Drum machines - What's your favourites and why?

Im looking for some ideas, I guess people will say the RYTM MK2 but i’m not keen on the videos i’ve seen. Had the RYTM mk1 but sold it and the more I think about that drum machine the more I realise how varied and good it actually was. Is the MK2 a step up?

Im currently using a metasonix d2000 which is great but for the money it’s SUPER limited. Bags of character with it though that i’d imagine you would get no where else. Had a 909 but got very bored of that sound very quickly. Same with the 808.

Would love to hear what you’s think.


1 Like

because wind and bamboo


:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Good choice!

1 Like

Pretty much covers all genres in my opinion
At can get nastier than most


Why? and what one to be specific? I’ve never even thought about the machine drum. Sounds fantastic!!

aw just realised u replied with an explanation.

Rytm, machinedrum because I’m a fanboy.


Had the Rytm mk1 for a while - while it’s a fabulous machine, I got the feeling it was way too much for me. Tried both the digitakt and OT for drums, but something about them got in the way.

Not real big into drum programming, I like simple.

All time favourite that I’ve owned so far was a 707 I found in a pawn shop. Simple XoX interface was hell fast to program and preferable to the 808 or 909 sound (to me anyway). But I sold it for enough to buy a cheap bottle of scotch and a pouch of tobacco because I’m an idiot.

If I was to get another HW drum machine, I’m not sure which way I’d go. Might go for something simple like the TR8S or maybe I’d try out something that’s nice and deep like the Tempest. Kinda like the idea of picking up an SP404 or an old MPC and loading it up with my favourite drum samples.


Thanks for your insight!

1 Like

Tempest every day until the end of time.


TR8-S. So quick. Just does drums, really bloody well. Super playable, fun, sounds brillant. Light weight. Faders. Faders faders. Gets weird, good fx.

I also like the TR 09 because its tiny, battery power, sounds incredible and yeah fun.

Octatrack as a drum machine is insane.


MachineDrum, sits perfectly in between Digitakt’s immediacy and Octatrack’s live sample mangle-ability.

It’s also gorgeous, daaamn.


Roland Tr606, esp combined with 101 has been a long standing favourite of mine. It really gets to the basics of rhythm/pattern creating and is often a good basis for building something very quickly. And those hats…so nice.

I recently bought the Roland R8. That machine is incredible. That sound and movement in pattern is very unique and it immediately sounds amazing to my ears.

I also bought the Rytm Mk2 and am super impressed although unlike the 606 or R8, it has raw starting points for sound, which seem very weak and uninspiring by comparison, although this is exactly what is needed for that machine. It’s a solid default stating point where you can unlock great sound through its internal sound processing. Having said that, I am finding the internal synthesis is better served supporting samples in many cases. I’m finding it really comes alive when sampling the R8 into it hahaha, which obv slightly sidesteps the issue, if you can even call it an issue…it’s not.

I am still exploring the Rytm mk2, it’s not super complex but finding your configuration or preferred sweet spot might take a while, it is for me. Both trying it totally out of the studio to get my head into the machine itself, and then bringing it into the studio workflow has been a slow but extremely beneficial way to tackle it.

I think for something that can either give you quick access to your preferred sounds or samples, or unique timing, or a great live or studio machine due to its multiple outputs are all massive appeals to me.

The biggest challenge I am finding with it, is finding its secret sauce, which is often the case with much new gear/software. It’s great at most things and it’s easy to do most things, so finding that quirk in the machine can be a challenge. I think, and I’m still exploring it, that it exists in simple combinations, and not getting carried away with applying too much too quickly. Saving lots of simple sequences and sounds, building up an inspiring library, much like you have to with say the Korg Volca, seems to be the way to go.

So, if you don’t mind putting in time to explore your workflow and how to incorporate the Rytm Mk2, then it’s a no brainier. Plus your’e getting way more than just a drum machine.

If you want something that sounds amazing out of the box and a bit cheaper then I’d say check out the R8. Wish I had bought one years ago.

Something that sounds just as good distorted as it does clean and has hats/cymbal grooves for days, and super simple to use with triggering potential then TR606. I think I use mine in every studio session without fail, even if I don’t use the sounds. Trigger outs and simple step sequencer make things super fast and inspiring.

Or buy all three :nerd_face:


Acidlab Drumatix because I think it is the most lively sounding TR-606 variant plus the bonus 808 sounds (kick, snare, rim shot) are the main 808 sounds I reach for anyway.

The 606 hats on it have a great gate behavior when you start tweaking the CHH Decay real tight and opening up the OHH decay. Real nice stuff.
The included DR-110 clap, loads of pattern memory, and wonky shuffle are nice bonuses as well.

I really need to get my hands on a TR-8S and shoot them out against one another, as I am looking for more 909 sounds lately so considering a swap and maybe using it to play Drumatix samples.


I have both TR8 S and TR09. Tr09 sounds more faithful to the original 909. Tr8-s 909 kits are different, but still sound amazing. Definitely recommend the TR8-S if you like TR drum sounds. All the ACB kits are lush.


What kind of input latency does the TR8S have when multitracking over USB (44.1khz)?

I like the Digitone drum sounds a lot :stuck_out_tongue:


Im afraid I have no idea. I either run a stereo mix into my OT. Or run line outs from the TR8-S into my 20 channel interface.

So far, the Rytm. It can be a dead simple drum machine with just samples running through analog circuits and step programming. But, it doesn’t insult your intelligence as levels of complexity are still open to tinkering and step locking.

But thinking back, maybe the Redrum triggering 10 Subtractors in Reason is still one of favorites… ?

The lack of support of the TR-8 still pisses me off today. Easy money seems to lend to maximum inertia. Sounded good, but needed too much out of box to sound great. The Rytm alone blows it out of the water imo.

1 Like

I picked up the OT & AR to take a break from reason - ended up selling them both & going back to it a few months later.