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.
Drum machines, at present, are further enhanced and mixed with other functions such as that of the looper. This allows users to readily record a certain musical loop and do an overdub on the loop. Many contemporary drum machines also feature visual metronomes in the form of flashing LED lights.
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. Hence, to make it easy for you to buy the right drum machine, we have listed here some of the most popular brands and models of drum machines on the market today:
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.
Boss DR-01S Rhythm Partner
The Boss DR-01S Rhythm Partner 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. The Boss DR-01S Rhythm Partner 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.
The Rhythm Partner 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.
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 drum patterns and a tap tempo that allows the user to manually adjust the beat of the recorded loop without affecting the musical key. Aside from the built-in drum patterns, 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.
Joyo R-06 O.M.B Recording Looper
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 tap 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.