Arturia Spark Drum Machine

Arturia Spark drum machine

At the 2011 NAMM Show, Arturia announced their new ‘creative drum machine Spark.

Arturia Spark is a drum solution made of a software application and a dedicated hardware controller. Sound familiar?

Here’s their take on it:

“For many years, Arturia has been mainly dedicated to creating synthesizers,” says Frédéric Brun, President of Arturia. “Three years ago, looking at the solutions available for drums, we thought we could bring to this area a little bit of our expertise in virtual analog synthesis and physical modeling.”

“Since we also wanted to include samples, we turned to reference companies such as Sonic Reality, Ultimate Sound Bank, Ueberschall and Modern Beats,” ads Brun. “Spark is a creative, simple and fun instrument to use. It offers recreations of many classic drum machines, an expected delivery from Arturia, as well as innovative drum sets and high quality sampled-based acoustic kits. We added many real time effects and a great controller to offer hands-on workflow. To me, Spark is a great alternative to all the MPC-style, Gigs-of-samples-based, complex solutions available today.”

The Arturia Spark has an MSRP of $599 / 499€.

Check out the demo below and let us know what you think of the Arturia Spark drum machine!

Arturia Spark Features:

  • 480 Instruments / 30 Kits :
    • Vintage drum machines : Analog recreations in the spirit of the TR-808, TR-909, Simmons SDS-V, and Eprom based LinnDrum, Drumtraks, DMX, and more*.
    • Electronic kits covering the most popular modern music styles : Dub, House, Techno, Hip Hop, RnB… as well as experimental fields thanks to the physical modelling engine.
  • Acoustic drum kits subtly mixing physical modelling and samples for high audio realism.
    • Pristine quality sound engines including:
    • TAE Analog synthesis
    • Multi layered sampling delivered by reference third-party companies
    • Physical modelling
  • FX Pad with Repeat, Tape, Reverse, Strobe, Pan, Mix, 3 mode Filter and Roller
  • Advanced Loop mode with divide and move functions
  • Real-time automation on all parameters
  • 16 track mixer with 9 high quality effects : compressor, reverb, bit crusher, multiband EQ, chorus, delay, distortion, phaser, plate reverb
  • Song Mode with up to 64 patterns by song
  • Shuffle and Shift modes to humanize grooves
  • 16 key – 64 step sequencer
  • 8 velocity sensitive pads
  • Touch sensitive FX Pad
  • 30 knobs for in-depth and immediate sound control
  • Aluminum enclosure
  • Works as a universal MIDI controller towards any third-party software

25 thoughts on “Arturia Spark Drum Machine

  1. I hope the future won't be full of this sort of hybrid "bring your own computer" controller+software devices. Gimme hardware that can be used without a computer or some other strings attached.

    1. re: I hope the future won’t be full of this sort of hybrid “bring your own computer” controller+software devices. Gimme hardware that can be used without a computer or some other strings attached.
      Try the Misa Digital Kitara, which is a controller, standalone hardware and can be used with software.
      Some of us want to think and and use devices outside the box, technology and new innovations may not be for everyone but some of use do enjoy the new toys. There are plenty of choices no matter how you look t it.

  2. Oh, look – it's got a STEP SEQUENCER! WHOOOAO. You can, like, program beats in realtime! WHOOA. SO INTENSE!

    No, seriously. Might still be a good product, but what that clip made me do in 2:43? Asked myself a dozen of times what kind of moron they've got on the marketing team making that spot. I always expected Mike Levey to jump all over the place… 😉

  3. Maschine leads and will lead… Maschine looks far superior than Spark (especially with the upcoming 1.6 firmware) , more useful (8 pads only? come on…) and imo more beautiful…

    Competiion with Tempest? Are you kidding? Tempest is a stand alone drum synth with analog signal!! How can this compete with tempest??

    The near future seems like that "bring ur own laptop, controller, " etc as Random Chance said.
    The companies chose this way because this approach is much cheaper than everything else around the groovebox idea: An adequate software and a midi controller…. Cheap.

    I m happy that Elektron exists and produces magnificent machines since 10 years and that Dave Smith & Roger Linnn decided to produce a very very beautiful stand alone drum synth

  4. Disagree, then agree. There's room for all of them in the market.

    Maschine, sadly, has too much of a hip-hop vibe for me. If Spark can stay in a slightly more electronic niche, that's a good approach (it's particularly good to see *synthesis* in addition to the samples).

    But I agree: Tempest and the MD are awesome. Very classy instruments that are both sure to be classics and still sought-after 20 years from now. And there's still a comfortable market for them. They're just higher-end. …I have 10 times as much respect for DSI and Elektron as I do for NI or Arturia. 🙂

    Still, *I* am really excited about the Spark. It's the right price, it's a nice interface, and it sounds good. It's already on my wishlist.

  5. This has some very cool features, including physical modelling. Something, to my knowledge, maschine does not have. Lack of analogue is not such a big thing with drums. Actually, it's a little detrimental, when compared to actual drum hits or samples. The palindrome heavy heavies, (808, 909 and not much else), suckseed so well, because they lack options. Oh, also the raving/housing nostalgiacs. Still, they're bangin' little boxes. This one looks cool, and Arturia know their sounds. Should be a good and reasonably priced alt for the tempest, which is expensive and far from drum sounding, but definitely cool in it's own right.

  6. Hi
    Can I store the songs and patterns in external computer. Or can I receive data from the computer (fast loading) what about sampling and sequencing? Is it suitable for both stage and recordings?

  7. Typical whiners, I love how the comparisons just seem to take over the true essence of a product. Stop comparing products, when they are not meant to be compared. Maschine is considered as a workstation groove box that samples, records, and able to use vst's and midi controller. Spark is a drum maschine, period. Which is able to design your own drum kits, it does not sample, does not use vst's (it can be used as a virtual instrument). It's simple to use and looks as it has a fast learning curve. Maschine you will have to invest some time to learn the many features. They are products in their own rights, another hybrid tool that many may find useful in their workflow. I own maschine and have preordered spark, because they are two different products and I think I will enjoy spark as a controller as well.

  8. Stop the comparison with Maschine and spark. They are 2 different products! One is a drum machine the other is a groove box workstation. Spark has a clean analog sound a great controller and has a fast learning curve Maschine sounds gritty more hip hop related and will take a while to master. Listen to the first hip hop songs like Run Dmc and You can get the same results with spark.
    Maschine sounds processed synthetic and does a terrible job of hosting some virtual instrument include park, because of the different sound engines. If you are a gear head get both you will like both.

  9. I have one. I have Maschine too. Maschine is about playing back samples and sort of copying the MPC workflow. Spark is about VA, physical modeling and can play samples too but is more based around the 808/909 workflow. Different products with different functions. Spark is built much nicer than Maschine. Maschine feels cheap, Spark does not. They both sound really good. Pads feel good on both, about the same. Maschine has 16 pads, Spark has 2 banks of 8 for 16 total. Spark is more fun to use. It has a better layout for loading kits, or instruments or projects. It has more real-time performance controls and the assignable controls for each drum is very nice.
    Maschine has more depth in the sample playback engine and effects. It's more like a stripped down version of Kontakt. It's more of a production machine than Spark.
    They are both excellent and do what they do well.

  10. I have Arturia’s Spark & I absolutely love using it to create my electronic beats. If your like me & just love gear, the gear comparisons sound sad. Yes I would love to afford a Tempest, Machine Drum etc Having said that, I will buy the Maschine as well, because you should be able to make your beats with an assortment of gear & mix it up! The most important fact is The Spark analogue drum machine sounds great! Go & hear it for yourself!

Leave a Reply