The wait is over. After a little bit of leaking and messing about Arturia have now officially announced the DrumBrute Impact analogue drum machine. Let’s get into the details.
It’s a compact drum machine that delivers the same sort of tone, sequencing and performance capabilities as its big brother, the DrumBrute. This time there are 10 sounds: kick, two snares, high tom, low tom, cymbal, cowbell, closed and open hi-hat and some FM percussion. These are funnelled into 8 instrument tracks with the toms and cymbals doubling up and switchable. The 8 tracks can emerge mixed from the master outputs or you have 4 individual outputs for kick, snare, hats and FM. So you are taking a hit in a number of places when compared to the original DrumBrute, but this is to be expected and you’ve got to ask yourself what’s important.
The FM Drum is interesting. There are controls over the carrier pitch, decay, FM amount and pitch modulation. Looking forward to hearing what can be done with that. There’s also a “Colour” button that adds a tonal variation to each of the sounds – nice touch.
The sequencer on the DrumBrute has always been impressive and Impact keeps all of that alive. The 16 buttons above the tracks represent the first 16 notes of up to 64 steps of sequencing. Sequencing can be done in steps or in a real-time performance, with or without quantization and a useful Random knob can add a bit of spice. You can store 64 patterns and chain them together in Song Mode. You can apply an accent to each drum and each track can have a different length letting you create polyrhythms. Swing and probability can be applied globally or to separate tracks. Step Repeat, Pattern Looper and the Roller strip offer some real-time manipulation.
Wot no filter?
I completely assumed that it would have the trademark Arturia Steiner Parker filter and from the original leaked image that’s what I thought those two knobs were – just like with the DrumBrute. But no, there’s no filter. Instead, there’s an overdrive/distortion effect. Is that a fair trade?
You have MIDI, USB and Clock in/out for all your sync needs.
It’s a neat looking little drum machine with a capable sequencer and a lot of performance versatility. The video below is really impressive and edges it towards being quite exciting. It’s missing some tracks and sounds from the DrumBrute but probably the most notable loss is the filter. Otherwise, at $299, for most of us it probably has more than enough to keep things interesting.