Drum Machine suggestions


So lately I’ve been wanting to have an additional drum machine to pair with my Machinedrum UW MKII. I love my Machinedrum and I know it has sampling capability, but I would like to have something that can midi sync with it and run at different time signatures in order to more easily do things like poly rhythm, triplets, etc…I do have a Digitone but I do not prefer using it for heavy lifting on drums, more melodic work. I usually just sample certain percussion into the MD with it.

Some of the features I am interested in would be

  • polyrhythm capability
  • retrig / ratcheting (for fills and glitch)
  • small footprint
  • sampling
  • analog

My studio is missing a sampler and an analog drum machine at the moment, so an Analog Rytm would tick all the boxes. Digitakt would tick most. The price has had me shy away from both, especially for the AR.

I’ve considered the Model : Samples , MFB Tanzmaus, Korg Electribe ESX, Sonic Potions LXR, MPC 1000

Am I missing any standout drum machines that would tick most or all of these boxes? Anybody use the boxes mentioned and enjoy them?

Leaning towards a Tanzmaus to be honest. If anybody is using one, how do you like it sound and workflow?


Sonic Potions LXR looks like the best drum synth on the market to me. Super advanced sequencing, large variety of sounds, it can’t sample but I believe it can PLAY samples via an sd slot. It is digital though.

The other end would be the Analog Rytm mk2 and it has all but the small footprint boxes checked.


Yeah, the Sonic Potions LXR looks to be a Machinedrum on steroids! It’s also a little more than I’d like to pay, but seems so capable. The AR would be extremely satisfying and I’ve heard it pairs great with the digital sound of the MD. The AR is so huge, I don’t feel like I have anywhere to put it, even if I could afford it.


I’d love to take the Sonic Potions out for a spin- that thing looks wonderful


I discovered it’s easier to create polyrhythms when using (any) two drum machines at the same time.

If sampling ability beyond what you can already do with the Machinedrum is the most important thing, then I’d look at samplers that could also be used for percussion.

If being analog is a higher priority, then a TR-606 is a lot of fun, as would its reimaginings by other makers.

If digital is ok then the field is wide open for cheap but good ‘90s things from Roland and Boss.


This video definitely displays it’s capabilities. Great piece of gear, no doubt about that!


Red Means Recording can sell anything


Yeah, I’ve been eyeing a cyclone analogic 606, though I’m not too familiar with the 606 sound. I’ll have to check it out.

I’ve considered quite a few options along this bout of GAS. Even older stuff like the Yamaha RX11 / 21. Electribe ER-1. Even various groove boxes like the EMU MP-7, Yamaha DX200, etc.


I love taking individual outs from the TR-707 and playing them through the inputs of the ER-1 and playing with the Amp Decay, Pan, Low Boost, etc. Kaboom!

A Korg Volca Sample or a Volca Drum can do variable step lengths and such. Both of those together would be cheaper than an Elektron M:S … to the point of saving up more for a Digitakt begins to make a bit more sense.


I’ve been back and forth with the idea of getting an Electribe ER-1. I’ve heard some solid demos with clever use if the input to gate rhythms and the delay can get pretty weird. I may pull the trigger on one. Is it pretty easy to synthesize open / closed hihats? And if it’s anything like the EMX used to own, I could easily switch up the tempo clock divide in real-time for triplet fills, etc…

I’ve considered the Volca sample as well though I’ve heard the Volcas tend to be noisy on the outputs, is this true? Not a deal breaker, but I can always add noise in post. Not always easy to get rid of. They’re low cost too!


It can do everything you want except sampling and polyrhythms. Although used with MD will give you polyrhythms.

The ratcheting is great, and you can even do rolls, quantized in real-time (and with swing too!)

I used the TT-606 for all the drums on this tune , and the bassline is just TT-606 toms pitched down an octave.

The small footprint is great. My only complaint is there isn’t much noise in the hats, so I run them through a boost pedal. (Individual voice outs are great)


So at the 20 second mark, is that a ratcheting / flam feature going on? This is great sounding. I’m really looking for a hihat machine at the end of the day. This demo here might have me sold. The way it jumps from 1/16th to 1/32nd steps is beautiful.

So if you used tt-606 for all drums and basslines for this demo, then this is mostly the tt-606, amazing! What are some of the standout features and how many steps does it let you program?

Edit : just read the specs. So…
64 steps, dope.
Roll / flam dope.
Fill function dope.
Swing dope.
Individual mute switches dope.
Looks extremely immediate, Ultra Dope!


i had the lxr. it sounds great and is very capable. however for me it was not very intuitive to operate. didn‘t have the fun and flow as on the elektrons. maybe i didn‘t give it enough time though


Not analog but maybe check out audiothingies double drummer.


That’s just regular live roll, at 1/32nd division. It isn’t programmed into the sequence , it is one of the live features it has.

What is great about it is you can change the live roll division in real-time while you have your finger down on the tap button. You change it with the tone Knob.
That tone Knob does 20 different things.
Changing the subdivisions for rolls in real-time is only possible with the live roll function. It won’t change the rolls programmed into the sequencer.

For real-time fills and rolls, it is hard to beat. And they are quantized, and with swing if swing is present in the pattern.

You can also program in flams and rolls, accent per instrument, or global.

It also has 32 kits, some LFOs (aka nuance), and each pattern has a fill variation which increases the total note memory. Also pattern mutate for some randomized steps.

There are 6 different high hat Machines to chose from.

It’s a $500 box in a $350 package.


Damn, 32 different kits?! A friend had this for like a week and returned it, but it seemed super cool. It remember thinking maybe it would get old just having 606 sounds?

Wish I got to play it a little more…


Not “small footprint”, but the TR-8S is the best I ever had. And I had those models you have considered.


This has a lot packed in for the cost. I’m seriously about to impulse buy one, ahhhh! I track all my drums live, so this would be great fun and it has no menu diving. I wonder how it’s analog sound would pair with the MD. I noticed you sold yours, correct? Any particular reason why?

I imagine the workflow is quick and immediate, would you agree?


I’m not sure how… it’s only 6 voices…

Machinedrum has 16 tracks simultaneously… (never owned one but that’s my understanding)


get it, if you hate it, sell it to me lol but seriously I have considered this one many times
some said its an machine drum but smaller.