Best Drum Machine for Techno and House (We Tested)

n today’s music industry, producers are constantly looking for new sounds. They want to find the next big thing to put on their records, and they want it now! 

But where do they start? 

One of the newest sounds in electronic music is called a techno drum machine. With this device, you can keep your beats fresh with all sorts of different patterns and styles that will have people dancing all night long. 

If you’re interested in trying out this sound for yourself, I recommend checking out some demo videos online first to see what these machines are capable of producing before you buy one outright. You may just be surprised by what other producers have already created!

Techno and House Drum Machine Reviewed and Compared

Roland AIRA Rhythm Performer (TR-8S)

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Pros
  • 2017 Classic Drum Machine
  • One of the best drum machines that have been introduced in the market
  • It is a rhythm, bass, and percussion synthesizer designed to provide hands-on control from note selection to sound modification
  • It includes 14 solid analog samples from vintage drum machines used in all genres, followed by unique analog circuitry "Tone Pads" for modifying sounds
  • It can convincingly reproduce classic rhythms with booming 808 kicks, snappy snares, and crisp cymbals
  • It has a built-in step sequencer
Cons
  • It sounds thin and tinny compared to acoustic drums
  • It is expensive
  • It is heavy to carry
TR-8S is Roland's most advanced drum machine. It recreates the sounds, feels, and character of genres including hip hop, EDM, house music, dancehall reggae, and beyond while injecting new paradigms into rhythmic pattern creation. Tap it out, or through step sequencing, have the AIRA TR-8S do it for you with 16 built-in patterns to boot. Program beats endlessly on up to 32 steps in real-time. TR-8S contains individual outputs plus 12 individual outputs which synchronize together so performers can mix their blend on stage or at home with maximum control over threshold levels, ensuring precise triggering without distortion no matter how high your SPLs get!

Behringer Classic Analog Drum Machine (Rhythm Designer RD-8)

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Pros
  • 100 preset sequences to help you create well-paced backing tracks at the touch of a button
  • The drum machine's interface is designed to be intuitive
  • It helps create complex rhythms
  • It also has a basic beat for your composition
  • Relative subdivision resolution offers unparalleled versatility and precision
Cons
  • It is not velocity-sensitive
  • Sounds are crusty
  • Expensive
Behringer is a manufacturer of professional and personal audio equipment. The classic analog drum machine is a workhorse for many popular techno tracks of the 1980s and 1990s, such as "The Ripper" by Breakwater, "Timber or Tailor Tuelor" by Newcleus, and "Is It Love?" by Zapp.

Alesis SR-16 | Studio-Grade Standalone Drum

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Pros
  • A drum machine with a variety of preset options and the ability to make custom beats
  • You can use it as a great practice tool and as an all-in-one live setup for touring or just drumming around
  • It has 17 preloaded kits covering everything from electronic techno, hip hop, metal, and global percussion
  • It has 16 drum pads play just like acoustic drums
  • It sounds exactly as you would expect to hear if you were hitting an acoustic kick or snare or even hi-hat cymbal
Cons
  • It's challenging to integrate into a highly complex song arrangement
  • The difficulty with drums is finding the right tempo. If you have too many drums being played at once, this can be tricky with drums because there are so many different beats and rhythms that all need to work together in rhythm and time
  • Trying to synchronize them isn't accessible if they're all coming from a single source - a problem made more difficult if they're coming from individual line outputs going into separate inputs on an interface or sound card input jacks - because there aren't enough synchronization tools built inside it
It's a versatile drum machine offering over 500 pre-installed drum sets spanning the full spectrum of different styles of music, from techno to jazz. Depending on your type of play, you can program single hits, loops, rolls, and fills to create your beats. With SR-16, you can also mix down any groove directly onto an Apple or Windows computer via the included USB cable for editing with more powerful software applications. The Alesis SR-16 is a studio-grade instrument that delivers everything from deep basses and crashing cymbals to crisp snares and detailed hi-hats thanks to its 16 velocity-sensitive pads, each with a 12 zone RGB LED display allowing you to see the state of every pad at a glance.

Akai Professional MPC One – Drum Machine

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Pros
  • It is a great little drum machine for musicians of all levels
  • It features two modes of operation; Performance Mode or Session Mode
  • It 16 pads that can be used to trigger notes from any key when in performance mode
  • The session mode has eight pads that trigger more complex functions such as cuts and rolls
  • The design is an upgrade over its predecessors with smooth curves
Cons
  • It cannot be user-programmed
  • Limited sound and synthesizer library
  • Limited setting knobs
The Akai Professional MPC One: Drum Machine is a techno drum machine with a 13-inch LCD screen, a rubberized case, and two significant jog wheel controllers. The MPC One has been universally applauded for its design and features, which have been deemed to provide the most refined "user experience" of any hand-held electronic instrument available today. It can connect wirelessly to smartphones or tablets through MIDI, meaning that it can also function as a controller for DAWs such as Logic Pro X or FL Studio Mobile. In this way, it effectively replaces the need to carry an iPhone around with you on gigs just so that you can control all of your tracks from one device.

Korg Drum Machine (ELECTRIBE2BL)

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Pros
  • It is a compact drum machine
  • It is versatile in usage
  • It has 66 preset patterns, which include techno styles
  • Allows users to browse an extensive list of preset rhythms and beats for any music creator
  • There are eight effects to choose from, including chorus, reverb, tremolo, and high/low pass filter
Cons
  • Limited memory
  • Quite pricey
  • Occasional playback issue
The Electribe2, along with the EPD1, builds on the original "Electribe" concept of a drum machine that integrated analog synthesis with sample playback. A series of performance parameters both affect how sample sounds are generated organically and allow for in-depth editing and processing. It means you can play live and use multi-samples in ways never before possible: adjusting tone, shaping filters, tinkering with effects—all while your sound is still playing back. You can even cut off loops in midstream or add jarring breaks to maintain tension in your music productions.

Korg Drum Machine (VOLCA)

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Pros
  • It combines the sound of vintage synthesizers with cutting-edge sequencing technology for a brand new musical expression
  • Bring varied analog textures into your productions while inviting impromptu live performances
  • It was powered by an intuitive sequencer built around a 16-step grid that allows anyone to produce detailed steps without fear of making mistakes
  • The Volca can offer an impressive range of contemporary dance music grooves from deep house to classic techno
  • This analog machine's three oscillators, six waveforms, bass drum, and snare drum programmable via touch interface or MIDI input also functions as a stand-alone synth module
Cons
  • Limited function and complex use
  • A small selection of sounds that become outdated quickly
  • Not enough drum pads
The Volca series drum machine integrates cutting-edge rhythm technologies and lets you create a new world of electronic beats with three synthesized sounds, six PCM drum sounds (four limited), a sequence (step) sequencer (16 parts), live sampling function that allows you to record the sound from the current session, and user sampling via microSDHC card. You can additionally process each sample with an FPGA for pitch shifting and time stretching, which yields an incredible range of possibilities at your fingertips. You could say Korg Drum Machine is a music production device that allows you to produce techno drums. It's pretty much all-encompassing because it covers so many different sounds, including synth drums, and has this pitch shift feature.

Arturia DrumBrute Impact Analog Drum Machine

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Pros
  • It is a new step in the development of rhythm-based instruments
  • It offers the classic sound and feel of what you remember from old 80's industrial techno clubs where industrial might was teamed up with old school digital technology
  • The industrial sounds with its techno tropes are still significant, but now they're even better; everyone loves that punchy bass sound that kicks with your every beat hit on the drum pad
  • It adds to music tracks
  • It can make any song more energetic
Cons
  • Some people find it hard to understand and operate
  • It's not easy for beginners to program drums with Preset Kits
  • It can be daunting and confusing for newbies
The DrumBrute Impact is a beautiful semi-modular analog drum machine that features a unique dual architecture. With one part step sequencer and the other free running, this drum machine is rhythmic and melodic. By combining these two different methods of rhythm generation, it's possible to make 'complex' sounding drums with aggressive attacks and subtle, evolving patterns. In addition to the analog sound generator, eight digital sample slots can be used to create your custom kits instead of using presets or downloading them from the internet - all managed via the Arturia BeatStep app.

Elektron Analog Four MKII 4-voice Analog Synthesizer

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Pros
  • It is a four-voice analog synthesizer
  • It uses the latest award-winning technology to create its sound engine
  • It is designed to generate robust, modern, cutting edge sounds
  • Its sound is capable of filling large warehouses and techno clubs alike
  • It has brutal basslines, razor-sharp leads, rhythmic sequences, and organic pads
Cons
  • it doesn't have any onboard samples
  • It is currently out of stock
  • Intimidating for beginners
The Elektron Analog Four MKII is a four-voice analog synthesizer with two envelope generators and one LFO for controlling the filter and amplifier sections. It was designed to be versatile, compact, and very user-friendly. The Analog Heat distortion module will work differently on different audio input signals. It's not just a distortion effect! For example, it can add some analog warmth to your vocals or make your hi-hat more old school sounding like you would hear in some Pink Floyd tracks from the "Dark Side of the Moon."

Teenage Engineering OP-1 Portable Synthesizer

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Pros
  • A Techno drum machine with unlimited songs to create
  • Its songs are compatible with other synths
  • It has an oscilloscope screen to control the sound waves
  • It is a synthesizer, sampler, and sequencer in one device
  • Solidly built design for on-the-go music creation and performance featuring a motherboard veneered in scratch-resistant alder wood
  • It's incredibly versatile, intuitive, and easy to use
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not very good on live performances
  • Low quality sounds from built-in speakers
The OP-1 is a portable instrument combined with a synthesizer, sampler, and sequencer. The unique sound of the OP-1 comes from its integrated synthesizer engine, sampling/wavetable editor, twin drum machines with individual outputs, intuitive rhythm patterns with different ballistics, digital effects unit with delay and reverb. It's also possible to use the OP-1 as 'Duino or MIDI interface for external hardware synths/electronics.

It's only been a few decades since the first drum machine was introduced, but it has forever changed music. The invention of this electronic device gave artists the ability to create their beats and rhythms without needing an actual drummer in their band. Drum machines are now more advanced than ever, with many models offering 16-bit samples that can be manipulated into any number of different sounds or styles using built-in effects such as reverb, delay, and distortion. If you're interested in owning your very own techno drum machine for use at home or on stage, comment below about which model interests you most!

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