DSI Tempest

So I’ve been saving like a pack rat and I now have some cold hard cash burning a hole in my pocket.

Should I buy myself a Tempest. I know the OS is still a work in progress and all that I can’t help thinking it’d go nicely with my A4.

Any opinions, advice from owners or anyone else interested would be appreciated. Or if you have any demos / clips of you using it, please post them.

There’s a ridiculous clip of Richard Devine using one and that got my interest in the Tempest going.

Still seems like an awful lot of money. What do ye reckon?

I had one, but did not really like the workflow so I sold it. Also the OS is still not completely finished and lacking some features they proposed for a long time. But some users here on the forum who are really digging the tempest.
Anyway I would wait what the “Night of machines” will bring for us…

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Seconded. I sold, replaced it with an xox-style box and never regretted the decision for a moment. Tempest is almost a legendary box, but for my working style it was just almost.

It had to grow on me but i really like it in combination with elektron gear. I use it for synth sounds mostly. What i like is the individual out, polyphonic synth sounds, velocity and aftertouch sensitive pads and it adds wavetable waves to my setup. The last os update is solid and fixed alot of the problems i had with it. I’ve worked weeks on a liveset with no crashes or odd behaviour.

I also liked some aspects - e.g. the note repeat button and the pads are really good, too. Depends on what you want to do with it. I think it´s really more suited when you arrange your tracks on the fly with changing patterns, manipulating stuff and so on manually. I usually programm everything in my patterns and in song mode and then just record over my mixer when everything is finished. In that context I did not really get along with song mode on the tempest - probably because I´m just used to the elektron style. Was tired on re-thinking for every “system” - so I went almost elektron only :wink:

Hmm… mixed opinions there for sure. Was mostly thinking it’d free up tracks on the A4 that I’m using for percussion sounds. I find when I have something really good going… I’ve run out of tracks :sob: Would be nice to have a solid stand alone analog beat maker to turn to when that happens

Seems like a really hands on live machine. I like that.

Here’s Richard giving it a solid going over :dizzy_face:
Can’t imagine not liking it after watching this

i am planning on using the tempest live and i really like the sound i get from it. I make mostly darker kind techno. i use the tempest as more of a synth and are using the tanzbar with it for drums. since techno is a lot of drum sounds for leads/bass and it works great for that. I ve head quit a few other styles with it also.

for live performance its outstanding. I can bang out a whole techno track off of one loop with a lot of variety. it has a great sound more in the synth side than drums.

for analog it can handle the 808 sounds well but not so well for the 909. though it isn’t either and has its own nice sound.

but if you want to control it with midi not a chance, very little has gone into that its been two years and still hardly anything. like other said the os is half baked its been getting better though buy slowly. I also don’t like the kicks on the tempest they just don’t have that boom/bang i am after.

The timing is also a bit off if you sync it with other gear. so i run it through ablation and give it its own time offset. i haven’t checked in a while but it might be better now??

id get it if you want to play live of do a lot of on the fly track recording. but if you need it for use with your midi then its not so good.

Well I have a lot of timing issues with midi when trying to get a multi machine jam going. Especially when I want to sync to a DAW. So I’m not expecting it to fix any issues there. Just looking to expand my beats palette. There’s a Innerclock system on the cards for me in the new year I reckon. Seems to be a solid solution

A lot of times my tempest is the only thing I turn on and can spend hours enjoying it. sure its not for everyone, nothing really is, I see gear for sale on here all the time. like everything it has its short falls, but of all my gear the tempest is the one piece that I feel was the most rewarding purchase, the sound is great, the pads as mentioned are really top notch, its has scales in 16 tunings mode, easy work flow to learn but still hard enough to master,

When ever I hear it, or look at it I can see an instant classic.

also I never got why people say the kick sounds weak, maybe poor patches, the filters can get a very deep kick if needed.

Our drummer uses his Tempest routinely in our trio’s sessions (mix of jazz standards, electronic music, keys et al.) to great effect.

I cannot emphasize how much I like the very organic, rich, DEEP sounds he gets out of it.

Just put out of your head those comments of "weak/not (ph)fat’, ‘thin kick’ and so forth, USW, etc. Simply not true.

My favorite drum machine, bar none.

I had one for a little while as well. I got it for a great price and thought I’d give it a shot. It sounds great and is built very well. It’s a lot of fun to jam on but as stated the OS is half baked and the MIDI is seriously lacking. I tried to integrate it with my OT and A4 setup but it does not respond to program changes and when I tried to just trigger in beats mode with note numbers it never would play the 1 when the beat changed. The OT is the hub of my setup so it did not work well for me. Having worked on Linn MPC’s for years I was kinda disappointed by the sequencer.

I was on the forum for awhile and it felt like the development was slow. There is really only one guy working on it.

If money was not an object than I would have probably kept it but in the end I built an LXR for a third of what I sold it for and really dig it.

I would also wait to see what Elektron drops next week before making any decisions. I know I am :).

Of the gear lusting “My Next Purchase” list, the Tempest is pretty high up there. I prefer it’s approach and capabilities over, say, the MD or A4 and I like the sound out my Tetra (though would probably sell that to help fund a Tempest).

What’s holding me back right now? Im not ready to fully embrace being OTB. Im managing with a sort of hybrid thing going on with Live/Maschine working well with the OTB gear. And now that I got Shove (Push controller for iPad) working well, that’s really taking things up a notch of late.

There is a guy posting on Gearslutz who uses his Tempest brilliantly. Hunt down the thread and some of this tracks (later on in the thread).

Thanks for your insight and opinions guys.
I decided this morning to jump right in and go for it.
1 x DSI Tempest being shipped to my locale as of 4pm today.
Decided to go with http://www.juno.co.uk this time.
€ 140 cheaper than Thomann :+1:
Besides I always get euro power supplies out of the box with Thomann
Hopefully this way I’ll get a good old fashioned UK power supply

Woot Woot! :joy: I am very excite !!

Right on! Enjoy it.

Hope you enjoy it. I think the comments here are spot on - the sequencer is OK but nothing special, MIDI implementation is a big fail, operating system/user interface needs work and in some respects I think DSI is seriously abusing customers who have bought the Tempest and expect an industrial-quality machine.

On the good side, the sound is really fantastic and the pads/sliders etc. are a pleasure to play on. And to be fair, the current beta OS (1.3.12) is good and stable even if it is short on features. So wonderful sound module/performance instrument, but one that is lacking in ‘social skills’ and has only a 1990s-quality MIDI implementation.

If I knew a bit more about embedded development I’d set up a Kickstarter to raise money for a ‘JJOS’ type replacement system.


So I got my Tempest in the post this morning. Initial impressions:

  • Solid build. Looks great
  • Somewhat smaller than I expected (in a good way though)

So then I switch it on and press play…

These are like the worst demo beats I’ve ever heard.
I’m gonna erase all these ridiculously bad demo beats off it. C’mon really?? Here I am struggling to find work and the guy with the dream job programming beats into drum machines (and getting paid for it) at DSI can’t get it together to make some decent demos to show off what the machine can do. They could of at least hired someone in who could have done a good job better. Honestly If I had demo’d this thing in a store (which I didn’t) beforehand, I’d never have bought it. End rant about the demos anyways. Hopefully some hands on time will bear sweeter fruit.

The distortion is just shit. No other words for it. Feels lazy to me that they haven’t implemented a better solution here. The noise off it. And it sounds like it’s introducing some kind of Hi-pass filter making it impossible to get low end. I was expecting a warm analog fuzz that gains intensity but I got no such thing. Crap!!

I know the A4 uses Drive (not distortion) but how does it sound so much cleaner (and useable) ? Surely engineers at DSI could have heard that this was a poxy circuit ???

Oh well. won’t be using that much.

I know it’s only early days (lol hasn’t even been a day) but I couldn’t help but moan about these two initial turkeys that jumped straight out at me.

I’m certainly not going to give up on this thing. The sequencer does seem really solid. With nice features that make performance quite enjoyable.

If I can synthesize kits that sound anywhere near as nice as my A4 then it will have been worth it. Sorry bout the rant. Will hopefully have something better to say after a while

BTW anyone know what’s going on over at their forums?


I can’t register at either of them which means I can’t view any threads etc.
When I click the register button I get a bogus warning and no registry page. Would be great to see what their own user community has to say. I emailed DSI about this but they don’t run the forum. Anyone here got any contacts for admin of either site. Would be much appreciated.

Edit: Ok maybe not all the presets are that bad. But certainly the first ones you come across (the initial impressions presets) are bloody awful. And I’m finding hard to believe how some of them made it on here at all.

Congrats with your tempest. I hope you’ll have lots of fun with it.

Yeah some design descisions were awful. The distortion is plain unusable and who decided to do an analog drum machine with no resonance on the highpass filter! If they’d dropped the distortion in favor of a reso multimode filter it would have been much more versatile.

But anyway, I ended up using it for poly synth sounds mainly. Lots of cool things can be done in that area. I finally managed to get real good kicks out of it after years, but the patch is extremely complex. The OS is finally shaping up but still painfully slow process of development.

Oh and the forum address is http://dsiforum.org/, hope that works better

Thanks SB-SIX.

Well I’ve gone and bought the thing and I’ve paid… paid handsomely for it. And I’ll have my pound of flesh one way or the other.

Even if that distortion was pre-filter it could be used but no, sadly no.

Yeah funnily all the links (including yours) lead to the same place.

I get this when I click on register:

Warning: include(/www/nz/s/smj/prophet5.org/includes/usercp_register.php) [function.include]: failed to open stream: Permission denied in /www/nz/s/smj/prophet5.org/profile.php on line 91

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening ‘./includes/usercp_register.php’ for inclusion (include_path=’.:/usr/pkg/lib/php’) in /www/nz/s/smj/prophet5.org/profile.php on line 91

No idea what’s going on. Tried to from several different platforms now including my phone. No joy.

@cocker, just remember you’ve seen it being used in action and dug it, it’ll be worth it, once you get sound you dig. :+1:

Are you using the multiple outs with the distortion? I dunno how it works on the tempest, but with the poly evolver it was generally waaay over the top unless you setup a multi and blended it. (yeah it was digital, but I just think it’s DSI style to go really extreme on the distortion/high end, which does have it’s uses for like snares and high hats.

And it sounded good going back in and getting filtered again. The a4 filters really like noise, I bet they’ll work well too. :slight_smile:

The compression and distortion is only on the stereo outs and it’s all analog.

Since the signal flow is analog the multiple outs take a minute to understand with the voice allocation.

I found with taking separate outs for the kick and snare and having some lighter stuff coming out of the stereo outs I was able to use the distortion subtly.