So I had enough moxie to get the DrumBrute up and running and playing around with it. I had some initial thoughts about some common thoughts being thrown around about it.
- Its an over priced Rhythm Wolf
Eh. I think that Kick 1 on the DB can get into this kinda cheesy, squelchy video arcade game territory, but having owned a MicroBrute I was not surprised by this and it is apparent in all the demos. On the other hand Kick 1 has a lot of sweet spot on the opposite end. The rest of the sounds are all good and all synthesized analog voices. So if you want "that sound" as far as sound palette you've got it.
Overall I really don't see a comparison though. This has loads of features: master swing, per track, not nudge and polyrhtyhms on a 17 voice all analog drum machine is simply amazing at this price point. Once I bumbled through the manual and cleared all the factory banks/patterns I got a pretty funky 16 steps going my first time out. All of these parameters are easily accessible and I'm sure I'll memorize them in no time. The swing/nudge options where what I was most worried about loosing switching from Elektron to another drum machine. I know plenty of boxes do it--but a simple X0X analog drum machine with these options easy to access is a real pleasure to program.
The hats and I think the kicks are on choke groups which is nice. I think I'm going to be doing a lot of tracks employing both kick drums in a kind of wonky style, letting something else hold down the rhythm.
Also, unquantized and quantized live beat recording. No p-locks or motion recording, which might actually be nice for the drum voice parameters, but nothing that can't be done live (which is more fun and more organic sounding).
- Arturia = Unfinished, Abandon-ware
Legit concern. We will see. I'm not really seeing any major bug reports so if its stable, great. Don't fuck with what works. I can't imagine what they might possibly add.
- Sounds are too limited.
Personally I feel like this is a totally asinine comment. This has as much range as the TR-8 808/909 combined sound sets and presumably the originals. If you want a modern drum synthesizer get a RYTM. These days most people aren't using just raw drum machine tracks most of the time. Though you arguably could use the DB raw for plenty of genres. I feel like its getting ripped on for not sounding like a mastered track right out of the box. Saw one really nice video using a load of pedals and the DB's voices really sprang to life with just a little extra processing. Makes sense to me--the DB has a personality, but seems to take well to further tweaking.
For myself, I think I'll be "rounding off the grit" quite often, but if I'm in a raw ass techno mood, the DB will do nicely. It'll take some extra work to make it soft or subtle. I think a lot of people who are used to using pre-processed samples or like modern layered drum sounds are going to be disappointed by the untreated sound of this drum machine--as they would most.
Individual outs and a variable HP LP Steiner Parker filter allow for plenty of sound sculpting.
Pretty impressed Arturia. Also the "Vegas" screen saver mode is tits. I love all the pretty lights...
Still planning on doing a video with some demo stuff.