Analog drum machine with a sound that according to many people defined the sound of oldschool hip-hop and soul.
Internal sound source:
16 analog drum sounds (BD, SD, Low,Mid,Hi Tom/Conga, Claves,Rim, Maracas, HC, Cow bell, Cymbal, O/C HH.
2xPEDAL (Start/Stop, Fill-In), 1xDin Sync IN/OUT (operation selected via a switch on back of unit)
2xMix, 11xindividual, 3xTrig, Shared Din Sync (see above)
Secondary data storage:
None. (Well, at least the memory is battery-backed so you don’t lose your work when the machine is switched off…)
12 patternsx32 steps, 4 fill-in pats, 12 tracksx64 meas.
508x305x105 mm, 5 kg (!)
Internal-only sequencer programmable in step or real time. Trigs its own internal sounds, or three external sounds/devices through voltages spikes.
Bugs & Features:
The sequencer is archaic but functional. Instruments are selected with a rotary knob and programmed via 16 multi-colored buttons with built-in LEDs. The “real-time” mode is reminiscent of the TB-303: an instrument is assigned to the dedicated “tap-button” which can be used to trigger and record the sound when the pattern is playing!
The sounds are analog and editable via knobs and for us knob-twiddlers the later SP non-tweakable drum machines seem like a step backwards in evolution. Also the idea of dedicated fill-in patterns which can be automatically trigged every n-th round or manually via a button or pedal is quite neat. Individual outputs is also on the plus side.
Tips & Tricks:
The ‘erase’ button means other less destructive things when in other modes. Also, the manual fill-in doesn’t always fill in in a predictable manner. Beware! This unit is ANALOG and UNPREDICTABLE
There exist numerous mods for this machine, allowing it to sync and perform via MIDI. The most noteworthy being the Kenton kit which allows the drum sounds to receive MIDI velocity as well.
Review by Mikael Lundgren