An excellent drum machine will always let you practice well with your guitar. A drum machine, of course, includes percussions and drums as well as basses, synthesizers. Their sounds work like samplers that you can configure, edit, and record.
Many drum machines designs are specifically designed for easy setup and programming using turn knobs or push buttons that could be operated by foot. In fact, most available products on the market today sports a thimble-like foot button for controls. There are, however, a wide array of models and brands of drum machines on the market today, making it difficult for you to choose the best for your needs.
Most Recommended Guitar Player's Drum Machines
Not every guitarist has the benefit of getting acquainted with an all-around drummer. Sometimes, even well-known performers do not have the advantage of having one. In the unavailability of a well-rounded drummer, a guitarist can usually turn to a drum machine. But what is a drum machine? A drum machine is an electronic device that can recreate the drum set’s sounds and beats. The drum machine is also capable of producing other percussion sounds. Thus, a drum machine can easily be handy to those aspiring to become musicians and composers. Moreover, a drum machine allows its users to explore various parameters in creating their own music creatively.
The most sophisticated drum machines allow you to program your beats via step sequencing or by tapping the main panel’s pads. This allows you to manually configure drum hits to every beat. Moreover, they may come with a wide range of features, letting you have in-depth control of the acoustic and electronic sounds you want to create. Here are your top 5 best options when it comes to drum machines for guitarists:
Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1) Roland AIRA Rhythm Performer (TR-8S)
The TR-85 is an offshoot of the most influential drum machines ever rolled out. It combines the sterling features of its predecessors with contemporary production techniques and incredible sound design. It also exhibits an innovative and performance-tuned drum machine that differentiates itself from other drum machines.
You can build your setup around this iconic drum machine along with the best sample selection from its vast library. You can also import your custom samples. Moreover, you can tap, tweak, or tune using production tools and hands-on controls that render groove and oomph to your patterns.
The TR-8S features design kits that come with authentic TRS drums, effects, and sampled sounds. It also comes with every sound you will find from the TRS drum machines, and it comes with detailed circuit models (808, 606, 909, 707m 727, and other modified versions).
With this drum machine, you can adjust decay with ease and tune and change start points, direction, and speed. You can also create an entire kit from samples. Additionally, you can mix and match with your TRS sounds for greater possibilities.
The effects offered by TR-8S include rim-shot delay, kick overdrive, filters on cymbals and toms, and precision reverb on any selected instrument.
2) Alesis SR-18 Drum Machine
Another great drum machine offering of Alesis is the SR-18. The Alesis SR-18 is a next-generation drum machine and an improvement over the SR-16, which was first introduced in the 1990s. The SR-18 comes with cutting-edge drum sets, including electronic drums, modern percussion, and one-shot hits. With these features, the SR-18 lets you enhance your live performances and level up your compositions.
The SR-18 comes with exclusive Dynamic Articulation technology that lets you modify sample sounds allowing you to change these sample sounds while you play. With this feature, you can create sound sample sounds that accurately respond to dynamic changes and come with the right color and timbral changes.
The SR-18 is easy to set up and use. Moreover, you can plug your guitar to it and play along with the beats. You can also play the bass parts with its pads or hook it up with a MIDI keyboard for the low-end sound recording. You can power the SR-18 using AC or via the use of batteries. So, anytime you feel the urge to create a groove, you are always ready to roll.
Its other salient features include a large 32MB sound set (that comes with bass synth and percussion bank), more than 500 percussion and drum sounds along with 50 bass sounds, built-in effects like EQs, reverbs, and compression, programmable drum roll functionality, mute/solo function, backlit LCD, and 12 velocity-sensitive pads.
3) Singular Sound BeatBuddy
The BeatBuddy is a drum machine with a guitar pedal appearance that guarantees a hands-free operation during performance. Unlike most foot-operated drum machines with small thimble-like foot control, the BeatBuddy offers full pedal controls just like those of the standard guitar pedals. Moreover, the BeatBuddy features a metronome on its LCD display that allows its user to see the time signature of the music that is being played. Furthermore, the display is in color that lets its user know what part of music is engaged in. Intro and outro are red; gray for transition; fill is yellow and green for the regular pattern.
Tapping the pedal starts the intro of the first pattern of rhythm. The next quick tap introduces the fill. The transition is engaged when the pedal is depressed continuously until released. A quick double tap then introduces the outro. Along with its standard-sized pedal, it also has other control knobs like those for volume, tempo and drum pattern selectors with push functions. It also features a tap tempo button surrounded by four cursor controls.
The BeatBuddy drum machine pedal offers a wide variety of features that includes 24 genres, 220-plus styles, ten types of drum sets with an option to add more. It can be connected to a mixer channel or guitar rig, MIDI sync and can pass the 24-bit sound mix to an amplifier through two output terminals. An optional BeatBuddy footswitch can be connected to the drum machine for more hands-free application.
The BeatBuddy drum machine’s pedal measures 5 x 3.5 x 2.5 inches (127 x 88.9 x 63.5 mm) and weighs 1.15 pounds. Lastly, the BeatBuddy comes with a preloaded SD card and has a USB port for computer hook-up.
4) Boss DR-01S Rhythm Partner
The Boss DR-01S drum machine, organic grooves generator is a user-friendly rhythm box with a built-in speaker. It is designed explicitly for home-based acoustic musicians. It has seven instrument categories that include shaker/maracas, tambourine/claves, hand clap/bongo, conga, cajon, drums, and metronome. Each category features a variety of rhythmic patterns. Each category can also be set to a desired time signature and volume. All seven categories can be played simultaneously or individually. Played individually, the instrument category can be turned on and off by simply touching a button. Moreover, each category can be combined with other categories as long as both categories are in the same time signature.
The time signature can be set by merely pressing the beat button. There are three time-signatures available, namely: – 4/4, 3/4 and 6/8. Selecting a particular time signature will automatically alter the pattern for each instrument category to prevent it from getting out of time or sync. Setting the tempo can either be done through the “tap tempo” button or by the two tempo controls found at the upper part of the Rhythm Partner.
It also provides 50 memory slots, thus enabling the users to save his “composition” for future use. The drum machine can also accommodate an external footswitch like the Boss FS-5, FS-6 or FS-7 to toggle from one instrument to another by foot for hands-free operation. It is a very portable drum machine that measures 11 x 8 x 6 inches and weighs 0.16 ounces. It is powered either by a DC power supply or by six AA batteries.
Furthermore, It also features a line-out terminal that can be connected to an external amplifier and an aux-in terminal to facilitate the playing of music to the built-in speakers from external sources such as those of the MP3 players, tablets, and iPhones.
5) Arturia DrumBrute Analog Drum Machine
Another excellent choice, if you’re looking for an analog drum machine for your guitar, is the Arturia DrumBrute Analog Drum Machine. It comes with a wide range of controls that lets you tinker with unique new sounds. It comes with two kick drum flavors, unique analog reverse cymbal, along with 64 patterns and up to 64 steps.
It strikes a balance between analog and digital I/O. It comes with a 1/4″ main output jack with 12 individual mini-jack outputs. It also features a headphone output with both 1/4″ and mini output ports along with dedicated level control.
It offers full-bodied gritty sounds. Its cymbals and hats have a pleasant raspy and metallic quality. The reverse cymbal is also great for adding extra grooves and building drum loops. It doesn’t have a decay control that is free of the main cymbal. The toms/congas and rim/clave are also punchy and tight with a classic feel.
You can have greater versatility in its sound generation as well as programming options as compared to the classic machines. Moreover, it features 17 true analog sounds, a modern step sequencer, and unique performance effects. It’s easy to use and it offers easy connectivity.
6) IK Multimedia UNO Drum Portable Analog/PCM Drum Machine
The IP-UNO-DRUM-IN is a compact drum machine that is perfect for guitarists. It can enable you to create punchy and high-quality grooves that will make your live performances awesome. This drum machine is conceptualized in collaboration with Soundmachines—an Italian analog specialist. This drum machine combines a massive analog tone with digital flexibility.
The UNO Drum is easy to program and set up. It lets you use the widest sonic spectrum for added professionalism to your music grooves. It features 12 awesome-sounding drum elements, 6 fat and punchy analog voices with up to 12 PCM voices, 100 drum kits and 100 patterns that are all user-editable, 64-step sequencer that comes with 8 parameter-per-step automation, analog drive & compressor along with 5 performance effects, 2.5mm MDI connections, and USB.
You can power it using batteries, or it can be powered by USB for great portability. The UNO Drum features 3 Master effects that include compression, stutter, and drive. It also features 5 performance effects along with 12 drum elements for creating an awesome and unique sound. Moreover, you can easily integrate it with your gear. It also comes with an intuitive software editor that you can use either as a plug-in in your various sessions or by using your iOS device.
The good thing about the UNO drum is that it is easy to program. Its 64-step sequencer provides a great bottom for UNO Drum. You can tap, hit, and step on a pad if you want to add a hit. You can also use its Record Button Play in live patterns. Its sequencer also lets you automate up to eight parameters each step. Its song mode also allows you to link up to 64 patterns for creating extended grooves.
The UNO drum also comes with 12-touch sensitive pads that provide two velocity zones to enable you to create expressive live performances. You can add your live flare over the preprogrammed rhythms for great and realistic performance.
7) NUX MG-20 Electric Guitar Multi-effects Processor
Gauging from its compact design, the NUX MG-20 Electric Guitar Multi-effects Processor is a great choice if you are looking for a drum machine for guitarists. As a floor guitar processor, it features a 32-bit DSP equipped processor and TSAC technology (True Simulation of Analog Circuits). It also comes with up to 60 models, a sample-based drum machine, a 60’s looper, along with MP3/WAV Player. It also features a great user interface with a huge colorful LCD.
The NUX MG-20 also features a multi-purpose extension pedal along with a built-in Expression pedal that allows you great control during your live performance. It also offers great possibilities during your live performance. Moreover, its USB port lets you update the system as well as edit tones via your computer.
Its key features are its intuitive User Interface, a built-in tuner, 60 effect models, 36 user presets plus 36 factory presets, scene selecting for matching the equipment, and built-in MP3/WAV Player.
8) Alesis SR-16 Drum Machine
There are a couple of popular drum machines for guitarists in the market today. One of them is the Alesis SR-16 Drum Machine. The Alesis SR-16 is utilized by live performers, songwriters, and even remix engineers. It features a wide range of realistic drum sounds that come both in sampled and dry form. It also features a Dynamic Articulation. This lets you change the tonal contents of a drum sound while you play. This makes your performances more realistic.
The SR-16 comes with 50 preset patterns, played by great studio drummers. These patterns are not pre-programmed nor quantized. You can also compose your arrangements with its built-in rhythmic variations. Afterward, you can customize and save your arrangements.
The SR-16 also comes with complete MIDI implementation along with a footswitch input. Moreover, it features flexible programming and easy editing features along with its velocity-sensitive pad buttons.
The big draw of the SR-16 is its ease of use. You can quickly set it up; afterward; you can be up and running, allowing you to tinker with your music. With the SR-16 at hand, you can enhance your live performances.
9) Korg Volca Drum
The Korg Volca Drum is a very compact digital percussion synth that comes with an assignable 6-part kits. It also features a 2-layer structure and drum sounds created using the new DSP analog modeling engine of KORG.
It comes with 16 x 6-part kits that provides its user with complete freedom in assigning sounds. It also comes with waveguide resonator effect settings that you can use individually or simultaneously.
For every layer, it has five oscillator waveform types and 3 Pitch Modulation types. It also comes with amp EG for playing with, giving a wide array of sounds to tinker with. You can improvise and create drum patterns utilizing its 16-step sequencer. Moreover, you can loop and daisy-chain sequence patterns using memorized knob operations.
Another good thing about this drum machine is its portability, allowing you to take it anywhere because it can be powered by battery or by mains power. It also comes with a headphone socket and a built-in speaker.
10) DigiTech Automatic Drum Machine Pedal Multi-effect Processor (SDRUM-U)
The SDRUM-U is touted as an intelligent drum machine and the first of its kind for guitarists and bassists. It is intuitive. With a single strum through your guitar strings, you can enable the SDRUM-U to create a kick and snare pattern. This created pattern can serve as the foundational beat for your drum sequence. Following this pattern, the SDRUM-U can supply a professional-sounding line of drum beat along with added embellishments and variations. Thus, it is considered highly intelligent because it fills in the gap in your creative flow.
It features BeatScratch Technology. This technology analyzes your unique rhythm and utilizes your bass or guitar to create grooves. Hence, you do not need to use pre-programmed drum patterns. Its pads on its front panel allow for alternate manual input. You can tap out the grooves on the kick and snare pads and just let the SDRUM fill in the remaining beat.
The SDRUM-U allows for JamSync Compatibility. It also features 36 various songs. And you can play beats from 5 choices of kits that cover a wide spectrum of great-sounding drums.
The SDRUM-U, of course, is your quickest way to transition from a great beat idea to a workable drum track. Moreover, it is easy to carry around with its 1-pound weight, and it is compact with its 5.4” x 2.5” x 3.25” dimensions.
11) Nux Loop Core
The Nux Loop Core is a drum machine, guitar effect pedal, and looper rolled into one device. It is loaded with 40 patterns for drum and a tempo that allows the user to manually adjust the beat of the recorded loop without affecting the musical key. Aside from the built-in patterns for drum, the Loop Core can be connected to a laptop or MP3 player for additional music mix. The Loop Core is robust enough to take any “foot punishment”.
Like any other looper, the Nux offering allows the user to record up to 6 hours of stereo or mono audio mix through its 99 memory slots. The Loop Core also enable the user to overdub a loop continuously.
Despite its size of 4.8 x 1.8 x 2.8 inches (122 x 46 x 71 millimeters), the Loop Core features two output and input terminals. The Loop Core has a straight-forward looking guitar pedal/drum machine with all the visual frills. It can surely deliver a solid performance for any musical jamming, practice, recording or live presentation.
9) Joyo R-06 O.M.B Recording Looper
The Joyo R-06 OMB (one-man band) recording looper and guitar pedal is an electronic device that can function as a looper, a drum machine, or a combination of both at the same time. In its looper mode, the Joyo R-06 can easily record the initial guitar chords and play them back in a loop. The user can then overdub continuously to build up the melody. The good thing about the R-06 is that it can handle up 40 minutes of recording. Moreover, it allows the unlimited number of overdubs. It also has an auto-align capability and count-in function.
The Joyo R-06’s six drum machine even has different genres of drum patterns like those of pop, jazz, rock, metal, punk, blues, and Latin. Each drum pattern comes with seven drum beats. Furthermore, the tempo of the drum pattern can be easily manipulated using a tempo button.
It is very compact, measuring a measly 4.5 x 2.6 x 1.9 inches or 109 x 67 x 48 millimeters, and weighs a little under 8.75 ounces. Its pedal features volume control for the looper and drum functions as well as a mode selector for looper/drum or drum and looper. The guitar pedal also features LED lights that light up when the footswitch and pedals are used. Lastly, this drum machine uses a 9-volt adapter for its power supply that you have to buy separately.
Drum machines have gone a long way since the introduction of the early preset drum machines in the 1970s. At present, there is a wide range of drum machines in the market. This wide range of options come at different prices likewise. You can find, for example, cheap beatboxes. You can also find high-end models of drum machines that let you create beats without needing a full-set drum set. As a guitarist, however, you will surely have a wide spectrum of drum machine options at hand.
Finding the perfect drum machine for guitarists may be a bit confusing, given the wide range of options at hand. However, if you know your best options, the search becomes easy and fast. Moreover, you can easily compare the different options and zero in on the one whose features you like most. With the right choice, you can easily configure your drum hits to every bit and gain in-depth control of your acoustic and electronic sounds.
Last update on 2021-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API