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Arturia DrumBrute Impact

Drum Machine
Published October 2018
By Simon Sherbourne

Arturia DrumBrute Impact

Meet the DrumBrute’s leaner, meaner little brother.

Less than two years ago Arturia surprised everyone with a drum machine that fused a thoroughly old-school analogue heart with a cutting-edge modern sequencing brain. Now the DrumBrute faces some sibling rivalry in the shape of the DrumBrute Impact. Where the DrumBrute honoured drum machine royalty (ie. Roland) in terms of size and sound, Impact is a backpacking party animal. It’s Harry to the DrumBrute’s William.

OK, I’m overreaching a bit to make the point that the Impact is not a cut-down version of the original DrumBrute... although in some senses it is. It’s a more compact, portable alternative, with a palette of sounds that has a family resemblance but a fiery new character. The core feature set is untouched, but some amenities have been stripped back: there are 10 voices instead of 17, fewer separate outputs, and no master filter. It does cost less, but not a lot less. Street prices on pre-orders were around £75$150 below the original DrumBrute, ducking under the magical £300$300 mark.

Starter For 10

The DrumBrute Impact is 10 analogue drum voices and a BeatStep-style performance sequencer packed into a drum machine with the same footprint as my 15-inch laptop. The first DrumBrute is a substantial desktop instrument; the Impact is more of a pick-up-and-go design. The 10 drum synth modules are controlled from eight panel strips and pads; Hi and Low Toms share controls, as do Cymbal and Cowbell. Yes, there’s a cowbell, unlike the regular DrumBrute. Sounds on the shared strips are still discrete voices and can be sequenced separately. The synth controls are always ‘live’: there’s no patch memory, motion sequencing or MIDI parameter control, so what you see is always what you get. The Pattern memory (four banks of 16 64-step sequences) stores sequences and sequencer settings that play back the sounds in their current panel state, exactly like an 808.

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Published October 2018