According to Elektron:
"the Machinedrum SPS-1 is the most sophisticated drum machine ever. After two years of development at Elektron headquarters, we are confident that Machinedrum will set the standard for percussion synthesis and sequencing."
From what we're seen and heard that's not an outrageous claim. - We just got our review unit delivered and have been enjoying the inspiring range of sounds. Watch out for our forth-coming review.
In a Nutshell:
Machinedrum SPS-1 is a dedicated 16-track percussion synthesizer and arranger. It offers four 16-part fully tweakable percussion synthesizers with an advanced synchronised effect system with full hands-on control. The integrated pattern step sequencer is highly specialised for percussion programming. SPS-1 comes with 6 individual audio outputs and two inputs.
The underlying premise of Machinedrum's design was to maximise the users creativity in shaping drum sounds and rhythms. As such it was developed using both the traditions of classic drum machines and breakthroughs in percussion synthesis technology. The result is a highly specialised synthesizer which is the state-of-the-art tool for percussion sound and rhythm creation.
SPS-1 comes with four percussion synthesizers (MD-synths) each of which is created from a unique starting point. The MD-synths are built of several specialised machines which are all individually designed with customised controls. Each machine is designed to generate one type of drum sound, such as bass drum or claves. Each of the 16 tracks can hold any of the more than 40 available machines.
The MD-synths in the Machinedrum are:
TRX is inspired by the classic rhythm machines of Roland's TR-series. Compared to its timeless forerunners TRX brings an extended parameter set, allowing superior control over the sounds produced.
EFM is based on frequency modulation, and is the most extreme of the MD-synths. The EFM-parameters offer a wealth of new cool percussive sounds.
E12 carries the traditions of sample based drum machines such as Simmons and Emu SP1200. It is built on carefully processed sampled percussion sounds and offers individual control for all E12-machines.
PI is based on models of acoustic drums. Having their roots in scientific models, PI-machines are "Physically Informed", but the sounds generated can be stretched beyond the limits of real-world drums.
In addition there are also machines that handle the two audio inputs for sequenced gating and envelope filters. This allows for any external source to be used as a percussive sound.
The effects of the Machinedrum are tightly integrated with the sound generation. The Track Effect System offers dedicated effects for each of the 16 tracks. They are always at hand with dedicated controllers and form a natural extension of the MD-synths to shape the definite percussion sounds.
The Track Effect System consist of five concurrent effects: Amplitude Modulation, 1-band EQ, 24dB Lo/Band/Hi-pass resonant filter, Sample Rate Reduction and distortion. The track effects have been carefully selected to complement the MD-synths.
The Stereo Master Effect system is composed of the Rhythm Echo delay, the Gate Box reverb, the Dynamix compressor and an EQ with parametric and Hi/Lo-shelf controls. The Rhythm Echo and Gate Box each has dedicated sends from the 16 percussion tracks. The EQ and Dynamix process the mixed main out stereo signal.
The Machinedrum SPS-1 is available only by direct orders through the Machinedrum website at http://www.machinedrum.com . Elektron accept orders from all over the world. All prices include express shipping, one year full warranty and a ten days money back guarantee
Sweden: SEK 12,500
Inside the European Union: EUR 1350
US and the rest of the world: USD 1100
The Sweden and Euro pricing include sales tax as required by law.