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Rating and Reviews: Arturia SparkLE

Take a USB drum pad controller with an X/Y touch pad, add a sophisticated software drum machine loaded with 1500+ sounds, and you've got the Arturia SparkLE.

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"It's fun to mess with" submitted May 3, 2014

By Ron C
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Musical Background: Used to play professionally but just play for fun now.
Music Style: Jazz, classical, electronic, metal
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Overall: For the price it is great. And version 2 software is a better user experience IMHO. I really like the compactness of the controller but would have liked to have 8 more pads switching gets a little irritating at times. I owned Spark and sold it mostly because of the software...got Maschine and I like most of it except for creating songs in it...got SparkLe and like it about as much as Machine. My advice would be save up and get Ableton and a controller because you have a lot more flexibility in creating things. Then if you want a little drum machine on the side. Get this. It's fun and pretty inexpensive.
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"Great Product!" submitted April 9, 2018

By Brian S
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Musical Background: Pro Singer/Songwriting/Producer
Music Style: Pop/R&B/Soul/Christian
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Overall: I did do a lot of research on this hybrid drum controller from Arturia, as this is an older product. So, I knew going in that I should be fairly pleased with the hardware/software. But the SparkLE more than exceeding my expectations! The size, fit & finish of the hardware is quite simply Amazing. I’d seen reviews that mentioned that the machine is well built, but that is sort of an understatement. It is rock-solid; with every knob, button, pad and every other part of the drum controller feels top-notch! We have a Maschine MK3, the Arturia SparkLE feels just as good (maybe even a bit better!) than the overall feel of that Maschine. Really! We just needed something more portable (comes with a nice quality zippered sleeve, nice touch, Arturia!) and simple to use with good software to do some of our beats on. It’s also reportedly great for live shows, too. I love the hardware... the software is good as well. We encountered a few little bugs, which were resolved with a quit & reopen of the Spark 2 software application, but this hybrid thing is so much fun to use! Comes with a ton of including and bonus expansions that all sound great, but if you have MPC waves/loops or any other sounds, you can import them into your Spark 2 projects to have an even more expansive sounds content bank. Awesome! Buy it!
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"An Underrated Powerhouse!" submitted September 24, 2018

By Rei H in Portland, OR
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Musical Background: Classically trained, multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, beatboxer, DJ, producer, working musician
Music Style: Hip hop, electro
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Overall: Bottom line: This is a fantastic and powerful hybrid drum machine and it's crazy underpriced at $200. Buy one.Support:This is an older Arturia product, but they've updated the software since it's release and are at version 2.4 at the time of this review. There are both free and paid sound expansion packs available. Sounds:The sounds that come with this drum machine are stellar; no less than you would expect from Arturia. Samples, synths, physical modeling, REX files, and importing your own samples are all supported.Production:You can get a ton of work done with Spark and the SparkLE before ever having to touch a DAW. Sequencing, sound design, sample manipulation, and mixing can all be accomplished in the unit's "standalone" mode. Run it as a VST and it auto-syncs to your project tempo. Drag and drop your patterns as MIDI or audio right into your DAW, or track out the channels from Spark's mixer. The workflow is simple and frictionless and creating is fast and easy. Live performance:Velocity sensitive pads with aftertouch, on-the-fly sequence editing and recording, touch FX controls, sound parameters, mute/solo, and looping can all be done live. The Tone feature lets you play any tonal sound chromatically, like a "keyboard" mode. Quantization can be turned on or off in real time.Hardware:The build quality is excellent. Solid feel, quality components. Feels like it will last. Overall:This is an amazingly flexible and powerful drum machine. Unless your allergic to using a laptop, this is a much better buy than a hardware drum machine anywhere near this price. The price is admission is well worth the sounds alone, and you're getting excellent groovebox software and hardware along with it. Options from Akai MPC and NI Maschine just can't compete at this price.I've barely scratched the surface of what it can do, and I'm already incredibly impressed. The only thing I would wish for is a tap tempo feature (maybe in a firmware update?) but it's a small concession and easy to work around.
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"Bad experience" submitted May 21, 2014

By Maurice Hardy
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Overall: Hard to set up and no help over the phone available.
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"Arturia SparkLE , , , don't buy , , REAL CRAP" submitted March 29, 2016

By joel r in northumberland, PA
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Musical Background: entire life
Music Style: trance , , electronic
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Overall: Arturia SparkLE , , , don't buy , , REAL CRAPI bought this 3 weeks ago ,,,if I had read auturias reviews a week before my purchase I would not have bought it ..half the ratings are 4 stars , the other half are one stars ....im with the one star customers .....you will read from arturas customers that support does not exist ,,, it really does not ,,,you really wonder if they read at all ,,,they send you back random things for your fix-up ,,,hears what my purchase does , , , the very first install worked fine , I was upgraded to SPARK 2 ,, and I loved it ,,,,,,and 3 weeks ago was the last time I could use SPARK-2 ,,, as I shut down the spark-2,,,, 3 weeks ago it froze ....and has never come back on ,,,I have spent about 8 hours watching my screen uninstall ,,re-install ,,uninstall again ,, uninstall ,,re-install ,,uninstall ,,re-install ,,it has given me a big pain in my ASS .....I can only run the cd install , to play with spark-1 , ,and that only runs in the demo mode ,,,support has been worthless ,, ,,So what did I get for my money ,,, NO SPARK-2 ,, I got the original spark demo version....If I can return it I will......maybe in a few years this will be improved ..I was ready to buy the arturia 49 key keyboard with the bitwig studio ,,, but I think I will find a better company ........
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