Are you wondering about the best drum machines of all time?
Drum machines are an integral part of the music industry. They’re used in almost every genre, from jazz to hip hop. The best drum machine can make or break a song.
There are so many options to choose from that it might be hard to decide which one is right for you. We have put together this list of 7 amazing drum machines and why they stand out among the rest!
Table of Content (Best Drum Machines of All Time)
→ What Is a Drum Machine Used For?
→ Best Drum Machines of All Time
→ 1. Alesis SR-16 | Studio-Grade Standalone Drum Machine
→ 2. DigiTech Automatic Drum Machine
→ 3. Teenage Engineering PO-12
→ 4. Roland TR-6S Compact Drum Machine
→ 5. Behringer Rhythm Designer RD-8 Classic Analog Drum Machine
→ 6. MOOER PE100
→ 7. FLAMMA FS01 Drum Machine
→ Conclusion: Best Drum Machines of All Time
→ Frequently Ask Questions
What Is a Drum Machine Used For?
Drum machine is a term that refers to a machine or program designed to imitate the sound of drums. Many hip-hop artists choose drum machines because they’re easy to use and can create unique beats on the go.
You can use them in your music which is great for experimenting with different rhythms, discovering new sounds you didn’t know where possible, and creating something truly one-of-a-kind.
Now you understand the usage of drum machines, let’s move to the list of the best drum machines of all time.
Best Drum Machines of All Time
Alesis SR-16 is one of the best drum machines on the market and has been for many years. It’s a studio-grade drum machine but it is also great for live use.
It’s perfect for songwriters, musicians, and mix engineers alike because of the sound quality and endless possibilities when it comes to MIDI connectivity.
It also has some great production-ready features like sound stacking, step editing, and stereo samples with reverb and ambiance.
- It is the legendary studio drum machine that has been a top choice for songwriters, live performers, and remix engineers since its introduction in 1985.
- It comes with enhanced features, the new SR16 is more powerful than ever.
- It is powered by Alesis exclusive Dynamic Articulation technology, the SR16 delivers unmatched realism and playability.
- It includes 233 professional sounds including acoustic drums, cymbals.
|12 velocity-sensitive pads||N/A|
|50 preset / 50 user drum kits|
|233 sounds assignable to any pad|
DigiTech Automatic Drum Machine Pedal is a great way for guitarists to quickly create drum beats for live performances, songwriting, and practice.
Moreover, it offers BeatScratch Technology that is created by strumming your guitar or bass strings, allowing you to effortlessly create authentic-sounding drum beats.
Also, it is highly customizable, allowing you to explore new styles that can be enhanced through the switch of different parts.
- Quick and easy way to create drum beats for live performances, songwriting, and practice.
- Authentic-sounding drum beats with BeatScratch Technology.
- Highly customizable with different parts that can be switched on the fly.
|5 drum kits and studio quality||A limited number of drum kits|
|36 song memories|
Teenage Engineering PO-12 Rhythm is a great little drum machine that can produce 16 different drum sounds. It also offers 16 built-in effects and lets you create a whole song.
Additionally, this little drum machine is so much fun to play with, it gives the user access to a 16-step sequencer and step multiplier.
It will let you chain up to 16 patterns together, as well as insert a re-trigger in a single step. You can also fine-tune the effects in real-time with dual real-time parameters.
- Produces 16 Different Drum Sounds Produces – The Teenage Engineering PO-12 Rhythm uses real synthesized drum sounds to recreate drum and percussion sounds like cymbals, hi-hat, cowbell, and more.
- Offers 16 Built-In Effects – The Rhythm Pocket Operator has 16 onboard FX including distortion, delay, stutter, and vibrato.
- Let You Create a Whole Song – The 16-step sequencer and step-multiplier allow you to chain up to 16 patterns together. You can also insert a re-trig in a single step.
|16 different drum sounds||No input or output for triggering other devices|
|16 built-in effects|
|Lets you create a whole song|
TR-S is a modern take on the classic Roland rhythm machines that defined the sound of entire genres. Moreover, Roland’s is the latest addition to the best drum machines of all time.
Also, it is just as capable as its big brother, but it’s easier to carry with you. It has the same speaker-pummelling, window-rattling, body-moving sound of its bigger sibling.
- Elevate Your Drum Tracks – The TR-6S is a compact, affordable drum machine with six tracks of advanced sequencing and the most iconic rhythm sounds in music history.
- Make Beats on the Go – Whether you’re traveling or simply making music at home, the TR-6S will spark your creativity wherever inspiration strikes.
- Experience the Joy of Hands-on Production – With its compact design and battery operation, the TR-6S fits anywhere and lets you get hands-on with your beats anytime, anywhere.
Behringer RD-008 is an updated version of the popular 2005 Rhythm Designer. It’ll allow you to construct your own patterns, in either drum machine or step mode, then play them back in real-time.
In addition, you get 16 percussion sounds with accent and full control over decay, tone, and pitch. It is another one of the best drum machines of all time.
- Authentic Analog Drum Sounds – The RD-8000 is a true analog drum machine, with 13 individual voices that are fully controllable via MIDI.
- Create Complex Patterns with Ease – The RD-8000’s intuitive interface makes it easy to create complex patterns.
- 16 Percussion Sounds – The RD-8000 features 13 drum and percussion instruments plus three synth sounds.
|Great sounding analog drums||A sequencer can be a little confusing|
|Many features for live performance|
6. MOOER PE100
Mooer Pe100 is a tiny multi-effect pedal that comes with 36 effects, 198 presets, and an onboard drum machine/metronome. It’s a great tool for guitar practice, and it’s super easy to program.
Besides, this drum machine is one of the best drum machines for guitarists who want to add a bit of percussion to their music. It has 40 drum patterns and you can tap tempo to control the timing of the drums.
- 36 Effects – The Mooer Pe100 comes with 36 effects, including distortion, modulation, delay and reverb.
- 198 Presets – The Pe100 has 198 presets, which are organized into 36 banks. You can easily find the sound you’re looking for with just a few clicks.
- Drum Machine/Metronome – The Pe100 has a built-in drum machine and metronome.
|Tiny and Portable||Some people might want a bigger screen|
|Easy to Program|
|Has a Drum Machine and Metronome|
FLAMMA FS01 Drum comes with 11 different rhythm styles of drum machine, each style has 11 different rhythms, for a total of 121 different rhythms. Also, it comes with three modes: Looper mode, Drum Machine mode, and Mix Mode.
FS01 is one of the best drum machines for hip hop because of its 121 different rhythms and three modes, which allow for creativity.
- 11 Different Rhythm Styles – The FS01 comes with 11 different rhythm styles of drum machine, each style has 11 different rhythms.
- 121 Different Rhythms – The FS01 has 121 different rhythms, which is more than any other drum machine on this list.
- Three Modes – The FS01 has three modes: Looper mode, Drum Machine mode, and Mix Mode.
|Great Sound Quality||Some people might want more effects or sound styles|
|Can be Used with Other Instrument|
Conclusion: Best Drum Machines of All Time
We hope you will now find out the best drum machines of all time, and what each one can offer you. These machines are sure to give you a great foundation for your music production and help you create some amazing sounding beats.
So, get out there and experiment with these machines to see what you can come up with!
Frequently Ask Questions
Q: Which drum machine is best?
A: The best drum machine will depend on what you need it for. If you are looking for a basic machine with a limited amount of features, the Alesis SR-16 is a great option. However, if you need more features and options, the Teenage Engineering PO-12 is a better choice.
Q: What drum machines were used in the 80s?
A: The most popular drum machine used in the 80s was the Roland TR-808. It has some of the best sounds out there for bass drums, snares, and hi-hats.
Q: Can I hook a drum machine up to my PC or Mac?
A: Yes! Most modern-day drum machines have USB connections, so you can use them with your PC or Mac.