Now, in for a HW drum synth ! Advices?


Hi there !

I’m on the run for a dedicated drum synth to go along my other gears.

What I’m looking for :

  • a compact machine I can carry around easily.
  • no need for sequencer since it would be paired with a pyramid
  • Multiple outs and at least 4 channels
  • Lot’s of midi exposed parameters ( good bye Vermona drm )
  • Of course a nice sound but digital,analog or hybrid does not matter…
  • Complete synthesis engine, do not want to be locked in 808 sounds for exemple…( Bye clones ! )
  • The idea is to plug and jam away with lot’s of real time tweaking and morphing of parameters…
  • I want HW, no lappy or Ipad app…

I really want to spend on the engine and no other fancy effect or sequencer…( Bye Elektron…)

For now it seems that only the Nord Drum 2 fits ( most of ) the bill but since I’m about to pull the trigger on one, I wanted to be sure I was not missing anything obvious…

Tbh in a perfect world the soma pulsar would have been my choice but I can’t justify the budget…

Thanks a lot.


Nord Drum doesn’t have separate outs, you want a Sonic potions LXR- which has a sequencer.

But it seems odd to choose to focus more on the features you don’t want over the features you DO want

There’s also the Volca drums you could get which has all the parameters right there on the unit


My first guess would be an analog four, because 4 tracks, performance knobs and alota sounddesign.

Just ignore the fancy effects and the sequencer :wink:

LXR is noice, it has 4 individual assignable outs - you can route the tracks as you like to them, but building one is some action.


The Division Department 01/IV although it’s not released just yet…




@Ryan Yes I know but perfect world does not exist it seems…Choices have to be made…Nothing is mandatory !
The idea of getting a drum synth only, is beacause obviously money will be spent on what matters : drum engines…Reverb ? I have a space…Plockable FX, I have a Zoia…

@gekkonier I already have an AK…Tbh it’s a beast but far from plug and jam !

You both suggested LXR which I looked at often but I do not want to build it myself and every single unit I’ve came across the used market was always advertised as not fully functional…Seems that it’s a great product but not so reliable…

Thanks for your help anyway ! :slight_smile:



ND2 all day.


I’ve recently been looking at the with a small skiff, doesn’t fit all your boxes though.
Or a 2nd hand Attack Rack but not too portable…


Interesting ! Curious about the price ! Shipped from HongKong and custom fees ! Could be a nasty surprise in the end ! But that’s a nice beast for sure ! Keep that in mind !

@Automageddon Euro ? No way ! Let me sell my house first ! :smile:

@xidnpnlss Yeah you know me ! :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks everyone !


Audiothingies Double Drummer?


Tempest is a beast. The sequencer’s part of it. Don’t underestimate the character in a good drum synth sequencer. Doesn’t get funkier than the DSI monster.

It costs the part, though. So there’s that. But there’s nothing like it and I doubt it ever will


aside from the lack of multiple outs, yea, it really is the best, most versatile, most portable.
I say go ahead and pull that trigger, considering they aren’t that easy to find from time to time.

The only other option I can think of is a Machinedrum nonUW and ignore the sequencer.


korg vocla drum?
no multi outs. but i think thats gonna be hard to find in a small machine


best of superbooth 19

invest now



Nord drum 2 is arguably one of the best percussion synths around. I really hope nord gets their act together and get a ND4 out that fixes nd3 issues and brings all synthesis options from previous models together in one box.


Step into my office!! :joy:

I appreciate you dont need a sequencer but some of the best HW drum machines/expanders come with them…

My favourite go to for drums… they are not clones and have their own character…

  • Tanzbar 2: portable, light, brilliant sounding, can upload samples, individual outs, lcd, qwirky sequencer, Midi and midi cc

  • Jomox Alpha Base: slightly larger, more expensive, best in class dynamic range, enormous kick, midi channel per track/instrument AND/OR Master, enormous CC range everything controllable

  • Tempest: older, limitations, wonderful for live and jamming, a synth geeks wet dream…


Nord Drum is really the way to go, though no extra outputs sadly.

LXR is a great box, and they can be had cheap secondhand, but a wee bit quirky for my tastes. Some of the parameter ranges are bizarre and it gets a bit “samey” sounding after a while.

Now if you had the itch to get into eurorack… Oh boy.

Plonk, Bassimilus Iteritas Alter, Akemie’s Taiko, etc. There’s a wealth of insane percussion synthesis in that realm.


If your going to ignore the Rytm… well then you probably don’t really like electronic drums hey? :joy:


Erica Synths Techno System, not that small but portable, maybe price tag is a bit high, best Drummer :wink:


People have interesting standardss of portable…