I dunno, maybe it’s just the usual GAS, but I’m thinking about buying one used. You can get it for ~$200. The cool thing about it is that it’s playable in real time, so you don’t necessarily need to program ahead. Also, pretty good performance features. Played it in a store and liked it a lot.
The big downside is that you can’t parameter-lock anything, except “coloring” some sounds. If you could param-lock tuning on kick, toms and FM drum, this would be a much more capable machine. Kind of weird that it’s not an option.
What are your opinions on this thing? Are there other cheap drum machines that are easy to play in real time? (I.e. have pads for each sounds.)
Eh, probably not. The final reason: it’s an analog machine that has velocity-sensitive pads… but it mostly just ignores velocity. (Reduces it one-bit setting: accent or no accent with nothing in between.)
One would think there should be plenty of alternatives, i.e. drum machines oriented towards real-time playing and manipulation, but most of them don’t have pads and expect you to build patterns in advance. I don’t get it. I mean, clearly people like drum machines. We have PO series, Korg’s Volcas and Electribes, Drumbrutes, Behringer’s RD-8 clone, Roland’s army of self-clones, MFB Tanzmaus, Tanzbär Lite and not light, Elektron’s Model Samples, Digitakt and Analog Four and finally DSI Tempest. But if you want pads on the device and don’t have $900+ in disposable income, you’re effectively down to Drumbrutes and Electribes.
what about like an MPC or something?
could go with a 1000 or 2k. even a 500. they are all pretty cheap
I never took a deep dive into MPC tutorials, but it seems like a different kind of machine. One where you load samples, then manipulate them, then build a track layer by layer. DB has a lot of UI feature for mangling patterns in real time. Repeats, randomization, shortcuts for changing solo and mute groups in real time, etc.
But really, I probably should just put more effort into using A4 as a drum machine.
Just realized I missed one device. Model:Samples. It’s also ~$300 and has velocity-sensitive pads. And it has some nice performance features. Much more flexible than Drumbrute, but not as direct and only has 6 tracks. But I guess my complaint that there is nothing with pads at that price range was not justified. Kudos to Electron.