Top 9 Drum Machines of 2022

Drum Machine – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis

A drum machine can make the difference between a simple presentation and one that wows your audience. Since this type of device made its appearance at the end of the 70’s, they have not stopped evolving to adapt to the musical trends and technology of the moment. For example, the Roland TR-08 has inherited many of its features from the legendary TR-808, but with new controls for a better user experience. For its part, if you are looking for something to adapt to your guitar, the Digitech 056591 model with its wide range of options may be the right box.

The 9 Best Drum Machines – Opinions 2022

Unlike other instruments, which retain a very similar design to each other, drum machines are very different, which makes choosing one difficult. That is why we present a selection of the best on the market and we describe their main characteristics.

Roland drum machine

1. Roland TR-08 Rhythm Drum Machine

In our selection of products, a Roland rhythm machine could not be missing, since it is one of the favorite options of users; both for those who have just started using it, and for those who have been experimenting with this electronic instrument for more time. The TR-08 is based on the legendary TR-808 and has a very compact design, making it easy to carry. However, it stands out for some improvements such as the Compressor, Gain and Tune controls. In addition, you can program it using the classic Step and Tap modes, so you can quickly adapt to its use.

On the other hand, its sequencer stands out, which allows you to configure 16 steps and 16 sub-steps, with which you’ll be able to create interesting sound patterns in your compositions. Similarly, the possibility of continuous playback of rhythms is practical, which you can keep even when establishing other changes.

Since this could very well be the best drum machine, it’s worth taking a closer look at it.


Button design: The ergonomics of the buttons and their color differentiation makes it easier to press the correct one when playing musical pieces.

Manual control: It allows you precise control manually, for a better adaptation.

Functions: It is provided with a good variety of options to choose from to apply in your compositions.

Robustness: It is a box that you can use for a long time, due to its resistant design.


Drums: This snare doesn’t retain the pitch of the individual drums, which could make it less practical if you want to do this type of effect. 

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2. Roland Boss MX1 Air

Searching among the best drum machines of 2022, an option that stands out for its wide possibilities of use is the Boss MX1. It is worth mentioning that this Roland drum machine has become one of the most sought after for artists in the professional field, mainly because of its precise control and good performance.

Among many other qualities, it has 18 channels, which offers variety for you to take advantage of as best suits you. On the other hand, it allows sound processing in 24-bit format. Not forgetting to mention that it is multi-effects.

In terms of connectivity, you won’t have any restrictions, since it has 21 ports, so you can both input sounds and send your creations to the computer without any setbacks and with great quality. In fact, it will be able to work together with other devices, either as a master or slave box, as you decide.

Due to its characteristics and the quality of its products, Roland may be the best brand of rhythm machines. Let’s take a closer look at your MX1 ​​Aira model.


Screen: You can view the channels and other chosen functions on its practical screen with backlight.

Scenes: It has 16 upper buttons to store scenes and have quick access to them.

Design: It is a 39.88 x 6.60 x 26.42 cm box with a well-identified format for each function, which provides a dynamic that is easy to execute.

Effects: It stands out for the great variety of effects that you can apply to the sounds.


Button presses: Scene button presses are noisy, which might not be pleasant for some people. 

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guitar drum machine

3. Digitech 056591 Drum Machine Effects Pedal

A guitar performance doesn’t have to sound simple, with a guitar drum machine like this one, you’ll be able to apply choruses, effects and more to wow your audience.

The configuration given by its design of four rotatable buttons and four to press offers a very quick selection of the available functions. In addition, they are well identified with printed guides. In this sense, one of its best advantages is that it offers a very intuitive use, so you can quickly configure what you need, reducing the time spent on configurations.

To talk about its versatility, we will mention that it has the possibility of storing up to 36 melodies, to which you can apply effects and other accessories. In this way, it’s easy to create interesting rhythm patterns that will enhance your performances, helping them sound like a complex musical band.

If you have found this device interesting for your guitar, then you will be able to see other relevant aspects and if there is anything to improve in its design.


Updates: It will be easy to keep your device up to date, thanks to the possibility of connecting it to the computer and downloading firmware through its mini USB port.

Power: You will not have variations due to lack of energy, since it is connected to a plug with its 9V transformer.

Design: Its robust metal-type casing and its plastic buttons withstand frequent use.


Beginners: Those who have not previously used a drum machine may find it difficult to use this device.

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4. Boss DR-01S Acoustic Preamp & Multi-Effects Guitar Pedal

For those of you wondering which is the best easy-to-use drum machine, we present to you the Boss DR-01S. It is a small device of only 1.7 kg, which has its own speaker to play rhythms; so it could accompany your acoustic presentation and make it more attractive.

With this compact module you will have the possibility to choose up to 7 categories of instruments simultaneously, and play with combinations for different musical genres. On the other hand, their sounds are mainly organic and the rhythms are simple, so they go very well with acoustic instruments. That’s why it can be a good guitar drum machine.

In addition, its functions include that of metronome; And to give it greater versatility, it has an auxiliary port, which will allow you to take advantage of its speaker to connect a device such as your mobile or tablet.

If you don’t know which drum machine to buy and want something easy to use, this box may be what you need.


Interface: Its rhythm panel is intuitive and easy to use, so you can take advantage of its functions from the first time you use it.

Memories: You can create up to 50 own rhythms and store them.

Musical entrances: It will allow you to compose previous entrances to the rhythms, to give greater prominence to your presentation.

Pedal: You can adapt a pedal thanks to its lower CTL connection, to have control of the start and end without having to use your hands.


Loops: Musicians who prefer loop effects may find this feature to be limited on the device.

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Korg drum machine

5. Korg Volca Beats Synth and Drum Machine

For many users, a Korg drum machine is synonymous with quality, that’s why we present the Volca Beats, which is characterized, among other things, by its analog drum sounds and its compact design of only 371 grams, which allows you to make your creations in any place. In addition, it works both on batteries and with its adapter. Although the latter will have to be purchased separately.

When it comes to your beats, you can create them in two ways. In step mode by pressing the notes in the sequencer, but you can also achieve it in real time by pressing the Rec button. Thanks to this functionality, users can quickly get used to its use.

On the other hand, it has 8 memories that you can use to activate them when you need them and its built-in speaker makes it easy to use without relying on other connections.

The best drum machine of the moment is the one that fits both your budget and your style of music. Other important features in the next section.


Loop Sequencer: You can create interesting sequence changes with this feature.

Ease of Use: The interface and button layout give you easy activation and control of tempo and other features.

Accessories: The brand has a wide variety of products compatible with the model, to complement your equipment.

Ports: You can easily connect this module thanks to its MIDI and SYNC ports.


Limited: Musicians used to large feature panels may find this drum machine a bit basic.

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6. Korg KR Mini KR-55 Drum Machine

If you’re short on budget, but want a Korg drum machine, the Mini KR-55 has a lot to offer at an affordable cost. That’s why it may be the best value for money drum machine on our list.

If you are wondering in what circumstances it could be useful to you, we can tell you that it is very versatile. For this reason, it will be able to accompany both your presentations and help you in tempo and rhythm technique sessions when practicing any instrument. In its design you will find 60 rhythm patterns and 120 settings to choose from.

Other interesting aspects are its speaker and its use of batteries, which makes it more practical to take this box with you to use it anywhere, without worrying about finding a plug. In addition, its use is really simple and you won’t need to study complex manuals to get the most out of the device.

Among the cheapest and most versatile options is this drum machine model. Let’s review more features in the next section.


Design: Its compact size of 17.8 x 7.62 x 15.24 cm and light weight make it very portable.

Stereo Out: You can connect the drum machine to any amp or mixer with this port. 

Compatibility with pedals: You can control it with your hands free, thanks to its connection for this type of adapter.

Easy: Its use is very simple, so you can start using it from the first day.


Effects: Your ability to add accents and other rhythm changes is limited.

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analog drum machine

7. IK Multimedia UNO Drum Analog/PCM Drum Machine

An analog drum machine can help you create amazing compositions; and the UNO Drum version of IK Multimedia has won very good reviews due to its attractive design and the ease it provides to adjust its functions based on what you want to do.

Each of the 12 pads on its main panel activates a sound, which can not only be analog, but can also be modified to give it the nuance you are looking for. For its part, the lower panel shows 16 sixteenth notes and you can control them easily to create the patterns you want. In the same way, you will be able to alter the patterns by introducing changes in real time and add effects. All this makes it a useful option not only for the studio, but also for live performances.

Although this box is not one of the cheapest that we have added to the list, it is one of the easiest to use and offers the most versatility.


Connectivity: It has both input and output ports, so you can combine it with other devices.

Power: You can choose the power source you prefer, either connect it to a USB outlet or use batteries for portable use.

Ergonomics: The buttons offer a pleasant touch and a comfortable size to press.

Functions: You will be able to control changes in tempo, pitch and much more, thanks to its wide variety of options.


Sync port: A Sync connection is missing, in case you want to connect it to other devices.

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Drum machine for beginners

8. Alesis SR16 Classic 24-bit Stereo Drum Machine

A drum machine for beginners is characterized by offering a basic button panel, but this does not mean that they do not offer a wide variety of rhythms, because your creativity will be in charge of exploiting all its options so that you adapt them to your needs.

In this category we present an Alesis quality device, a brand that stands out among others for its good finishes and the clear sound it can develop. The SR16 snare is a classic option, given the sounds it includes, and is made up of 12 pads sensitive to the intensity with which you press them. Thus, you can start giving effects from this simple action. It is configured with 50 percussion kits and you can assign 233 sounds, so you have no limitations.

Among other interesting qualities we can mention its connection to adapt start and stop pedals, as well as 4 output ports. 

Alesis is an icon when it comes to electronic musical instruments, learn more about your model.


MIDI compatibility: The device can be paired with keyboards, computers and more, thanks to this quality.

Tone: By including Dynamic Articulation technology you can simulate the tone of a real drum kit.

Memory: It is capable of storing up to 200 patterns, offering a wide variety to use in your compositions. 

Intuitive use: You won’t have to invest too much time to familiarize yourself with its use, since it is simple.


USB: Unlike other models, this one does not offer USB input or output, which could be a disadvantage.

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midi drum machine

9. Akai Professional MPD218 USB MIDI Pad Controller

If you have been surprised by how compact this Midi drum machine is, make no mistake, it can be useful for both beginners and professionals. It is a device that consists of 16 pads, with sensors that are activated according to pressure and velocity for a better dynamic experience, helping you create more expressive performances.

On the other hand, we cannot forget to mention that it includes MPC software, with which you will be able to complement the use of this powerful box and adapt it to practically any type of musical style and edit your compositions on the computer. With this tool you can mix your tracks, access more sounds and use synth engines.

As for its connectivity, its Plug & Play port for Mac and PC stands out, so you won’t have to make adjustments or look for drivers to pair it. 

Those looking for a box with great potential can review more aspects of this Akai model.


Design: It offers a compact size of 23.77 x 20.12 x 3.96 cm, so you can use it on your work desk without inconvenience.

Rhythm creation: It offers an intuitive and easy interface to create your rhythms thanks to the pads and manual functions of its panel.

Nuance: The pressure and velocity sensitivity of the pads allow for a more expressive performance.

Power: Its USB connection eliminates cables on your work table and offers easier connectivity.


Computer: It is necessary to have a computer to be able to exploit the functions of this model and to have previous knowledge in the use of sound mixing and editing software.

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Shopping guide

Electronic music lovers know that an almost indispensable device for creating compositions is the drum machine. If you have decided to buy one, but you lack the basis to choose the right one, in this guide to buying the best drum machine we provide you with useful information, with which you will have more chances of success in your purchase.

Type of boxes

Broadly speaking, a drum machine will allow you to create and play sound patterns that emulate drums. Although other effects could also be added depending on the type of box it is.

It should be noted that you could find two large categories that are digital and analog boxes. They are different from each other, mainly because of the way they make sounds. While the analog ones do it through voltage fluctuations, the digital ones generate it through binary codes. Both offer great potential, although some players feel that current trends require fresher, newer sounds, which might not be possible with a resistor-and-transistor-based cabinet.


You probably think that if you play guitar or any other instrument it will not be possible to apply a drum machine. However, it is a device that has managed to transcend electronic music to be applied to various circumstances. In this sense, we can see bands that perform very varied musical styles, which have found in this device a simple way to achieve the necessary accompaniment to sound like true professionals.

Following this line, you can choose special drum machines to connect and be used as another pedal of your guitar. There are also some with their own speaker, which can be connected to an amplifier to accompany the melody. As you can guess, choosing the one that best suits your creativity and goals in a comparison of drum machines is the basis for you to buy the right one.


It is in this aspect that the most significant differences between the models can be noticed, and that could determine how much each one costs.

If we go back to the fact that drum machines play with factors such as sound, sequence speed or beats per minute and the duration of the sound, then it is easy to understand that the more options you have to affect each of these variables, the more versatile. will be the box

Among the most common functions we find the effects of tempo, pitch, resonance, loops and accents. All of them widely used to give nuances to the rhythms. 

On the other hand, we have the tone keyboards. These are very practical, because in some boxes they are similar to a piano, and if you have notions of music theory it will be very easy for you to create small melodies to play them later and modify them according to your convenience.

base grid

The operation of a drum machine is given largely by the buttons that you can press. Each button activates or deactivates a sequence that has been previously stored in the device’s memory. For this reason, more complex performances with a drum machine require a larger grid of buttons. 

Our recommendation is that if you are starting to use these devices, choose a good and cheap basic type drum machine. As you become more skilled, you will be able to control a complex array of sounds without any problem and, therefore, a box with more buttons and functions. While you learn, a simple grid could give you many hours of entertainment.

Design and connectivity

Rather than focus on the aesthetic appearance of a drum machine, we will need to look at the ease with which functions can be accessed and changed quickly. 

At this point it is worth considering whether you want a small box to keep around the house and use when you decide to have fun and feel inspired. Or on the contrary, you plan to take it to combine with your instruments every time you perform live.

In the first case, you may not be very interested in the location of the buttons, you will have enough time to get used to them and locate them. But in a professional environment the ergonomics of the box is an important factor. For example, if wheels aren’t your favorite way to choose features, you’ll find it really hard to nimbly access the gear you need. Then, it will be preferable to look for boxes that through buttons offer the possibility of pressing the correct combination.

On the other hand, don’t forget to check what type of ports the model of your choice includes, so that you can determine if you will be able to transfer your creations to the computer to make mixes, to your sound card or to the device you need.

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