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Microphone Month 4

Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1 UW MKII Review

I recently got to use the Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1 UW mkII. When I first took it out of the box, I was struck by the classic design. Sleek and durable construction that no doubt looks good onstage or in any studio, the Machinedrum SPS-1 UW mkII has a very familiar, old-school TR-style drum machine layout. This classic design, though, comes with awesome power. You get 16 independent tracks (or machines), a 64-step sequencer, 128 user presets, 384 MIDI-controllable parameters, and 48 ROM slots for sample storage. I had tons of sound, pattern, and song tweaking power right at my fingertips!

The immense level of control had me itching to lay down a great drum track. I threw it into record, and in classic step sequencer fashion, I was programming a kick on quarter notes. Well, what if I’d rather play the snare? No problem. Hold record and play, and you go into live record mode and can then play your drum part. The Machinedrum SPS-1 UW mkII makes it easy to get your beat out and lay it down however you like.

Getting your drums down easily is a great feature, but the real power is in how you tweak your patterns. The Machinedrum SPS-1 UW mkII has parameter locks that allow you to have a track’s parameters vary on each step! For example, I used the parameter locks to set a different level of strike impact for each snare hit, making it sound more natural. The possibilities for really expressive drum patterns are endless!

Once you’ve got a great pattern, the Machinedrum SPS-1 UW mkII has a great sequencer for creating songs. I could sequence my patterns in any order. Then, I had the option to have patterns repeat, start on an offset step, set how many steps from offset it plays, and even channel mutes for each pattern. Combine all those features and the ability to loop and jump to patterns, and you have an extremely powerful and versatile song sequence!

The Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1 UW mkII combines classic TR-style design and powerful modern features to give you a great hardware drum machine guaranteed to allow you to lay down some amazing drum tracks. If you’re a DJ or producer that wants a classic hardware step sequencer with power, the Elektron Machinedrum SPS-1 UW mkII is the drum machine for you!

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