Arturia unveils new sub $350 Mac-compatible analog Impact drum machine [Video]

Arturia has been one of our favorite music gear makers over the last few years. Its affordable analog Brute-series synths and drum machines provide that classic sound to those that may have otherwise been left dreaming about having that MiniMoog one day. While personally I like to have a balance between pricey analog sound sources and interesting software options, Arturia is unveiling the latest member in its analog Brute family and we are stoked about it.

I have always been more attracted to synthesizers, as opposed to drum machines, when it comes to external analog hardware. But I just had to jump in on the first generation DrumBrute from Arturia. I have been mostly pleased with the purchase and it looks like Arturia is set to take it up a notch with the new DrumBrute Impact.

This is essentially a small, hardware drum machine with 10 analog instruments, a built-in sequencer, full compatibility with your Mac over USB and a decent amount of new additions over the original DrumBrute.

The smaller Impact will carry 10 distinct drum sounds: Kick, Snare 1, Snare 2, tom High, Tom Low, Cymbal, Cowbell, Closed Hat, Open Hat and FM Drum (more on this momentarily). That’s one less sound and most importantly one less kick drum option in comparison to the first generation machine. However, we are getting the new FM Drum.

It is basically a percussive synth voice with adjustable carrier pitches, modulation pitch and more. For those unfamiliar with FM synthesis, it basically sounds like a dirty, tunable conga drum with a sort of electronic element to it. But the sky is the limit here as this is clearly one of the most interesting new additions to the machine for me.

Speaking of which, Arturia is also introducing Output Distortion and something known as Color. The Output Distortion is exactly what it sounds like giving musicians the ability to drop a little extra grit and dirt on the drum kit.

Color, on the other hand, can be applied on a channel by channel basis or programmed into the sequencer. To me it sounds like a sort of pitched saturation effect that changes the tone and pitch (to some degree) on each of the drum sounds.

It looks like we are getting a more comprehensive sequencer this time around as well. You can expect polyrhythmic options, Swing, Randomness and a Step Repeater. It also supports “Unquantized” recording.

You can pick up the older brother for $449 on Amazon these days, But Arturia is certainly coming in with a competitive price tag on the Impact. Available for pre-order today, The new Arturia DrumBrute Impact is going for $349 shipped and is expected to begin shipping next month. It is already up at Sweetwater so your favorite music shop listings should be appearing shortly if they haven’t already.

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