Best Drum Machine Beat Makers of 2022

Dave Mostert
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The best thing about a drum machine is that it essentially gives you the power to sculpt your songs around a unique rhythm that defines the style and sound of your genre.

A drum machine beat can often be the difference between having a song that people love and one that people simply shrug their shoulders at.

Let’s face it, why do some songs go viral while others languish in obscurity?

Is it simply luck?

Or is it because the right beat was used?

Regardless of how talented a songwriter is, the right beat greatly increases their chances of success.

Great beats aren’t created overnight though.

The most important thing to do, is have an understanding of various beat construction techniques and how you can use them to your advantage.

In the list below I’ve reviewed some of the best drum machines that exist right now, so let’s begin.

NameCategoryProduct
Korg Volca Drum Digital Percussion Synthesizer BundleBest OverallKorg Volca Drum Digital Percussion Synthesizer Bundle
DR Pro DR259 MS1500BK Low Profile Mic Boom StandBudget PickDR Pro DR259 MS1500BK Low Profile Mic Boom Stand
YAMAHA RX-7 Rhythm machine Drum machineUpgrade PickYAMAHA RX-7 Rhythm machine Drum machine

1. Korg Volca Drum Digital Percussion Synthesizer Bundle

Our rating: 9 / 10

Korg Volca Drum Digital Percussion Synthesizer Bundle

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Pros:

  • Drum machine with a unique design
  • Allows you to produce a range of sounds with realistic analog modeling
  • Great for electronic music producers who like creative drum loops
  • Six different sounds with dedicated individual outputs
  • Manual is easy to understand
  • Affordable
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Can fit in a small space — doesn’t take up much space on your desktop
  • Battery powered
  • Ideal for percussive accompaniment

Cons:

  • The detachable mini speaker might be bothersome due to its size
  • Takes up space when folded
  • The bass drum is not particularly deep
  • It doesn’t come with any instructions for the drum roll effect

You might be one of those hip and happening producers who needs to take the party to the next level. If so, the Korg Volca Drum Digital Percussion Synthesizer might be the right solution for you.

2. Arturia DrumBrute Analog Drum Machine

Our rating: 8 / 10

Arturia DrumBrute Analog Drum Machine

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Pros:

  • Reasonably affordable
  • Six analog drum voices
  • Electro and acoustic kits
  • Wide range of sounds
  • Built-in sequencer and hands on controls allowing you to tweak every parameter
  • Easily tunable for live performance
  • Plethora of effects and filters

Cons:

  • Heavy on MIDI
  • Lack of drum pads – great for kids

In taking a look at drum machine beat makers for the year 2020, we found the Arturia DrumBrute to be one of the leading contenders, and our top pick. This drum machine is a digital drum with a focus on analog power.

It has a compact and sleek design and packs all the punch you’d expect from a drum machine. In terms of sound, this thing is a beast. It has six great drum voices, including classic analog, acoustic and electro drums and percussion.

The DrumBrute also allows you to mix and match your sounds, which is great if you don’t want to settle for just one type of drum. It’s got over 600 drum kits and patterns inside and you can tweak each one to your heart’s content.

3. Alesis SR-16

Our rating: 8 / 10

Alesis SR-16

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Pros:

  • 3.54-inch color LCD screen
  • More than 100 drum and percussion sounds
  • Over 100 dance, pop & rock kits and patterns for live playing
  • Standalone operation for professional use
  • On-board Tap Tempo control

Nothing beats the thrill of creating your own drum beats! If you’re looking for a standalone beat maker, the SR 16 is what you’re looking for. It comes with 16 fully programmable tracks, a library of drum and percussion sounds, and even patterns if you’re new to beat making.

This drum machine has a great MIDI interface that enables you to connect it to external instruments, if you’re a drummer you can use it in conjunction with your kit. It’s lightweight and has a decent memory so you can store your beat patterns so you can play them.

4. Korg, 16-Key Synthesizer

Our rating: 7 / 10

Korg, 16-Key Synthesizer

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Pros:

  • 16 dynamic drum sounds
  • 16-step sequencer
  • Realtime controls for modifying sounds, beats and rhythms
  • Compact and portable
  • USB MIDI; easy to use with a computer or iPad
  • Can learn basic MIDI functions

Cons:

  • Software is easy to use but more advanced options require some degree of proficiency
  • Keys are a bit small

As one of the best cheap digital drums, I really like the sound quality and a few features like the step sequencer. I also like that it’s very easy to use and not overly complicated, even for someone that’s not a musician and just wants to practice beat making.

A 16-key synthesizer, this is a compact and lightweight drum machine with a built-in speaker. A stand is also included to keep it upright, and you can use the unit as a keyboard. You can control the beat tempo with the TAP button and input notes with the keys.

The unit includes 16 drum sounds from hip hop to dance, jazz and rock, all with a realistic tone. There’s also a 16-step sequencer with real-time controls for modifying the sound and tempo. There’s a volume knob, headphone jack, and a built-in speaker.

5. Tascam DP-008EX 8-Track Digital Pocketstudio Multi-Track Audio Recorder,Black

Our rating: 7 / 10

Tascam DP-008EX 8-Track Digital Pocketstudio Multi-Track Audio Recorder,Black

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Pros:

  • Back-lit LCD screen
  • Comes with a built in guitar tuner
  • DIY friendly
  • Transfer audio via USB connection

Cons:

  • Had poor sound quality upon arrival
  • Recording quality is not the greatest
  • Volume cannot go as high as you would expect

P your drum machines are ready and you need to record the rhythms you have created in your new song, the DP-008EX will do it all. Get ready to make the most of your pocket studio.

Key Features It is made by Tascam and will definitely satisfy your needs. You can use it for vocals, guitars, or any mic. The best part is it supports 8 tracks and holds up to 123 minutes of recording.

Specifications: 8 tracks, 4 mode settings, Recording capability up to 123 minutes, Dual input recording, Auto Record function, A/D converter 24Bit / 44.1kHz, 3.5 mm input jack, RCA input jacks, USB and SD card slot, Stereo output with 1/8 inch mini plug, Headphone output, Guitar tuner (Tuner out), Power consumption 12W, Power supply AC 113V~240V, Dimensions 220 (W) x 80 (H) x 150 (D) mm / 8.7 (W) x 3.1 (H) x 5.9 (D) inches.

6. DR Pro Tripod Mic Stand

Our rating: 6 / 10

DR Pro Tripod Mic Stand

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Pros:

  • This steel microphone boom stand provides you with the convenience of adjusting height and angle
  • The tripod base makes it sturdy and resistant to vibrations
  • The stand has an ergonomic design and can be folded flat for easy storage
  • Rubber grip on the base prevents your drum pads or floor from getting damaged
  • The telescoping boom arm can also come in handy as it helps in retracting the mic so that it can be moved out of the way when not being used
  • The added windscreens at the end of the microphone stem can help reduce extraneous sounds
  • Another unique attribute of this stand is its height setup gauge which helps you in setting the stand to the desired height
  • The stand mount has been reinforced and features a 16mm gooseneck thread
  • The overall length of the microphone boom is 3.8 meters, which makes it ideal for most situations
  • Ideal for dynamic mics, condenser mics, and wireless microphones

Cons:

  • Although most customers were impressed by the stand, a few factors may decrease your desire and enjoyment of it
  • For example, the significantly high cost that it comes with may make you think about looking for a more affordable alternative
  • Some of the customers have shown dissatisfaction with the customer service of the vendor, saying that the technicians are uncooperative and inefficient.

7. Alesis Accordion

Our rating: 6 / 10

Alesis Accordion

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Pros:

  • Warm sound
  • Portable
  • Quick response time
  • Ideal for smaller areas
  • Versatile – Can be used as a keyboard or accordion
  • Additional features such as arpeggiator and pitch bend
  • Doubles as a MIDI controller
  • Weighted keys
  • Works on batteries
  • Options for amplification

Cons:

  • Relatively short battery time
  • Some key-clicking sounds when playing

This little handheld accordion makes a great toy, and makes great background music.

Make sure you order the lead batteries, as they will last much longer.

This accordion is fun to get carried away with, but be aware that it is small. The keys are packed in tightly and not that comfortable to play. You can amplify it with an amp or sound system for outdoor gigs, but otherwise it’s a quirky little instrument.

8. Roland JX-03 Sound Module

Our rating: 6 / 10

Roland JX-03 Sound Module

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Pros:

  • Excellent for electronic beat lovers
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Great for beginners
  • Creative pattern presets
  • Includes USB connectivity for the MIDI interface

Cons:

  • Limited sounds
  • No built-in audio interface
  • Plastic feel with limited features
  • A bit pricey for the sound quality

We were excited to find a solid contender in this price range. The Roland JX-03 is a popular choice for folks looking for an electronic drum setup at an affordable price.

The Roland JX-03 has an impressive range of capabilities, despite its small size. It has a built-in speaker, which lets you play it right out of the box, and with a Roland mixer you can run it alongside other drums. There are a few onboard effects, but the more notable and useful feature is the USB MIDI port. With it, you can connect the module directly to a computer for recording. This is not a full drum setup, however; if you need a larger sound, you’ll need to plug the module into a PA.

9. YAMAHA RX-7 Rhythm machine Drum machine

Our rating: 5 / 10

YAMAHA RX-7 Rhythm machine Drum machine

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Pros:

  • Very authentic sounding drum machine
  • Simple connectivity options
  • Endless customization options
  • Large memory capacity for storing beats

Cons:

  • Some users report problems loading synthesizers
  • No way to import these beats into other programs

If you’re looking for the best drum machine for hip hop music, then you may be interested in checking out the RX-7 from Yamaha. This is a portable drum machine that you can take with you wherever you go.

It’s one of the best percussion machines for people who love to experiment and create their own beats. It has a total of 42 different sounds which range from kick drums, snares, and kicks, etc.

It also comes with a total of 100 pre-set patterns so you won’t have to worry about it becoming boring quite just yet. It’s also affordable, making it great for people who have a small budget to spend on their music.

10. Akai Professional XR20

Our rating: 5 / 10

Akai Professional XR20

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Pros:

  • Large number of sound options
  • Includes midi capability
  • Cheaper than some of the other options out there

Cons:

  • The pads are not huge
  • Not particularly sound quality

For Electronica, Hip Hop, and Electronic Music Production.

There are a lot of beat makers out there on the market today. However, when you’re looking for some of the best beat maker 2020 has to offer, the Akai Professional XR20 is an excellent choice to consider. This product from Akai features 12 trigger pads, a built-in sequencer, and over 700 sounds. It’s a great drum machine for the beginner or casual producer, and it‒s one of the better options we’ve seen out there.

You’ll need to use your personal music software to complete your tracks, but you can get started quickly with the large selection of sounds and rhythms included in this product. It’s a good value – cheaper than a lot of what’s out there and produces better results. This product does not have the capabilities to use an external midi device. This means that you’ll have to use the sounds and rhythms included in the device.

11. DR Pro DR259 MS1500BK Low Profile Mic Boom Stand

Our rating: 4 / 10

DR Pro DR259 MS1500BK Low Profile Mic Boom Stand

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Pros:

  • Easy to transport
  • Durable
  • Stand is adjustable and easy to set up

As a drummer or percussionist 80% of your time is spent standing. That’s why the best drum machine beat makers of 2020 should have a sturdy stand. If you don’t have one, it cramps your style.

When it comes to the best drum machine beat makers in the market, the DR Pro DR259 is one of the best. The stand has a maximum height of 24” up to a minimum height of 34.5”. It also has a range of width adjustment to go from 11.5” to 19”.

The DR Pro DR259 MS1500BK deals with all your drum machine adjustment needs. It’s easy to set up, with an adjustable-length boom arm going from 23” to 31”. It’s also lightweight, with a built-in hook to hang accessories.

12. Arturia SparkLE 420101 Hardware Controller and Software Drum Machine

Our rating: 4 / 10

Arturia SparkLE 420101 Hardware Controller and Software Drum Machine

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Pros:

  • Affordable and easy to use
  • Offers a lot of sounds
  • Simple to create, share, and download new beats
  • A limited number of knobs, pads, and buttons to keep things organized and easy to learn

Arturia SparkLE Beatmaker is an excellent value for the price as it’s easier to understand and use than some of the more expensive beat machines. It has excellent drum sounds and the ability to control them with accuracy.

Most users do have one complaint about this product – it’s hard to mix. While this product does have limited possibilities for playing with sounds, the beat machine does come with a ton of samples, which help you get started on basic creation and recording.

It also makes a great add-on for those that already have the Arturia Spark Keyboard controller. This product is good for recording and composing. Plus, it’s very versatile and can be used for other purposes like making music or creating electronic music loops. It’s actually a great entrance for producing electronic music on a budget.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best beat machine to buy?

A mid-range price range is recommended for new beat makers looking to purchase their own kit. These units easily get the job done, while also providing relatively accurate drum sounds. Avoid purchasing any of the cheapest kits you can find. While they may be cheap, the bottoms of their beats and sounds are almost always lacking.

Every machine on our list will provide the ability to make mid to high-quality beats that are fun for the creative musician to play with. Take a look through each one of our reviews and decide which one best suits your own needs.

We have done our research and picked machines that offer quality performance and reliability. All of them do a great job of producing and editing beats, while some of them are even capable of recording other instruments as well.

What is the easiest drum machine to use?

Some of the models on our list are usable out of the box while others require minor assembly or configuration. For instance, drum machines that are powered by AA batteries often come ʼpre-packaged’ to avoid the hassle of finding the right type of batteries and installing them. These models allow you to begin using the machine as soon as you buy it, as the batteries are already installed.

Other drum machines come with a manual to help you get started, but it takes a bit longer to get them going. Newcomers to the world of DIY music creation should look for a drum machine that is ready to use right out of the box. However, if you have experience with diy music beat makers or have played an electronic drum before, then feel free to check out the collapsible or semi-collapsible models which are often easier to set up.

What is the best drum machine for live performance?

Just because you're a bedroom producer doesn't mean that you should skimp out on your drum machine just because it means that you have to put in an extra bit of effort to get the songs to a stage ready form.

All that really means is that you aren't on a stage or in a venue. You can still make the very best possible show for your audience with or without a stage.

Should I get a drum machine?

This is a big decision and not one to be entered into without considering the pros and cons. If you play an instrument, you might already have a drum machine.

If you don't play any musical instrument, a drum machine might be a good starting point. It can be a serious music maker or fun hobby. Wearable technology has come a long way in recent years, and nothing will boom like a great beat. You can play it in your neighborhood and get the whole neighborhood moving.

If you are a professional musician, a drum machine has a lot to offer. Many beat makers are combined with music-making programs and come with features that allow you to program and create original music. The savings in time alone are worth it.

Conclusion

The well-thought-out integration of sounds, performance controls, and connection options makes the Alesis Samplepad Pro 3 the best beat machine in the market. Both drum machine and controller put out a well-balanced and powerful sound, which gives it the edge over the competition. Connecting this device to different devices and software is super easy using its USB and MIDI connectivity. The best beat machine should be able to offer a good selection of sounds. The Alesis Samplepad Pro 3 does exactly that. The pads are sensitive and reactive, and the software that comes with it is quite versatile.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Korg Volca Drum Digital Percussion Synthesizer BundleBest OverallKorg Volca Drum Digital Percussion Synthesizer Bundle
DR Pro DR259 MS1500BK Low Profile Mic Boom StandBudget PickDR Pro DR259 MS1500BK Low Profile Mic Boom Stand
YAMAHA RX-7 Rhythm machine Drum machineUpgrade PickYAMAHA RX-7 Rhythm machine Drum machine