To round-up the past decade, we recommend ten of the best hardware drum machines released since 2010.
In the drum machine category, much-deserved reverence is paid to Roland’s iconic TR-808, 707, and 909 drum machines. And, of course, there are other classic beat-making devices, like the Alesis HR-16 and hybrid drum machine-samplers, such as the E-mu SP-12 and the Akai MPC1000. But the last decade has produced some of the finest drum machines—meaning that exorbitant prices for vintage analogue gear are no longer necessary.
By necessity, not all drum machines appear in this list, and samplers are excluded, though perhaps they will be considered in a future article. (*Note: some of the drum machines discussed below feature sampling functionality.) And the selections range from analogue to digital and what follows are just a few of our favourites. The past decade has seen exciting developments in the hardware drum machine market across all price points. From purists to pros to hobbyists – there’s something for everyone. If the past decade has taught us anything it’s that the market is in rude health and as we ‘sequence’ our way into a new decade get ready to hold onto your wallets!