Dave Smith Instruments Tempest Analog Drum Machine and Synth

Analog/digital Hybrid Drum Machine and Synth
Dave Smith Instruments Tempest Analog Drum Machine and Synth image 1
Dave Smith Instruments Tempest Analog Drum Machine and Synth image 1
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Dave Smith Instruments Tempest Analog Drum Machine and Synth
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The Ultimate Analog Drum Machine

If you're going to design an analog drum synth, who better to turn to than the inventor of several of the most influential drum machines ever made, Roger Linn? That's exactly who Dave Smith connected with when he set out to design the Tempest. To call the The Dave Smith Instruments Tempest a "drum machine" is nothing short of a colossal understatement. Rather, the Tempest is an all-in-one beat creation machine, capable of synthesizing, sequencing, and performing complete beat-based music. Don't let its old-school look fool you. There's absolutely nothing outdated about this fantastic instrument.

Whether you want to tweak sounds in the studio, or perform live with 16 velocity-sensitive pads and 90 real-time controls, this is the drum machine for you. The back-lit drum pads are arranged in a convenient 8 x 2 matrix, so you can use them for live sound triggering or for step programming. In fact, the Tempest is so powerful, that every beat can have an entirely different set of parameters and completely different sounds.

Each of the Tempest's six analog voices has two analog oscillators plus two digital oscillators. It also comes with a massive bank of included samples, so you start off with plenty of sounds to manipulate and play with. Speaking of manipulations, the Tempest includes a VCA with feedback, five envelopes, two LFOs, and incredibly flexible modulation routings. You also get complete access to analog effects and processors, including compression and tube-style saturation/distortion. A large graphic display surrounded by dynamic function controls are makes routing and sound editing easy.

What's more, the Tempest also has excellent hands-on controls, including dedicated knobs for every common synthesis parameter, and two position-sensitive slide controllers, which are great for modulating effects parameters. If you've been dreaming of drum machine that gives you the best of analog and digital synthesis, you absolutely need to pick up a Dave Smith Instruments Tempest!

Dave Smith Instruments Tempest Analog Drum Machine Features at a Glance:
  • 16 pressure- and velocity-sensitive backlit drum trigger pads in an 8 x 2 matrix
  • 6 analog voices, each with 2 analog oscillators and 2 digital oscillators, loaded with a large bank of included samples
  • Modulation path includes Dave Smith's classic analog lowpass filter with audio-rate modulation, highpass filter, analog VCA with feedback, 5 envelopes, 2 LFOs, and an extraordinary variety of analog modulation routing options
  • Doubles as a 6-voice analog synth
  • 6 direct voice outputs plus stereo mix outputs, headphones outputs,
  • 2 inputs for foot switches or expression pedals
  • MIDI in/out
  • USB
  • 90 panel controls
  • Bright 256 x 64 OLED display
  • real-time and step recording
  • ROLL button permits creating drum rolls or repeated groove patterns by varying pad pressure as
  • the beat records
  • ROLL button doubles as a momemtary "stutter" effect when the pads are assigned to play beats. Sustain button holds the note of tuned parts (like a keyboard's Sustain pedal) or to choke drum sounds or drumbeats when the pad is released
  • 2 pressure- and position-sensitive Note FX slide controllers permit real-time recording of note or beat-wide sound parameter changes into the drumbeat as you play
  • A variety of unique effects:
  • Stereo analog compressor and distortion circuits affect the stereo output mix
  • Beat-synced delay is achieved by generating additional delayed note events within the sequencer
  • A beat-synced "stutter" effect is created entirely within the sequencer by looping short portions of the drumbeat on demand
  • Adjustable swing timing with real-time control
  • Dimensions: 15.4" L x 9" W x 2.5" H
Get the best of old-school synthesis and modern digital stability, with the Dave Smith Instruments Tempest analog drum machine!

Tech Specs

Sounds 452
Kits Variable
Patterns 16
Pads 16
Inputs 2 x 1/4" (expression pedal, footswitch)
Outputs 6 x 1/4" (voice out), 2 x 1/4" (main out), 1 x 1/4" (headphones)
USB 1 x Type B
Power 15 VDC Power Supply (Included)
Height 2.5"
Depth 9"
Width 15.4"
Manufacturer Part Number DSI-3000

Customer Reviews

Based on 18 reviews
Write your review

New Horizon

The possibilities seem endless on this machine. Just when you think you've made the most wonderful sound, you realize how many more options there are to enhance the sound and timbre. I use this in conjunction with my Moog Voyager and Minitaur, and my Waldorf Blofeld module. It sits in the mix very well with other synthesizers, due to a wonderfully transparent sound, which you can also distort into a crushing fuzz to obliterate the mix when you want to. More so than other synths I've purchased, this is worth every penny, pretty as that penny may be.
Music background: Pro musician and composer

Best drum machine on the planet.

This is by far the best drum machine ever made. It's going to be an instant classic. It's more than a drum machine because it's a 6 voice synth. The workflow is also based on the MPC. Roger Lynn came in and put in his drum machine know how. Then the father of midi, Dave Smith , came in and put in his synthesis knowhow. It's an awesome project put together by two synth legends. This is the imfamous Lynn Drum machine Roger Lynn was working on. This machine gets better every update. There is also talk about putting sampling into this machine. But, it's not written in stone. However, you can produce a lot of sounds on this machine. This machine also goes great with the analog four. It's like, both machine were made for each other. You could even get a Tempest and hook it up to an Octatrack if sampling is a must. However, this machine is quite amazing with Ableton Live and it's sampling. You can get some "epic" sounds with the Tempest and Ableton Live. In conclusion: I think the Tempest is a big boy toy, made for the musican who wants to sculpt his or her own sounds from scratch. The Tempest can emulate many drum machines of the past and future present. Heck, it can even do dubstep. You get what you pay for.
Music background: Producer.

Just buy it!

This thing is just incredible! I've used about every drum machine made to date. And many synths. And every midi percussion controller. This is the best single device I've used yet. It's like the best parts of an MPC, analog synth, Ableton Live, the old E-mu Command Stations, and some of the great Monome apps have all been brought together into a single machine. And the online community working with this device is a great source for new sounds and beats. I purchased Tempest within a few months of its release and there's already been a huge OS update, with more to come. The guy who codes the software participates regularly in the forum, and listens to user suggestions. Beyond all of that, the pad sensitivity is the best I've come across for rubber or silicone pads. I'm a bit of a drum pad snob, having only found the awesome Zendrum to give me the pad sensitivity I'm looking for as a long-time drummer and percussionist. I'd say these pads are about 90% as sensitive as the Zendrum pads, which are at least twice as sensitive as anything else I've played. DSI has created a beast of a machine, truly combining the best that Dave Smith and Roger Linn have to offer. You will NEVER regret this purchase. Get it and be happy!
Music background: Drummer and percussionist for over 20 years, electronic musician for 5, co-designer of the Zendrum ZAP

Synthesis to a whole new level

I am truly blown away by this incredible machine. It really forces you to approach synthesis from a whole new level. Being able to trigger all of YOUR own drum sounds right from the source... unbelievable. Truly makes me proud to be a musician. If you are into analog synthesis and want to transform your sound, this is right for you. Anywhere from the punchiest kicks to the softest melodic synth sounds, this thing can do it all. The sequencer is incredibly intuitive as well. This really might just be the only drum machine you will ever need.
Music background: Audio Engineering Student, Musician, Producer

Tempting tempest

High Quality high cost easy interface but lacks that Punching sound
Music background: Sequence guru

Sweetwater Advice

Carson McClain

Your prayers have been answered! The Dave Smith Instruments Tempest brings the brains of two electronic music icons together, one responsible for MIDI, the other responsible for the MPC. Tempest is both analog and digital in one unit, which is a HUGE plus for the modern drum machine enthusiast and electronic music producer. If you've been waiting on the perfect hardware drum machine that everyone refused to make, look no further because they made it!

Bart Good

Dave Smith Instruments Tempest is a pretty BIG deal. I really think that this is destined to be the modern equivalent to the now-famous 808 drum machine. Yes, I think it's THAT big! For anyone who wants the sound of true analog drums with the extensive control and editing capabilites that digital provides, the amazing Tempest combines those seeminlgy different worlds into one complete unit. This is THE must-have drum machine of the decade!

Mike Harris

What happens when the great minds behind classics like the Prophet, Linndrum, and MPC come together? The Tempest (created by living legends Dave Smith and Roger Linn) is not only an analog beast of a drum machine, but also doubles as a six-voice analog synth.
See also: Drum Machines, Dave Smith Instruments, Dave Smith Instruments Sequencers, Dave Smith Instruments Drum Machines & Samplers