Vermona DRM1 MKIII, hardware drum machine

Vermona DRM1 MKIII

RRP: from €599

Produced: 2007 – present

The DRM1 almost didn’t make it onto our list. If we’re being pedantic, this isn’t really a fully featured drum machine, but a drum synthesiser. The difference is subtle but very important in terms of the way it works in the music-making process: the DRM1 MKIII has no built-in sequencer. Instead, sounds are triggered via MIDI or gate signals from a sequencer of your choice. As such, it’s a module to be controlled by other gear rather than an all-in one drum programming solution like all the other models featured here.

Despite that minor technicality, the DRM1 justifies inclusion for a simple reason: it sounds really good. This is an all-analogue module which can generate up to eight channels of drums. At first glance the eight channels look pretty much the same, but closer inspection reveals that each one controls a dedicated circuit for a particular type of drum sound. The controls are subtly different in each case, allowing a wide variety of drum hits, percussion sounds and even bass notes to be generated.

The original DRM was a late-80s East German unit with a built-in sequencer, but the format was altered when the name was revived by Touched By Sound in 2000 for the Syncussion DRM1. The design has been tweaked slightly since then, but the latest iteration – now back under the Vermona brand name – retains the same basic formula. There are no presets, no automation and no unnecessary frills, just a bank of single-function knobs for direct hands-on control of every parameter. In terms of its sound, the DRM1 has echoes of late-70s drum machines like the Roland CR-78 but updated with faster envelopes and a more modern sound overall.

There are now so many sequencing options available that it seems foolish not to recommend the DRM1 just because you can’t program beats on the unit itself. Hook it up to anything from a DAW to an iOS app or a dedicated hardware sequencer and you’ll soon realise how versatile its synth architecture can be.

At €599 for the basic MIDI-only model and €679 with the optional trigger inputs, the DRM1 is great value. If you’re feeling flush there are also deluxe models which upgrade the front panel controls to much nicer chrome knobs (€759 and €859 respectively).

 

14th January, 2014

Comments

  • Wow no Tempest !
    Great Great Post ! Thanks

    Report
  • Roc – the Tempest’s in there!

    Report
  • SP1200 > SP12

    http://youtu.be/iAZO3XBtUzE

    Report
  • 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! 😉

    Report
  • no oberheim dmx? no dynacord ADD-one?

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

    Report
  • @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!

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

    Report
  • 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

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

    Report
  • 707 clap isn’t so bad imo!

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

    Report
  • 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…

    Report
  • 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

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

    Report
  • @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.

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

    Report
  • you are a douche for missing mpc

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

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

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

    Report
  • Tr 808 is the best

    Report
  • 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.

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

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

    Report
  • where is the Analog Rytm?????

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

    Report
  • 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??

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

    Report
  • 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.

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

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

    Report
  • 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.

    Report
  • Where is the Sonic Potions LXR???

    Amazing drum machine for the price.

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

    Report
  • 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…

    Report
  • 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.

    Report
  • I mean the dsi ?

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

    Report
  • 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

    Report
  • For me Elektron Analog Rytm far ahead!

    Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You currently have an ad blocker installed

Attack Magazine is funded by advertising revenue. To help support our original content, please consider whitelisting Attack in your ad blocker software.

Find out how

x

A WEEKLY SELECTION OF OUR BEST ARTICLES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX