Best Cheap Drum Machines

Drum machines are an electronic musical instrument which creates drum beats, patterns, and percussion sounds. These machines may imitate actual drum kits or other percussion instruments. Drum machines are used in genres like rock music, Pop music, and dance music.

Drum machines could be an excellent addition to your musical instruments. If you are looking for the best drum machines with less money, then this article is going to help you.

Best Cheap Drum Machines

Drum machines have had a lasting impact on popular music in the 20th century. Now there are numerous amounts of drum machines in the market. Features and the price range will help you out to choose your drum machine.

Product Name

Features
Price Range

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Arturia SparkLE Drum Machine

  • Physical modeling.
  • Spark software with virtual analog
  • Real-time programming from the pads.
  • USB MIDI and the machine is USB powered

$$

Korg Volca Drum Machine

  • Optional battery power.
  • A built-in speaker
  • Great for beat creators.
  • Provides analog sound.
  • Electribe-style sequencer with eight memory patches.

$

Alesis Studio Grade Drum Machine

  • Provides 100 different patterns.
  • User-friendly control system.
  • Touch-sensitive pads.

$$

Korg Portable Mini

  • Great built-in speaker.
  • Optional foot-switch
  • Provides a chain function system

$$

BOSS Dr. Rhythm

  • Great sound shape function.
  • Provides 100 preset patterns.
  • Comes at an affordable price.

$

Akai Professional Drum Machine

  • Provides microphone input and Headphone output.
  • Built-in backlit LED.
  • Comes with 99 preset patterns.

$$

Arturia Analog Drum Machine

  • Seventeen true analog sounds.
  • Sound generation and programming option.
  • Multiple sync options like USB and MIDI.

$$

Roland Rhythm Drum Machine

  • Hand on control including tone, level, tuning, and decay.
  • User-friendly and compact interface.
  • Built with a very nice metal top which makes it very robust.

$

Teenage Engineering Drum Machine

  • Jam-sync function.
  • Comes with 16 built-in effects.
  • Produces 16 different drum sounds.

$$

Novation Circuit Groove Box

  • Provides regular software updates.
  • The machine is battery-powered with a built-in speaker.
  • LED-backlit.

$$

1. Arturia SparkLE Drum Machine – Best Cheap Drum Machines

Best Cheap Drum Machines

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If you are looking for a computer-based drum machine, then you may want to look at Arturia Sparkle. This is one of the best virtual drum machines in the market. Virtual Drum Machines represent that there will not be any actual sound from the machine but you can produce sound with the supplied software on your PC or Mac.

Arturia SparkLE uses bundled Arturia software to contain lots and lots of different soundtrack so that you can choose any track to make your music.

Pros:

  • Comes with full-featured Spark software with virtual analog and physical modeling.
  • Provides real-time programming from the pads.
  • Comes with USB MIDI and the machine is USB powered.
  • Comes with knob controllers for ease of control.

Cons:

  • It is a virtual drum machine and you must use it with a Mac or PC.

2. Korg Volca Drum Machine – Best Cheap Drum Machines

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Here is a great stylish set of a drum machine that resembles the TR-808 design. If you are looking for a small drum machine to provide a lot of classic drum sounds then Korg Volca may be the best choice for you. Some nice little features like delays and reverbs are great features for a beginner musician.

This Drum Machine comes with a lot of great features like a tempo indicator on the step sequencer. If you start producing your music with this drum machine you will learn what this gem can do.

Pros:

  • Comes with an electribe-style sequencer with eight memory patches.
  • Allows sync in or out of multiple instruments from the Volca series.
  • These drum machines are great for beat creators.
  • Provides analog sound.
  • Comes with a built-in speaker and optional battery power.

Cons:

  • These machines don’t come with any digital USB.

3. Alesis Studio Grade Drum Machine – Best Cheap Drum Machines

Best Cheap Drum Machines

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This drum machine comes with a classic look with a small display and a control dial. If you want a comfortable drum machine with less complicated control you can go for the Alesis drum machine.

These drum machines are very user-friendly. You can choose from 100 patterns for your music. Choosing a pattern is very easy in these drum machines. These are real-time drum machines.

Pros:

  • Provides seamless MIDI connectivity and complete MIDI support for use.
  • Comes with production-ready features like sound stacking, step editing, and stereo samples.
  • Provides 100 different patterns.
  • User-friendly control system.
  • Comes with touch-sensitive pads.

Cons:

  • Provides some dated sounds.

4. Korg Portable Mini – Best Cheap Drum Machines

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This is one of the cheapest drum machines in the market. It does not provide a lot of features but it is great for travelers and people who like portable drum machines. These machines come with more than 50 different preset rhythms of varying styles.

Korg Portable Mini is a simple drum machine with a basic interface. If you are just a beginner you can select a rhythm pattern and start making your music.

Pros:

  • Provides a chain function system to let you arrange your favorite rhythm pattern.
  • Comes with an optional footswitch that lets you control it easily.
  • Comes with a great built-in speaker.
  • You can record your performances.

Cons:

  • Comes with a basic interface and without any display.

5. BOSS Dr. Rhythm – Best Cheap Drum Machines

Best Cheap Drum Machines

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Here’s an affordable drum machine for your practice and performance. These drum machines come with great audio quality. The sound control and sound shape function are great for everyone.

The purpose of this drum machine is to help users create full-length music with new and custom drum beats. You can choose from 100 preset patterns and make your music.

Pros:

  • Provides realistic drum, percussion, and bass sounds.
  • Comes with total sound control.
  • Great sound shape function.
  • Provides 100 preset patterns.
  • Comes at an affordable price.

Cons:

  • The technology is not so updated.

6. Akai Professional Drum Machine – Best Cheap Drum Machines

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Introducing a sleek designed drum machine with loads of features and specifications! Akai Professional drum machine is a studio performance provider. If you are looking for a budget-friendly professional drum machine then Akai Professional may be your choice. It is equipped with more than 700 sounds. You can play any genre in this drum machine.

The Design of this drum machine is very attractive. If you have a diverse music taste then you must go for Akai as you can make a soft tonal song or a hardcore metal song on this drum machine.

Pros:

  • Comes with 99 preset patterns.
  • Built-in backlit LED.
  • Provides microphone input and Headphone output.
  • Comes with bright, glowing, backlit pads that follow the beat.

Cons:

  • The battery life of this drum machine is not good.

7. Arturia Analog Drum Machine – Best Cheap Drum Machines

Best Cheap Drum Machines

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Arturia is well-known for producing top-of-the-line multi-track recorders. These machines are arguably one of the best drum machines available in the market. These drum machines are analog that means it does not come with a lot of technical features. It does not provide any display but the wide-range control system will allow you to make new and creative sounds.

When you start using this machine you will experience the great performance of Arturia. Introducing a fully analog drum machine with integral sound creation is a major event for Arturia.

Pros:

  • Provides unique analog reverse cymbal for creating unique music.
  • Comes with multiple sync options like USB and MIDI.
  • Features great sound generation and programming option.
  • Offers more than seventeen true analog sounds.

Cons:

  • Does not come with a display.

8. Roland Rhythm Drum Machine – Best Cheap Drum Machines

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Whether you are an experienced producer or just a beginner, the Roland drum machine can be the tool to create your unique music. This drum machine comes with a compact and user-friendly interface. This is called an ultra-compact recreation of the legendary TR-808 machine in the market.

The drum machine has many features and capabilities as well as some improvements. This machine can be used both in the recording studio and on the stage if you are playing live.

Pros:

  • Provides the classic hip-hop and house record sounds.
  • Built with a very nice metal top which makes it very robust.
  • User-friendly and compact interface.
  • Comes with hand on control including tone, level, tuning, and decay.

Cons:

  • This drum machine is not so suitable for professional use.

9. Teenage Engineering Drum Machine – Best Cheap Drum Machines

Best Cheap Drum Machines

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If you are looking for a big performance in a small package then Teenage Engineering is the best option for you. This is a small power-packed machine with solid sounds, intuitive sequencing, and killer sound effects.

If you are just a beginner or you are searching for some drum machine to start your journey you need to check this out. It works great with the tabletop synth rigs because they being loaded with synthesized drum sounds.

Pros:

  • Produces 16 different drum sounds.
  • Comes with 16 built-in effects.
  • Effortlessly edit effects with dual real-time parameters.
  • Comes with jam-sync function.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for professionals.

10. Novation Circuit Groove Box – Best Cheap Drum Machines

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This is a compact, portable, and battery-powered instrument you can use daily. This drum machine is great for learners. This machine grants users a way to create their samples and play.

You can use this drum machine with your PC or Mac. Novation comes with a lot of great features and it is a great catch in the market now.

Pros:

  • Compatible with macOS, Windows 8 and 10, and PC.
  • Provides up to 128 steps of synth and drum patterns.
  • Provides regular software updates.
  • The machine is battery-powered with a built-in speaker.
  • LED-backlit.

Cons:

  • Does not provide a display.

Drum Machines Buying Guide

A first-time buyer will be looking for a good-value drum machine. The drum machines discussed in this article are perfect for both beginners and anyone who needs a drum on a budget. But when you are searching for the best drum machine for you, you need to look at some features.

Analog or Digital

An analog drum machine will provide richer and more realistic audio but a digital drum machine will provide studio-type audio. So if you are not a professional or a beginner you can start your journey by using analog drum machines.

Analog drum machines will give you a less complicated interface and you will be able to create rich audio. But if you are a professional and use the drum machine to create studio-quality music then you can go for digital.

Compatibility

Digital Drum machines require compatibility. If you are creating music with your digital drum machine then your PC or Mac will show you the sound. So before buying a drum machine you need to check if that is compatible with your device.

Performance

This is the most important feature of a drum machine. Whether you are looking for a machine to help you write songs or perform, you need to check the performance of your drum machine. Performances can be different in live or studio sessions.

Patterns

Drum machines provide different kinds of patterns. You can check which pattern is more comfortable for you before purchasing.

Interface

An ideal drum machine will provide you with a less complicated interface. If you are a professional then that should not be a problem for you. You need to check the display, extra LED lights and get a great interfaced drum machine.

Final Thoughts

If you are unsure of what type of drum machine you want to buy then this article will save your day. This list of inexpensive drum machines can be taken into consideration and you can have a great quality affordable machine from the market.

With that being said, you need to be aware of the sound quality, build quality, usability, and value for money before purchasing a drum machine.

You may also like to read: Best Intermediate Drum Sets

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