Beat this: Arturia Spark hardware and software drum machine.

Written by Elliott Clarke. Posted in DJ Gear, Drums

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Image: Arturia Spark Vintage Drum Machine Hardware

Published on June 08, 2012 with No Comments

Arturia, creators of countless synth emulations and the incredible MiniBrute synth, have now entered the world of hardware drum machines. Arturia Spark is their first offering, currently on version 1.4.1. The hardware/software hybrid, touted as a “creative beat production center”, features 90 kits and over 1300 instrument sounds.

Image: Arturia Spark Vintage Drum MachineAs you may expect from a company with Arturia’s background, you get emulations of vintage drum machines from Roland, Simmons, LinnDrum, DMX, Maestro Rhythm King, and Yamaha. There are also a number of Electronic kits for modern styles, and a limited range of impressive-sounding acoustic drum kits. Rather than run off samples, Spark allows you to adjust the parameters of synthesized drum sounds in real time. The acoustic sounds are part-sample, part-physical modelling, so even they can be manipulated – and there’s support for .wav and .aiff files should you want to load in your own samples to expand the library.

Image: Arturia Spark Vintage Drum Machine HardwareTactile control comes courtesy of 8 touch-sensitive pads; 3 rotary controls per instrument; master rotary dials for filter resonance & cutoff, panning, volume, and auxilary FX; a 16-pad “pattern circle” allowing you to chain pre-performed loops; Jog wheel for simple selection of kits & sounds; a transport panel with record/stop/play/pause buttons, tap and tempo control; 16 keys controlling a 64-step sequencer; extreme looper; and a granular ”shuffle” dial for controlling quantize. There’s also a touch-sensitive FX pad, with filter, slicer, and roller effects for live fills and sound manipulation. The entire unit is housed in solid aluminum, and features an LCD display with plenty of helpful information.

Image: Arturia Spark Vintage Drum MachineQuantize is optional, which makes Spark a great performance instrument for drummers and DJs, as well as being a solid programming tool for producers. The hardware side of Arturia Spark is compatible with any MIDI-controlled software, and the Spark software will run as a plug-in within Cubase, Ableton, ProTools or Logic – supporting VST, AU, and RTAS formats. In plug-in mode, the 16 audio outputs of Spark can be instantly routed into the audio tracks of your chosen DAW.

Already used by a number of international artists, Spark represents the best of both worlds – and calls on its competition to up their game!

Image: Arturia Spark Vintage Drum Machine HardwareHardware Specifications :

  • 16 key – 64 step sequencer
  • 8 velocity & pressure sensitive pads
  • Touch sensitive FX Pad
  • High precision rotary encoders
  • Aluminum enclosure
  • Works as a universal MIDI controller towards any third-party software

Software Specifications :

  • Pristine quality sound engines including : TAE® Analog synthesis, Multi layered sampling delivered by reference third-party companies, Physical modelling
  • More than 1300 Instruments / 90 Kits :
    • Vintage drum machines : Analog emulations of the TR-808, TR-909, TR-606, Simmons SDS-V, and Eprom based LinnDrum, Drumtraks, DMX, Drumulator and more*.
    • 10 new emulations from « Spark Vintage Drum Machines » (1.4.1 version) : CR-78, Mini Pops 7, Ace Tone FR-2L, Yamaha MR 10, Maestro Rhythm King MRK2, Boss DR-55, E-mu-SP-12, Roland DR-727, Roland R-8, Casio VL-Tone and SK-1.
    • Electronic kits covering the most popular modern music styles : Electro House, Techno, Hip Hop, RnB… as well as experimental fields thanks to the physical modelling engine.
    • Acoustic drum kits mixing physical modelling and samples for high audio realism.
  • 16 key – 64 step sequencer
  • 8 velocity & pressure sensitive pads
  • Touch sensitive FX Pad with Repeat, Tape, Reverse, Strobe, Pan, Mix, Bit Crusher, 3 mode Filter and Roller
  • Advanced Loop mode with divide and move functions
  • Real-time automation on all parameters
  • 16 track mixer with 14 high quality effects : Multiband Compressor, Reverb, Bit crusher, Multiband EQ, Chorus, Delay, Distortion, Phaser, Plate reverb, Destroyer, Flanger, Space pan, Limiter, Sub generator
  • Song Mode with up to 64 patterns by song
  • Shuffle and Shift modes to humanize grooves
  • High precision rotary encoders
  • Aluminum enclosure
  • Works as a universal MIDI controller towards any third-party software

Image: Arturia Spark Vintage Drum Machine RearPerfect integration :

  • Seamless integration as a plugin and standalone (VST, AU, RTAS)
  • Easy Import of Wave and Aiff samples, MIDI files and Rex loops
  • Drag & drop Export of MIDI and Audio (Wave) patterns into your DAW

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