicated controls such as pitch, decay, tone and volume, including the colour layer, in addition to polyrhythm and the step-repeat functions — it’s impossible to not generate something unique and interesting. Simply put the DBI is a hands-on creative experience that will almost certainly help you generate new ideas and rhythms for your music.
The DBI is flexible and creative as it is affordable and compact. On one hand, it can generate sounds that you’d expect from a drum machine, whilst at the same time having the perfect amount of kookiness that separates it from anything else currently in that product category. Think Roland TR-8 meets Elektron Model Cycles, analogue meets digital, whatever it is it sounds dam good and a lot of fun!