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This Analog/Digital Hybrid Is the Perfect Storm

One of the most buzz-garnering pieces of new-at-NAMM gear, the Tempest is a drum machine with analog appeal and a fresh approach. Even if you haven’t gotten your ears or hands on the Tempest (go to www.sweetwater.com/Tempest to check out the demos), you can make an educated appraisal of its awesomeness by just looking at the two names stamped on the chassis: Dave Smith Instruments and Roger Linn. Yes, the Tempest is a collaboration between one of the greatest synth engineers of all time and one of the original drum machine gurus.

Loaded with six analog voices (each with two analog oscillators) plus an additional pair of digital oscillators, the Tempest lets you tap into the sonic goods via 16 velocity- and pressure-sensitive pads. In fact, there are 90 panel controls in all. Plus there’s a bright 256 x 64 OLED display for flexible, intuitive operation. Adding to the feature set are an analog VCA with feedback, five envelopes, two LFOs, a highpass filter, and a variety of analog-modulation routings. There are even six direct voice outputs plus stereo mix outputs (and a headphone jack), for even more possibilities.

Based on pre-orders and inquiries about this analog/digital hybrid that’s one part drum machine and one part 6-voice analog synth, we’d wager that the Tempest is going to be one of 2011’s biggest hits. Check out the demos then call your Sales Engineer to make sure you’re one of the first to get this sonic storm into your hands.

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