4 of the Best Drum Machines of All Time


Whether you’re looking to replicate the sound of Neil Peart‘s shrill, solo-worthy toms or Lars Ulrich‘s thumping bass drum, there’s a drum machine out there for everyone, no matter the genre or individual taste. The following list of the greatest drum machines of all time was based on a criteria of versatility (how many sounds the drum machine in question can replicate), value (its overall quality about its price) and its sound quality. Without any particular order, here is a list of the three greatest drum machines of all time.

  1. Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer

Roland is well-known for their wide variety of both drum machines and synthesizers. Part of what makes the TR-909 so interesting is that it is part sample-based and part analogue, making it versatile and suitable for a wide variety of situations.  The sounds in this machine are even widely used in the majority of hip hop drum kits to hit the market these days.  Nearly every symbol or drum you can think of is on this machine’s list of things it can do. It features a wide variety of options (such as putting an accent on drum beats, making it sound like a human playing an acoustic kit) aimed at creating a wider variety of sounds to cater to your taste. The Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer is sure to work for everyone, no matter one’s needs. About the price, you’re getting a great quality drum machine here.

  1. Korg Volca Beats

If the only thing that mattered in a drum machine were its quality-to-price ratio, this would be the best one out there by far. The same can be said about a drum machine’s portability. If you’re looking purely for something portable, this is going to get you the best sound hands down. This analogue drum machine is capable of making a wide variety of high quality, real-sounding drum beats. The Korg Volca Beats is also easy to master, making it great for beginners and professional artists alike.

  1. Roland TR-707

Another drum machine straight from the Roland line, the TR-707 has for quite some time been popular among professionals, and for good reason. While its list of features may not be a long one, the features on that list are great. While you’ll be paying a pretty penny for this drum machine, the sounds it produces make it well worth your dollar. You’d be surprised at how many of your favorite songs may have been made in part by this drum machine. If you like the idea of the Korg Volca Beats but have a bit more money to shell out, this should be on your shopping list.

  1. Akai MPC 2500

The Akai MPC 2500 is an advanced sampling device that takes its core design from the Akai MPC 2000. It includes all the initial features that were incorporated within the Akai MPC 2000 but adds additional features that make creating beats and sounds more advanced and in depth. This device has regularly been used to create genres of music such as hip-hop, house music and a wide range of other styles, thanks to the advanced use of sampling that can be achieved by the device.

The device has different features and can be allowed to set up a selection of different samples through the programs within the device. These programs can be used to affect the samples using different effects and features such as velocity, Mono or Poly playback, as well as effects such as chorus, phasers, reverb, grunger, EQ and compressors, as well as The impressive delay and phase-shifting effects that also come with the device.