The Essential Drum Machine Masterclass
Push your beatmaking hardware to its limits
In our humble opinion, an electronic musician that doesn’t love drum machines shouldn’t be trusted. Yes, synthetic percussion has been absolutely rinsed to death by now, and these sounds are often used in formulaic ways, but that’s why it’s so special when a producer actually does something fresh and unexpected with them. We love the 808’s booming kick; the machine-gun 909 snares; those ‘cowbells’ and ‘rimshots’; and all the other tinny ’80s drum sounds that evoke memories of late nights dancing to mechanical grooves.
That’s why, over the following few pages, we’re going to break away from the norm to explore the creative universe of drum computers, grooveboxes and electronic beats in the search for new and exciting sounds. Whether synthesized or sampled, drum machine tones deserve to be treated as experimentally, aggressively and creatively as any classic synth. Let’s jump in over the page and push our beats to some exciting new places.