Your Feedback

Groove Tools

Buy Groove Tools at DV247

Rhythm machines were once invented to replace the human drummer. History has proven that both can co-exist very well. The Wurlitzer Sideman from 1959, whose ten drum sounds were produced with tubes and at least twelve rhythms were ready to be played via turntable and "scratch contact", is probably the first drum computer to be mentioned in this respect.

Until the beginning of the 80s most drum computers were only conditionally programmable or not at all storable by the user. This changed abruptly in 1981 with the release of the Roland TR-808. Two years later Roland also released the TR-909. However, in the beginning both instruments did not get much fame because many didn't know what to do with their sounds. Only a few years later a completely new chapter in music history was opened with them: together with the bass synthesizer TB-303 an almost endless hour of birth of Acid House was rung in. From then on TB-303, TR-606, TR-808 and TR-909 were simply "magic numbers" for many.

With this musical and technical development it was now also possible to play an electronic live set completely solo. With drum computers, synthesizers, samplers (especially Akai's MPC series), sequencers, effects and mixers, a comprehensive setup was assembled to perform techno, house and Co. live or in the (home) studio. Roland coined the term Groovebox in 1996 with the introduction of the MC-303, a combination of drum computer, synthesizer and sequencer with song mode, 12 drum kits, 448 sounds and a selection of effects for drum and groove. This was the starting shot to create complete tracks with professional sounds with one compact instrument. Further Grooveboxes followed in only a few years. The Groovebox-Electribe series by Korg is another example.

With the modern groove hardware you are no longer so musically bound, almost all genres are covered. No matter if you want to play live, need an independent idea generator besides your work at the DAW, want to play tracks to band members or want to experiment musically for yourself, with fluent operation and a rich sound repertoire, the Groovebox door and gate, for example, allows the user to let off steam creatively with rhythm.

What grooveboxes have in common is reliability and robustness. Their usually clearly defined range of functions leads to presentable results after only a short training period. You can program beats and grooves, rattling hi-hats, bass lines, driving analog sequencer lines, integrate vocal samples into the loop and add delay, reverb and other effects.

The range of independent sequencers without their own sound generation has also developed remarkably. Whereas in the past, classic analog sequencers (there are many analog devices) had to be used with 8-32 steps, the first digital sequencers can achieve up to 256 steps. Today one only experiences a creative and ideological limitation concerning the storage space (which can also be an advantage), but as a rule, projects and patterns can be stored in high numbers. Akai Force or the MPC series from the same company can be named here authoritatively. On the other hand, an eight to sixteen step long loop from a Doepfer Dark Time, which controls a modular system via CV/Gate, has a captivating hypnotic charm, which is elevated to a stylistic symbol precisely for this reason.

You find the second-hand market prices of drum machine classics of the past astronomical? A drum machine like the Roland TR-8S contains all the cult sounds of the TR series (909, 808, 707, 727, 606); pluy you can add your own samples via USB and SD card. The two top dogs Jomox Alpha Base and Elektron Analog Rytm MKII go their own ways, both combining analog and digital sound generation, integration of samples and a sophisticated sequencer.

In our online shop you will find a large selection of drum computers, drum machines, samplers, groove boxes and hardware sequencers. Please feel free to visit our synth department, where you will find all groove machines and drum computers ready for testing and direct comparison.

Over time, laptops became more and more powerful, so that live acts and studio musicians could take their favourite plug-ins, including a complete arrangement, live to the club or on stage in a DAW like Ableton. Controllers such as Native Instruments' Machine provide direct access to a variety of parameters in the DAW, new drum patterns can be created in real time or individual tracks can be varied until a completely new groove context is created. To have everything in one box or to split it between laptop and controller including audio interface is practical, but hardly achieves the charm and ease of use that a selection of dedicated groove instruments can provide.

Popular brands at DV247

Akai, Alesis, Arturia, Boss, Cyclone Analogic, Doepfer, Elektron, Jomox, Koma Elektronik, Korg, Roland, Singular Sound, Teenage Engineering