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Drum Machines VS Samples. A Look at A Modern Question.

It is very possible that when an audio engineer gets into researching the best drum machines, he or she then asks his or herself this question: “Why do I even need to buy a drum machine when I can use drum samples?”

A valid question indeed. After all, wouldn’t all the world’s drum beats that exists in these sample libraries be at your disposal? Why do we need to reinvent the wheel?!? Let’s take a deeper look…

Drum Machines Offer You More Control….

It is true that there are some slight “workarounds” that can gain you more control when working with samples. For example, you can create subtle variances using a host like Spark and round robin samples. And if you have to deal with static samples, then you might be able to achieve variances by running them through a preamp and then resampling them. But overall, a drum machine will give you the control and variance a lot of musicians feel they need.

Drum Machines Are Also A Lot More Fun….

Sifting through sample libraries can be extremely time consuming, and the tedious nature of working with samples can sometimes leave you feeling extremely bored. You can also usually make a decent beat by the time you are done rummaging through a kick drum folder.

Let’s go over some of the pros and cons. Most agree that software is a must, but don’t neglect the drum machines. After all, just because you buy a drum machine doesn’t mean you still can’t use samples.

Drum Machines VS Samples

Drum Machines


  • More Fun
  • More ‘Organic’
  • More Variance
  • On the fly sequencing
  • Can take and use on live shows


  • Usually limited to a certain set of sounds
  • Can be expensive
  • Sometimes harder to manipulate in the DAW
  • Recording each sound from the drum machine separately to turn it into audio tracks can be time consuming

Drum Samples


  • Cheaper
  • Very flexible
  • More portable
  • Vast amount of samples in libraries


  • Less control
  • Less Variance
  • Not suited for live shows as well as Drum Machines

More than likely most producers these days are using a combination of both.

What’s your take? Sound off in the comments below!