What are the Best Drum Machines?

ragtimeadmin April 29, 2014 0

Who doesn’t love a strong and steady drum or base line to add to the dimension of a piece of music? I know I do and what I love even more is the ability to achieve this within one tiny machine rather than having to deal with a big old drum kit. I am going to give you a few great options for electronic drum sets that will allow to achieve the great sound of a traditional drum set and so much more.

Here are some of the Best Drum Machines on the Market

Product Presets Weight (lbs) Sound Quality Pressure Pads Rating Price
Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine
Alesis SR18
Akai Professional XR20
BKE Tech Beat Thang
Zoom RT223


Akai Professional XR20 Beat Productions Station Drum Machine

Best drum machineThe Akai Professional XR20 Beat Production Station Drum Machine is a really great little unit that is a nice compact size. The user interface is very well designed and easy to use. There are a ton of samples available to utilize and you can switch between drums sounds at any given sounds. The electronic drum set has a really cool mode on it as well as bass and synthesizers.

A particularly enjoyable feature is the microphone input that allows you to talk into it and synthesize your own voice. The Akai Professional XR20 has many other features that are equally as amazing as the ones mentioned about. Take a look:

  • Chronic Music produced over 700 sounds for this drum machine
  • Over 99 preset patterns and user patterns for new sound capabilities
  • Bright backlit LCD panel
  • Backlit pads that are bright will help you follow the beat
  • ¼” jacks to plug a microphone or headphones
  • May be powered by batteries or the included AC adapter
  • Great drum roll and note replay option lends a hand the realistic sound desired

Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B000EFOUJ8″ cloaking=”default” height=”134″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51meXWkO8ML._SL160_.jpg” tag=”ragtimedigital-20″ width=”160″]The Boss DR-880 Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine is a bit on the more expensive side, but it is certainly worth every penny. It has nearly every feature you could want, need or even think of. It is by all means the jack of all trades of the electronic drum set world. Programming this unit is very easy and can be done quickly, especially if you utilize the great instruction manual that comes with it.

The electronic drum set really sounds just like the real thing and allows you to customize the sound you want to be synthetic or authentic in nature. You can record your music in step mode or real time depending on what you are trying to achieve. There are a ton of other really great features available on the Boss DR-880:

  • 12 voice polyphony
  • 120 drum and percussion sounds and 12 bass sounds
  • 20 – 260 beats per minute
  • Current time or step recording feature available
  • 13 velocity sensitive pads for optimum playability
  • Backlit LCD that allows you to keep tabs on what you are playing
  • ¼” RCA jack for audio in or out,  ¼” stereo jack for footswitch, MIDI input
  • Unit is powered by 6 AA batteries or an AC adapter
  •  Expected battery life when used continuously is approximately 5 hours (non-rechargeable batteries)

Alesis SR18 Drum Machine with Effects Engine

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B0017Y2TAC” cloaking=”default” height=”100″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41OZ-ADsiZL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”ragtimedigital-20″ width=”160″]The Alesis SR18 Drum Machine with Effects Engine is a surprising steal for the low price that most websites are selling it for. The sound of this drum machine is huge and it sounds just like the real thing and it is hard to believe that such dynamic sounds can come of such a small package. In fact it is so good that you could use it to back up a solo artist and be ready to perform.

This electronic drum machine has a lot of built in patterns and it allows you to program and record more if you feel the need to. It can be a little complicated to program, but the instruction manual is very thorough and guides you through it all. This unit is batter operated and will get on roughly on average 6 hours of battery life, but possibly more if you were to use rechargeable batteries. Here are some of the other amazing things that the Alesis SR18 has to offer:

  • Perfect for professional drum players
  •   12 velocity sensitive pads  with Dynamic Articulation that allows the drum machine to change sound depth
  • Backlit LCD panel that allows you to view what you are playing
  •  MIDI input and output,  aux outputs, ¼” jack for headphone output, ¼” jack for other instrument or device input and 2 footswitch jacks preinstalled
  • Drum machine is powered 6 AA batteries or the included AC adapter
  • Preprogrammed with 32MB’s of sound set with percussion bank and bass synthesizer. This sound bank has over 500 drum and percussion sounds, 50 bass sounds and a drum roll function
  • Pre-installed special effects for amazing sound quality. Effects include reverb, EQ and compression on each pad. All of these effects are editable by the user

BKE Tech Beat Thang

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B00753S0VG” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51fKyPUBcTL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”ragtimedigital-20″ width=”160″]The BKE Tech Beat Thang is expensive and there is truly no way around the price tag if you want to get the cream of the electronic drum set crop. This unit is the end all be all of drum sets in terms of digital equipment. It is very durable, sturdy all while looking sleek and clean. It is unbeatable with its pre-set in instruments, sampling, effects and super easy set up and it comes with over 1000 beats and melodies.

The software doesn’t limit you either and allows it to be a very powerful standalone electronic drum machine. There is the added benefit of it being MIDI keyboard compatible, but you can use your regular keyboard to mix sounds if you don’t have one. All in all not a steal in terms of pricing, but the BKE Tech Beat Thang is loaded with many options. Take a look:

  • 16 bit / 44.1kHz audio resolution for clarity of sound
  • Stereo XLR input
  • 16 playable tracks available in mute and solo modes
  • 2 – 1/4” headphone outputs installed
  • ¼” stereo balance output
  • MIDI input and output with USB MIDI device
  • 2 different types of USB available for use
  • Foot switch control
  • 3.5” color TFT display
  • Rechargeable battery up to 6 hours of playtime include or use of AC adapter is possible
  • Able to store 2 SD cards up to 32GB

Zoom RT223 Rhythm Trak Drum Machine

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”B000P3WE60″ cloaking=”default” height=”131″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51xchYxj0tL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”ragtimedigital-20″ width=”160″]The Zoom RT223 Rhythm Trak Drum Machine is a completely amazing bargain for the super low price. It is a very basic electronic drum set, but it is perfect for beginners and for practicing. The sound is great and clear as a bell. It is great for achieving standard drum and bass line to really get a good track base going. The Zoom RT223 Rhythm Trak Drum Machine is great in its simplicity and offers some of the following features to make it a complete package:

  • 511 rhythm patterns and 12 bass program sounds available
  • 127 programmable drum kits sounds127 drum kits
  • Able to use comp EQ and reverberation special effects simultaneously
  • Conveniently switch from input source
  • Able to adjust recording level manually

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