With that out of the way, a month or so back, rumors started leaking that Dave Smith would be releasing a new product. People speculated it might be a keyboard version of the Tetra, or some sort of expanded Mopho. Then someone connected to DSI chimed in on Gearslutz indicating that those products would be "boring" - what they were releasing was something much more exciting. We now know that new product is the Tempest analog drum machine, a joint venture with Roger Linn.
Here are the specs:
• Six analog voices, each with two analog oscillators and two digital oscillators provide deep, rich sound capabilities.
• Dave’s lowpass filter, a new highpass filter, analog VCA (voltage-controlled amplifier) with feedback, five envelopes, two LFOs, various analog modulation routings.
• In addition to percussion, you can tune sounds and play scales from the pads, or connect a MIDI keyboard and use it as a 6-voice analog keyboard synth.
• There’s a small display – 256×64 OLED – but onboard controls are designed for real-time music making (a topic Roger covered with me in more detail, along with his philosophy for how to make drum machines instruments).
• 2×8 pads, each pressure- and velocity-sensing. Roll function, which doubles as “stutter” when a beat is assigned to a pad.
• Two touch sliders, each with pressure sensitivity, for more real-time control.
• Pure analog signal path, but without skimping on effects – stereo analog compressor and distortion, beat synced delay that actually uses note effects, and beat-synced stutter.
• Real-time swing controls.
This is great news for everyone who was upset to hear the previously-planned Boom-Chik drum machine ended up being abandoned. The downside? Price is rumored to be $2,000. While I don't doubt it's a great product, it remains to be seen if people in the age of cheap software will be willing to drop that kind of coin on a drum machine, analog or not. What do you think?