5 Modern classic drum machines that are worth buying in 2022 (video reviews)

In this series of videos, music gear expert and producer Stimming takes a deep dive into the drum machines he considers to be today’s modern classics – some of the best and most important drum machines of the last two decades. All of the drum machines featured in this series have a proven track record in electronic music production circles and are likely to be much sought after for many years to come.

1. MFB-Tanzbär

In this video Stimming takes an indepth look at the MFB Tanzbär drum machine, a staple in Stimming’s setup since its release. The MFB Tanzbär is a fully analog drum machine with fourteen percussion instruments, two digital synthesizer voices and extensive sequencer functions. Stimming explains that while it might always be easy to use nor always logical, it remains one his favourite drum machines and has found its place in many of his tracks. Check out the video to discover what he likes and dislikes about this powerful machine from German company Manfred Fricke Berlin (MFB.)

2. Elektron Octatrack MKII

In this video, Stimming takes a look at the Octatrack from Swedish manufactured Elektron. This Octratrack is infamous for being a powerful and quirky beast of a sampler with a steep learning curve.

This cult classic performance sampler features eight stereo audio tracks and eight midi tracks, real time pitch shifting and time stretching, pitch shift and stereo sampling amongst many more features.

The Octatrack’s versatility makes it a mighty performance tool and it’s had a place in Stimming’s setup for many years now. In this video Stimming explains what the Octatrack is capable of and what he likes and dislikes about the Swedish super sampler.

3. Vermona DRM1 MKIV analog drum synthesizer

In this video, Stimming puts the Vermona DRM1 MKIV through its paces. With 25 years on the market, the DRM-1 has a loyal following and the latest version – the MKIV – adds tweaked frequency ranges, revamped control curves, adjusted levels and redesigned sub-circuits.

It’s been used on countless techno tracks but can the DRM1 MKIV still earn its keep in today’s studios? Join Stimming as he examines what’s hot and what’s not about the Vermona DRM1 MKIV.

4. Elektron Analog Rytm

It’s not without its flaws but the Elektron Analog Rytm remains my favorite drum machine of all time and in this video Stimming explains exactly why he loves it too.

The Elektron Analog Rytm is an eight voice drum machine which combines analogue drum synthesis with sample playback. The Analog Rhym is a staple in many studios thanks to punchy kicks, shimmering hats, crisp snares and sharp percussion, all of which can be programmed across twelve pads and Elektron’s powerful step sequencer.

Every drum voice can be spiced up with customisable user samples and fx elements like individual LFOs, analog percussion sound generators, analog overdrives, and analog multimode filters.

Note that in this video Stimming is talking about the original Rytm which is indeed a modern classic but I’d recommend opting for a MKII version if possible as it comes with a number of worthwhile enhancements.

5. DSI Tempest

It’s a crying shame that the DSI Tempest is no longer being manufactured but you can pick them up on the used market and I’ve no doubt that ten and twenty years from some wealthy young producers will be paying stupid money to get their hands on one.

Although marketed as a drum machine the Tempest can be utilised as a fully fledged six voice analogue keyboard synth with each voice containing two analogue and two digital oscillators, a vast sample bank and many more options for tweaking via filters, envelopes, distortion, compression and modulations.

Giving the Analog Rytm a run for its money, the DSI Tempest’s sixteen pressure pads allow for versatile on the fly creativity and sequencing and can be arranged through various time signatures.

In this video Stimming offers his thoughts on this modern classic, walking us through the many uses and functionality of this incredible machine.

More hardware drum machines you might be interested in: