IK Multimedia is ready to unveil one of the most affordable drum machines out there today. The fully-featured UNO Drum is the second instrument in the company’s growing analog lineup. After deciding that the UNO Synth was one of the best starter analog instruments on the market in our hands-on review, we are excited to dive in to the new UNO Drum as soon as we can. Today’s announcement highlights a sub $250 combo analog/PCM drum machine with most of the feature set we find on more expensive offerings. Head below for all the details.
Designed in collaboration with Italian analog specialist Soundmachines, the new UNO is set to be one of the most affordable drum machines on the market with analog sounds. Powered via USB or via 4 AA batteries, UNO Drum also appears to be about the same size as the UNO Synth making it easily portable and compatible with your existing recording setups, mobile or otherwise.
Weighing only 400g, UNO Drum is super lightweight and small enough to fit in a backpack, yet sturdy enough to hit the road for gigging. It can also be used as a portable sketchpad to create grooves and songs that can be saved and recalled whenever and wherever they’re needed.
Drum Machine Sounds:
UNO Drum carries 6 truly analog drum sounds as well as a collection of 54 PCM/digital samples to choose from. All of those can be spread across custom kits existing of up to 12 sounds or elements (as IK calls them) at a time. In fact, it ships with 100 pre-loaded drum patterns and preset kits you can browse through to get started. But you can easily flip out individual sounds/samples in the preset kits to create personalized drum patches as you go. You can also instantly save any of your custom kits to recall them at a later time.
Effects & Parameters:
UNO Drum also has a number of interesting features you wouldn’t necessarily associate with the most affordable drum machines too. First, there are 3 master effects. That includes drive, compression and an interesting stutter option for that glitchy/re-organized vibe. There are also parameters that can be altered on a sound by sound basis. Those include level, tuning, snap amount, decay, basic filtering and more. And that’s all on top of drum machine main stays like the usual master stutter, randomization and drum roll parameters.
One of the Most Affordable Drum Machines has Parameter Locks?
UNO Drum features a 64 step sequencer. You’ll find 4 pages with 16 steps each along the bottom row of the machine’s front panel controls. In Song Mode, you can chain up to 64 patterns together to create full songs or live mixes.
We are also getting what is known as parameter locks or parameter sequencing. While it is starting to become more popular, this is another option not usually found on the most affordable drum machines. It allows you to automate up to 8 parameters per step to create interesting grooves and alterations to the main patterns.
Pricing & Availability:
Scheduled to begin shipping in June of this year, the new UNO Drum is up for pre-order right now at $249.99 shipped. To be honest, I was hoping for something closer to $200 even like the UNO Synth, but clearly there is a bit more under the hood on IK’s latest analog/PCM beat maker.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another analog drum machine with a feature set like this at under $250. The Arturia Drum Brutes come to mind but they will run you at least another $50 and most of them don’t feature parameter locks or built-in effects like the UNO Drum. While we’ll have to wait to go hands on before we say for sure, it’s looking like this might be one of the most affordable drum machines out there you might actually want to get your hands on.
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