I Love My DrumBrute!
Like many, I agonized over whether I should purchase the TR-08 or the DrumBrute. I really wanted the sequencing power the DrumBrute offered, but the YouTube and online demos turned me off because the sound just didn't catch my ear's fancy. I was also leery of the build quality since I had friends who had troubles with their minibrutes. I needed a machine that could sound older than the TR-08 though, so I relectantly decided on the DrumBrute... I could not be happier that I did!
The build quality is way better than I expected. The DB has some heft to it, and while you wouldn't want to fight a family of bears off with it, it feels like you could use it to fight at least one bear. The pads are nice and bouncy. I'm used to triggering drum sounds with a keyboard, so the extra width is an added plus.
The ease of use is fantastic! Set up through the Midi Control Center was a breeze, and updating the OS was an essential no-brainer. I figured it would take me a week or two to wrap my head around all of the functions, but the set-up is intuitive enough that I was up and running completely in an hour. One of the unexpected outcomes of the design is that instead of setting the patterns and sounds up to play on their own, I find myself playing the DB "live"... It is just too much fun not to!
Sound-wise I was pleasntly surprised to learn that there's a lot to the DB's sound that's getting dropped from the online demos. It sounds so much better live! I can make it sound old, like a cross between a Mini-Pops or CR-78 if I want, or I can run the individual outs into a mixer and shake the house apart. It's nice that these options exist. As an added bonus, it doesn't sound like other machines out there; it's its own animal!
Overall I expected less and got way more than I hoped! If you're looking for a specific 808 or 909 sound, you'll need to go with another machine, but if you're looking for something original with a great deal of versatility, the the DrumBrute is for you! Arturia has won me over with this one!