Dave Smith Instruments Tempest, Analog Drum Machine

Dave Smith Instruments Tempest

RRP: $1,999

Produced: 2011 – present

It could never fail. The combination of Roger Linn (inventor of the Akai MPC and digital drum machine pioneer with the LM-1 and LinnDrum) and Dave Smith (legendary analogue synth designer, inventor of MIDI and creator of modern classics like the Mopho and Prophet 8) was always destined for great things. When their collaborative drum machine appeared we knew we were looking at something special.

The DSI Tempest combines the best parts of both its designers’ strengths. From Smith, we get an incredible sound engine unlike anything seen in a drum machine before. Rather than providing one synth voice specifically designed for kick drums, one for snares, one for claps and so on, the Tempest’s voices are all identical. That means they all have to be incredibly versatile, which they are thanks to a unique synth architecture designed from the ground up for the Tempest.

From Linn, we get a sequencer which displays all the hallmarks of his work, most notably a focus on musicality above all else.

Combine the two and we get an instrument which redefines the limits of a drum machine, from its ribbon controllers and inconceivably deep sound design options through to neat touches like its built-in distortion and compressor circuits.

The Tempest sets a new benchmark for what an analogue drum machine can achieve in the 21st century. It’s not cheap, but the price is fair when you consider the level of engineering and development which goes into creating a unit this capable.

Still not convinced of its merits? We’ll let it speak for itself. What better proof of the Tempest’s remarkable capabilities than the fact that it’s already a mainstay of so many house and techno acts’ live setups? In our opinion, there’s no greater endorsement than the visceral, primal impact of the two Tempests at the heart of Blawan and Pariah’s none-more-intense Karenn live project…

 

14th January, 2014

Comments

  • Wow no Tempest !
    Great Great Post ! Thanks

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  • Roc – the Tempest’s in there!

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  • SP1200 > SP12

    http://youtu.be/iAZO3XBtUzE

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  • thanks for this. i was looking at the tanzbar but i didnt know how cool the machinedrum was. another one to check out.

    do a feature like this on analog synths! 😉

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  • no oberheim dmx? no dynacord ADD-one?

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  • Jomox xbase 888 is killer once you change the sounds in it

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  • @KV the 1200 has no ROM sounds so it’s definitely a sampler and not a drum machine. I agree it’s better than the Sp12. Both incredible though.

    Attack, please do a Ten Of The Best on samplers. MPCs, SP1200 etc. Keep up the great work!

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  • id replace the 606 with the 808, but then again I haven’t owned either of them :p

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  • IMHO, the video featuring the Machinedrum does not make it justice.
    Some thing like the link below or any demo video from Mr Dataline can provide a deeper idea if its capabilities, just my 2cents…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtxX0VEpMSI

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  • 707 is boys noize go to drum machine. He’s got a super modified one and an orignal

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  • 707 clap isn’t so bad imo!

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  • Casio RZ-1 is truly horrible. Worst $25 I ever spent.
    Volca Beats?
    Any MPC should of been on there.

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  • Repeat until fade: an MPC is a sampler, not a drum machine; an MPC is a sampler, not a drum machine; an MPC is a sampler, not a drum machine…

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  • korg volca toy

    yet….
    no oberheim dx/dmx
    no sequential drumtrak
    no sequential tom
    no simmons :-O
    no dynacord add one
    no pearl syncussion
    no LINNDRUM?

    really poor list made by roland fanboy

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  • Too true on the Volca, didnt think as first look but when you get on one its fun as hell!

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  • @Gertie i love lots of the drum machines you mention but i suppose this feature is meant to represent the ideal proportion between money, fun and sound you can get nowadays, and, let’s face it, the best part of roland tr series can match this.

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  • I’d add jomox 999 here as well as linndrum

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  • you are a douche for missing mpc

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  • @won… MPC is a sampler, not a drum machine. Doubled-douched.

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  • “MPC is a sampler”
    What do think a SP12 is? It plays samples……

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  • Bull. If the SP is mentioned here, then the MPC series should have been represented…

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  • Tr 808 is the best

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  • What the hell??? Why isn’t the Linn LM-1 on here? And if you’re gonna add the DRM1, you guys might’ve well put the SDS-V on this list.

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  • Guys complaining about drum machines not being mentioned…..
    MAKE Your own LIST.

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  • Hi guys! Which make of drum machines do you recommend me?

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  • where is the Analog Rytm?????

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  • Why an SP12 and not a SP1200?? Why a Tempest and not a LM1??? Best hardware drum machines in what sense? Poor columnists here…

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  • Wow I like these reviews. I’ve been using drum machines for about 7 years now, and I’m thinking of switching over to a simpler version of one, well at least simpler to use (not simple in functionality). Anyone ever used the BeatBuddy (their site is http://www.mybeatbuddy.com )? It looks pretty cool, but I am not sure if I should get it. I’m really thinking of getting it, can anyone tell me if it’s worth making the switch??

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  • Best drum machine ever: The one that has the sound you want.

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  • RZ-1 is *horrible*. It is so bad, I actually bought one new in like ’83 and played with it for like 2 weeks… it’s timing was sloppy, sounds were dull and I ended up taking it back and getting a TR-505… which was no great DM either, but at least had a snappy kick.

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  • Zoom RT-234? It’s cheap and incredibly flexible.

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  • I agree with dagan,
    I have the orginal Zoom RT-123.
    The button layout is very intuitive – unlike anything else in this review.

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  • The RZ-1 is actually really useful, just not as a main instrument. I find it is best used being run by another box to cut sounds in as accents and fill. As a main or only piece, it’s really going to let a lot of folks down, it’s all about the faders and the outputs, one per instrument, give you all manner of processing options to takes it’s admittedly cheesy sound to a level far beyond it’s capabilities.
    Now for the “why not this…” part, Electribes, personally I would replace the Volca with them, but that’s me.

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  • Where is the Sonic Potions LXR???

    Amazing drum machine for the price.

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  • lol how the hell you put aSP12 and no MPC. this is bullshit preference based article

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  • nice to see the Tanzbar and MDS-1 in there…
    but I NEVER see a list like this include any of the Zoom RT-series, which had a kind of sequencing that has yet to be re-created in any other machine.
    Their “Groove Play” mode allowed you to play multiple patterns (of arbitrary length/meter) simultaneously… with velocity and time-alignment control by pads… somewhat a hardware pre-cursor to Ableton clip launching…

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  • Don,t forget the sounds u hear r fatten up with a analogue filter (white box on top) a Niio Iotine ?. Only whant to say the sounds r more thin without the filter.

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  • I mean the dsi ?

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  • I think they missed the awesome Anolog Rytm by Elektron. This thing is a real killer.

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  • I don’t think the Analog Rytm had been released when this article was written had it? Same with the Roland tr-8 which probably would have made the list too if it had been available at the time

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  • For me Elektron Analog Rytm far ahead!

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