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Rating and Reviews: Arturia DrumBrute Drum Machine

Build sick beats! The true analog Arturia DrumBrute boasts 17 drum sounds, a 64-step sequencer with Song Mode to chain patterns, and a Steiner-Parker filter.

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"Classic Analog X0X w/ Tricks Up its Sleeve" submitted June 8, 2017

By Aaron S in Akron, OH
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Musical Background: Was a DJ for a few years, now I just make tunes for the one-man party in my extra bedroom.
Music Style: Electronic music. Mostly dance-y stuff, but I kinda like it all.
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Overall: While the DrumBrute isn't be all, end all drum machine it does a great job of being an classic X0X box with pretty darn good analog sound. And lots of voices! A lot of people are not fans of the first kick voice--I'm not either, on its own. However it is fantastic to layer as a top kick, to beef up the snare or layer under the clap. I love the hats, they unforgivingly dirty. All the other voices--even the zap, which when pitched down makes a fine little perc sound--find their way into my tracks consistantly. The DrumBrute sound is DRY. Much like other analog instruments. Much like the MicroBrute. Most of the time I end up using a lot of processing; however, the DrumBrute voices take to lots of processing very well. If you already have some good saturation, distortion, etc you can get a lot of different textures out of the DrumBrute.The master swing has a really nice groove to it + swing per track + individual track lengths + "note nudge" means you can really get some pretty natural grooves going. There is a lot unsaid here (invidual outs, master out multi mode filter, rolls/stutter, etc). For my money this is way more interesting than the TR-8.Just a note about my star ratings below. I gave the "sound" category a slightly low rating because some of the voices do have a limited sweet spots on the parameters--the DrumBrute isn't a sound deisgn power house. "Wow Factor" was low-ish because...well...I've owned and used a lot of drum machines. The DrumBrute didn't come crashing out the gate with unheard of features. But it is a workhorse drum machine that'll work for many people. If you want to get started making House or Techno and don't want to use a computer, you could do far, far worse than choosing a DrumBrute as a first drum machine.
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"Quick, intuitive, unique and FUN" submitted May 1, 2017

By Nate H in Lawrence, KS
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Musical Background: 3 decades. Semi-professional. Keys, guitar. Electronic and hip-hop music production.
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Overall: The DrumBrute is not a clone of any drum machine that I know of, and that uniqueness is what makes it such an interesting piece of gear. It is very well-constructed (solid, sturdy). The immediacy of the functions make it extremely fun to jam on and for playing live. Having individual outs expands the sonic potential which is great, since the sweet spots for each sound do seem a little elusive at times. Kick 1 and the snare are probably the weakest sounds, but sending through their separate outs can quickly remedy that. Being truly analog, there's no saving of knob settings so I tend not to get caught up in the "how can I recall/recreate this live" way of thinking. Plenty of pattern/song memory though. It's also fun to trigger drum kits in a DAW (I use Ableton drum racks) since the pads send midi, and the note repeat/random functions also work via midi. It'd be nice if you could pan each sound you could apply the filter to your entire programmed sequence (which you can't do when using the individual I/O), but this is a minor gripe and at this price point you can't expect to have everything. For serious/experienced drum machine types, this may tend to seem like a less-serious option or something that would be nice to have second-hand, but if this is your first drum machine or if you're looking for a well-built, unique, and fun drum machine at a great price the DrumBrute is an excellent choice.
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"Don't expect it to be more than it is" submitted December 12, 2016

By Todd Z in Kalamazoo, MI
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Musical Background: Recording Engineer
Music Style: Electronic, Rock, Pop. Etc.
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Overall: The drumbrute was disappointing. Mine has something large and loose inside the case which prompted me to return it. So I can't say if mine was functioning properly, however I can say this: Unlike other Arturia products, the case is plastic, given the price that isn't unreasonable. The filter is supposed to be the same as the Minibrute, but the in both the high and low pass modes the sweep is minimal and the resonance is almost non-existant. Perhaps that was due to mine being defective. However given the limitations of the analog voices, your tone shaping options are very limited with the filter being marginally functional. The pads were also not responsive, the would only trigger 3 out of 5 times, and frequently double triggered. The note repeat function also failed to engage fifty percent of the time. The sequencer, which was the main point of interest for me, worked quite well, although the last step didn't always engage either. It is still remarkable they could make an analog drum machine for the price, but don't expect too much from it.
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