Drum machine with knobs?

I got sick of menus, modal pages, small screens etc, and got a Moog Grandmother a few weeks back. Totally love it for sound making and exploration.

Now I want something similar for drums. Something with one function per knob, no menus, definitely no modal controls.

DFAM is the frontrunner. Another user suggested a Drumbrute.

I dig the DFAM and it should go well with the Grandmother, but I worry it’s unable to do a kick, hat and snare together. Then again I have an OP-Z for that.

Any suggestions? Analog is cool, but digital is also good. Prefer drum synth to drum ampler though.

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Vermona drm is great and knoby :nerd_face:


If you can find a Tanzbar


Vermona drm. Or use google.

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Grandmother is a fun synth, good pickup.

For exploratory fun drums how about a Pulsar 23?

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Oh yeah, that Perkons



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Google made a drum synth?! Surely that’s all menus and a touch screen….



But create one kit, and pretend it doesn’t do anything else… until you get bored and want to make a different kit.


That’s exactly how I use the TR8S-I always use one kit and maybe change a sound or 2 every few weeks if I get bored but largely treat it as a knob per function drum machine with all those great Roland sounds. Also always start from a blank pattern and never save it so always ‘new’. In that way it’s a knob per function machine


Drumbumrute should be cheap used, and the sequencer is fun. BUT, if you don’t like the sound you ear in demos, walk away because sound tweakability is very, very, limited. DFAM on the other hand has what may be the best kick sound ever, the sequencer is limited but fun for jams. That being said, it is still more a mono percussive synth than a drum machine.


The Google Sentient AI Drum Bot. You heard it here first.


This is how I’ve had the most fun with it. The combination of classic ACB sounds, FM and samples is pretty awesome. The motion record and step loop functions make it extremely playable.

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lot of great suggestions here; and there’s a lot of knobby drum machines out there. I’d say your choice should also depend on whether or not you want to sequence it internally or externally. some very knobby and fun/simple machines don’t have sequencers. like the Vermona DRM1, the Pearl Syncussion clones, the 01/IV, etc… and some internal sequencers are also more menu-divey than others. personally my favorite drum machine sequencer and just all around simple but awesome sounding machines are the Acidlab boxes (Miami and Drumatix). they both sound great and there’s zero menus or layers but still plenty of options to keep them fun. all knobs are right in front of you always and you can learn the sequencer in five minutes. I’m sure the TD-6 from that B company is similar for the 606 sound, if you want to go that route. their 808 box looks more involved, but I don’t know it.


This forum is full of knobs with drum machines.


That Pulsar looks great, but out of my preferred price range.

Vermona DRM1 MKIV looks super promising. I ended up getting the Grandmother because the Perfourmer is impossible to find. Now I’m glad it worked out that way.

Nice idea. I have a Volca Sample in a cupboard somewhere that could do this too, although I prefer not to use samples in this case.

Sequencer preferred if excellent, but I’m happy to leave that to the OP-Z. I love it, know it inside out, and it’s better than most step sequencers IMO. Having the OP-Z is one reason I’m attracted to the more experimental DFAM.

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Currently hankering for the AVP ADS-7 and Ritmobox - would say they fall quite nicely into this category

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Agree with @pumpkin_head regarding the DrumBrute. Tweaking and using the sequencer it a ton of fun but sounds wise it’s a bit of a one trick pony. Can’t speak for the impact as I’ve never tried one in the flesh.


Both DFAM and Bass Station II are able to do bassdrum + snare together.