Superbooth 2019: Italian brand IK Multimedia entered the analogue realm for the first time with last year’s UNO Synth - a budget-friendly analogue monophonic synthesizer in a compact, battery-powered package.
We were really impressed by the original UNO; despite a slightly cheap-feeling build, it boasts a meaty, characterful sound that belies its lightweight form.
Now IK is following up with a sister instrument, the UNO Drum, a 12-track drum machine that combines analogue percussion synthesis with PCM sample triggering.
Visually, the UNO Drum shares a lot of traits with its predecessor. It’s housed in the same desktop-friendly plastic chassis, which once again uses a combination of rotaries and touch-sensitive control. As before, power can come from AA batteries or via USB, and the rear panel also features 2.5mm MIDI in/out ports for connection to external gear via the included MIDI converters.
Under the hood, UNO Drum offers 12 drum tracks with a maximum polyphony of 11-voices. There are six analogue sound generators, offering two types of kick, snare, clap and hi-hats.
These are joined by PCM sample sounds, with a selection of 54 sounds to choose form.
These analogue and sample voices can be swapped in and out as desired, which should result in plenty of flexibility when it comes to building different styles of kit to suit different genres. Whole kits can then be processed via analogue drive and compressor master effects, which IK claim can add extra punch, weight and aggression to sounds.
Front panel control is focussed around 12 touch-sensitive trigger pads that feature two velocity zones. Below this is a classic X0X-style 16-button sequencer, for programming sequences of up to 64 steps, with the ability to save per-step automation data for up to eight parameters alongside drum triggers.
Sequences can be saved to the Drum’s onboard memory, and a Song Mode allows up-to 64 sequences to be chained back-to-back to create a long form composition.
Users can also make use of a collection of Performance Effects to enhance groove creation. These include a looping Stutter effect, beat repeat-style Roll, Humanize, Swing and a ramdomisation tool.
Output comes from a single 3.5mm jack port, which is accompanied by a matching audio input that allows external sounds to be processed through the onboard compressor.
As with its synth predecessor, one of the most enticing features of the UNO Drum is its price, which is listed as $249 excluding taxes. The drum machine can be pre-ordered from IK now, and is due to arrive this coming June.