MFB Tanzbär Lite
As 2016 draws to a close, we've been reflecting on the year in hi-tech music-making gear, asking you to vote for the best new hardware and software products to have been released over the past 12 months.
Now it's time to bring you the results of our polls. We drew up the shortlists, but the rankings and overall winners in each category have been decided exclusively by your votes.
Over the next 7 slides we'll be revealing what you've decided are the 7 best new drum machines and samplers of 2016, counting down to your number one. We'll start with the little sister to MFB’s highly regarded Tanzbär drum machine, the Tanzbär Lite…
We said: “The Tanzbär Lite features a stripped-back selection of nine analogue sounds based on those found in MFB's flagship Tanzbär drum machine. These consist of a kick, snare, rimshot, clap, tom/conga, cowbell, clave, cymbal and hi-hat. On the whole, the sounds are of a punchy and minimal variety; there's definitely a heavy x0x influence here, but the Lite has a certain metallic, raw quality that's all its own.”
BUY: MFB Tanzbär Lite currently available from:
We said: “The Tanzmaus packs in five analogue drums – kick, snare, rimshot, clap and tom – and a pair of sample tracks. The sound here is grittier and meatier than its Tanzbär counterpart. Each of the two sample sections offers a range of 16 built-in samples with a decay and pitch control.”
BUY: MFB Tanzmaus currently available from:
Korg Volca Kick
They say: “The volca kick generates powerfully present kick sounds using a completely analog circuit. To create those sounds, it uses not a typical sine wave, but the sound of an oscillating filter from the original MS-20. The powerful Rev.1 filter of the MS-20 self-oscillates when resonance is increased to the maximum, and this is used to produce powerful kick sounds with complex overtones.”
Pioneer Toraiz SP-16
We said: “For some time now, there's been a bit of a gap in the market for a decent, fully- fledged standalone sampler.
With 16-channels, each capable of sampling up to 30 seconds, plus a step-sequencer, performance pads, touchscreen control and an analogue filter courtesy of Dave Smith, it looks tentatively like Pioneer's Toraiz SP-16 could be the standalone machine that old-school MPC fans have been dreaming of for the past few years.”
Nord Drum 3P
We said: “Perhaps the 3P's biggest strength lies in the sound – it oozes so much character. Not to say that other drum machines don't of course. We're all too familiar with the 808/909 revival courtesy of the Aira TR-8 and the newly announced Boutique TR-09. And perhaps the 3P offers the perfect tonic to the norm.
That's not to say you couldn't whip up an 808 kick on the Nord, should the need arise. It also beats the competition in its flexibility; its rugged compact chassis makes it more than suitable for integration with any live set-up and it's also perfectly at home in the studio with its relatively deep percussive sound design, onboard effects and easy workflow. Crafting your own sounds from scratch beats samples and presets any day.”
Roland Boutique TR-09
They say: “The influence of the TR-909 drum machine is still heard—and felt—more than three decades after it was launched. Now, the 909 sound is available as part of the Roland Boutique series in the form of the TR-09. Featuring the same front-panel layout and user interface of the original, the TR-09 is powered by Roland’s ACB technology, delivering the speaker-pummelling power of the TR-909 in a super-affordable and portable format. Offering precise control over an array of drum parameters and the ability to keep playing when switching modes, the TR-09 may be compact, but it still has the power to move people. Studio sessions are well catered for too, with four separate outputs via USB audio, external instrument control via a trigger output, and USB MIDI.”
Winner: Arturia DrumBrute
We said: “ DrumBrute is a triumph. It packs a solid assortment of quality sounds, with a sonic character distinct from its main rivals. Its deep and creative sequencing capabilities are the real highlight though, and coupled with its fluid workflow, they make it a great source of creative inspiration. Kudos to Arturia for pulling it off.
A characterful and flexible analogue drum machine with some uniquely creative sequencing tricks up its sleeve – at a winning price.