Metasonix D-2000 Vacuum Tube Drum Machine ‘Will Blow Your Ass Off’


Metasonix has introduced the D-2000 Vacuum Tube Drum Machine – a new design that they say ‘will blow your ass off’.

“It’s rude and immoral. It’s not completely dead-silent and distortionless, and cannot be made so,” notes Metasonix.

“The owner’s manual is full of warnings for the idiots who often purchase our products, and claim they’re ‘broken’ when they’re working perfectly,” they add. “If you’re one of those idiots, buy a nice Machinedrum or something and go away. We do not want you as a customer.”


Here’s what they have to say about the Metasonix D-2000 Vacuum Tube Drum Machine:

The D-2000 is an all-new design, based on our previous drum-sound simulation circuits. Unlike the previous D-1000, everything in the D-2000 has been tweaked and maximized and pushed. It is NOT intended for fast-and-dirty bland, conventional backing tracks, it is for the mad experimenter and the risk-taker and the experienced studio musician who wants extreme analog.

Each of the three tunable drums (“PITCHED DRUM”) is made from a vacuum tube ringing bandpass filter, and can be tuned to sound from below 20 Hz to over 2 kHz using a “vactrol” photoresistor. They are also tunable with external control voltages (varying 0-5v), allowing complex patterns to be built up with external CV or pulse sources. Resonance of each PITCHED DRUM circuit is set by front-panel controls. Each circuit also has a “Drive” control, allowing the pulse input to be varied from complete shutoff (silence) to full sounding to overdrive. The PITCHED DRUMs are very similar to the R-54 module.

The two “cymbal” sound channels (“GATED NOISE”) are based on an extremely primitive circuit, with white noise gated by a pentode tube. The “cymbal” attack and decay are knob-variable and the decay time is also CV variable, controlled by a slow-response “vactrol” photoresistor. Each GATED NOISE channel also has a treble rolloff tone control.

A “Link” switch connects the trigger inputs of the second GATED NOISE and first PITCHED DRUM channels, so they sound together. This allows simulation of a “snare” drum, if you can call it that.

Recessed buttons may be used to manually trigger each channel, in parallel with any trigger input pulses.

All five channel outputs mix to a single tube preamp that allows for severe overdriving via the mix-level controls. The preamp has an optional CV input that can be used to mute the output if desired (it must vary from -2v or less to totally mute the output to +5v or more for full volume). The distortion is either mild or brutal.

Because there are now far better trigger sequencers available on the modular-synth market than we can make, we chose to equip this rackmount device with no sequencer. Instead there is an 8HP space for a Eurorack sequencer or trigger generator. A power cable provides +12v and -5v and should power any trigger or gate generator that will fit in 8HP (most only need +12v power). We recommend either the Delptronics Triggerman or the ALM Pamela’s Workout, both have been tested and are known to work very well. Trigger sequencers and generators from other modular synth equipment may also be used. The D-2000 trigger inputs will accept any pulse source: 0 to +5v, 0 to +10v, 0 to +15v, it doesn’t matter. You can also run strong audio signals into the trigger inputs, they will mix with the noise in the GATED NOISE channels and convert the PITCHED DRUM channels into tunable bandpass filters. Try that with a digital sampled drumbox.

Ample inputs and outputs: mix output (with overdriveable tube preamp), separate outputs for each drum sound channel, external trigger inputs for each drum sound channel, and CV inputs for each drum sound channel. Use any pulse generator to drive the trigger inputs. Very short pulses are recommended for the pitched-drum triggers, and longer pulses for the cymbal triggers. The Triggerman and the Pamela’s Workout are both capable of producing different pulse lengths on their separate outputs. They have very different user interfaces, so choose the one you prefer.

Here’s the official audio demo:

The Metasonix D-2000 Vacuum Tube Drum Machine is currently available exclusively at Big City Music, priced at US $1,895.

via matrixsynth

120 thoughts on “Metasonix D-2000 Vacuum Tube Drum Machine ‘Will Blow Your Ass Off’

  1. Almost $2k to make shitty drum sounds you could replicate easily with bitcrushers and distortion, etc… no thanks. lol.

  2. I love metasonix concepts but this is muuuch too expensive for something that’s not that versatile. Preferred the sound of the last one too.

  3. quite comical, i appreciate the honesty and all, but now its got an elitist “you just dont get it” tude to it. leave that for your customers.

    im sure elektron appreciates the marketing tho

  4. Mutant HH, BD, Clap, and Machine… come in at about 1700 USD and. The versatility is superb–you get open and closed HHs, effects that you can route other signals through–and they sound incredible. I can see getting a single module if you want that special MS sound.. but for a whole drum rack the value proposition doesn’t seem quite there. Though I still think vac tubes look badass just from an aesthetic standpoint. More people making more stuff is always good. Hooray for selection!

  5. Using tubes for hype : check
    Sub-par sound-quality : check
    covering your ass by saying critics “just don’t get it” : check
    ridiculous price tag : check

  6. This sounds terrible. Not because its noise, I can appreciate analog noise. It’s not good noise machine. A good noise goes from clean to obliterated.

  7. This just seems like a bunch of guys taking the piss. They’re charging $1,895 for something that doesn’t sound like a whole lot of effort was put into it, isn’t very versatile, and doesn’t sound unlike any drum plugin run through a lot of bit crushing and distortion. And they’re insulting on top of it, calling people idiots if they don’t “get it.” I think I’d be more of an idiot if I parted with nearly $2000 of my money for this.

  8. Almost 2000$ for a machine that sounds like a Casio through an over-driven tube preamp. And they put on those cheap soft-touch knobs. What?

  9. Their promo makes me want to drink a Mountain Dew and jump over something with my bike. And if their drum machine tries to blow off my ass I’m going to kick all their asses.

    1. Sorry, farts aren’t analog…they’re organic.
      Ya know, maybe Metasonix should redesign this machine into an ‘organic’ fart machine with methane filled tubes instead. Now that would please the purists.

  10. The only niche I see for this is where it appears to have originated from, the arse crack of some pretentious tattooed oversized tee shirt wearing douche.

  11. *face palm*

    All I got from this:

    1. Metasonix makes overpriced, unimpressive gear. Analog != Good sound. Some work has to been done if u want to make something worthwhile.
    2. Metabolic has a douche heading up their PR division.

    1. The company’s just douches all the way down, I think. It’s nice that they’re finally making gear that doesn’t have names like “Skullfucking Rapist Wiener Diarrhea 3000,” but, well, it’d also be nice if it was worth buying regardless of the name.

  12. if this is what your farts sound like I would be mighty worried
    not my kind of drum machine
    not like the plumbutter
    that is special

  13. yeah i loved their boxes but this leaves a whole lot to be desired. seems like its just for the elitists who want to be able to brag. i loved their little boxes, even with the goofy names like “scrotum smasher” and the tx-1 agonizer…. but that’s because those work better in my flow. i like to start out with a clean sound and mangle it into oblivion. starting off with a crap sound is gonna end up with a crap sound result. i’ll be passing on this.

  14. i’m all for unique, unconventional instruments, but that is one of the worst demos i have ever heard. combine that with the price tag and this would have made a great april fools’ gag.

  15. This totally matches the attitude of the Big City Music guys.. insanely crappy sounds presented with sky-high ego.

  16. How did this not come out on April 1st?

    Be proud Metasonix, you’ve nicely endorsed the Machinedrum while doing the impossible job of making the Rhythm Wolf desirable. You guys have a great future!!!

  17. I find it refreshing.

    So rarely is a product marketed in a way so clearly intended to illicit the response “what a bunch of douchebags.”

  18. I used to make sounds like this back in the day by jiggling the input jack of a crappy 1/4inch cable while my drum machine played.

  19. Whoops! Shit talking, insulting potential customers, and releasing something which claimed will ” blow your ass off” but then ended up sounding like wet cardboard, is the perfect storm of publicity fuck ups. Other small companies should take note, and learn from this colossal disaster – a case study in how to repel customers.

  20. I am getting one as soon as I can. Yeah the demo is not all that, true. There are a few other demos out too, not necessarily so good either but they show other sides of the machine. I already have an S-2000 and it is simply great. Metasonix makes instruments that take some time to learn, to find the sweet spots etc. You will not get instant gratification, but the rewards in the end make it more than worthwhile. Other tracks are bound to come out, I would reserve judgement until that moment.

  21. I have never seen such an outpouring of negative comments & derision on Synthtopia for any new product – whatever these guys did, they really got it wrong! Maybe they still think it’s April 1st???

  22. why would anyone buy this? you could have just made a cheap tube distortion for drum machines and called it a day.

  23. Obviously the intention with that immature shit is to provoke a reaction, which based on the 50+ comments in less than a day, worked. The Metasonix demos have never impressed me. Actually playing these instruments is what impresses me… there are much more than fart noises to be made. I actually find the manuals amusing. Iโ€™m glad there are still musical instrument companies making really unique hardware.

  24. they have to put much higher price on it, to attract potential buyers – it even cheaper than Tempest, cโ€™mon, give me something really exclusive, at least at price point, if not the sound, make it go for 50.000$ so one can buy it, put that freaking thing on top of his new moog system 55 and say – โ€œwho is the man now?โ€

  25. Yup…I’m stone deaf and stoopidly rich. (Well done Metasonix, you’re gonna’ set a comments record with this clever idea!)

  26. It’d make more sense to have the trig ins, decay cv ins and audio outs in a matrix next to the sequencer spot. That way the wires will be much shorter and won’t get in the way of the controls.

  27. Amongst all the other, obvious terrible things about this product – are we just calling a things that can make shit drum sounds a “drum machine” now? Doesn’t it need some sort of onboard sequencer thing to be a drum machine? Also – I’ve got a mattel synsonics drum thing and a behringer distortion pedal for sale; $1,000 sound about right? Email me!

  28. I read the copy and was like “hell yeah!” Then I saw the price and was like “fuck that!” Then I listened to the demo and laughed.

  29. I wanna buy one of these and pair it up with the groovebox that was being hawked by that slipknot guy a while back. Maybe throw in an OP-1 while I’m at it, just to annoy everyone I possibly can

  30. I read all the comments before having a chance to put on headphones and actually take a listen. All I can say is . . . wow. I’m actually surprised at how bad this garbage sounds.

    Seriously, this is their demo? Almost $2k for basically a drum sounds module (no sequencer) which sounds this awful? It sounds like a cheap Casio keyboard after spilling Dr. Pepper on it, frying half the circuitry, and running it through a Squire bass amplifier.

    I can’t imagine who would buy this. From the company’s write-up, it sounds like a lot of thought and work went into the design of how it worked. I think they should have taken a step back at some point and considered how it actually SOUNDED.

    1. “It sounds like a cheap Casio keyboard after spilling Dr. Pepper on it, frying half the circuitry, and running it through a Squire bass amplifier.”

      Shockingly, some people are looking for things like that.

      1. There will always be people with more money than sense.

        Not every company makes those people their target market, though.

      2. “Shockingly, some people are looking for things like that.”

        I beg to differ. The demo sounds very weak. Nobody looks for that. Maybe you should do a better demo that doesn’t sound like wet farts.

    2. “It sounds like a cheap Casio keyboard after spilling Dr. Pepper on it, frying half the circuitry, and running it through a Squire bass amplifier.”

      Little known fact, but Sprite works better when pouring it into your Casio. More treble and fatter mid-range.

  31. Know when you have screwed up your product launch? When everyone on Synthtopia agrees about something.

    Seriously, though, I would get this idea if it was $400. But this could absolutely be recreated by running basically anything which can make drum sounds through a filter and a tube distortion pedal. For a tiny fraction of this cost, you could have a far more capable system, where the horrible could be turned on and off at will.

    It’s almost May 1, a little late for and April Fool’s joke, yeah?

  32. Yes, all you naysaying geniuses, this guy started a company, spent endless hours designing this product and a bunch of others, designed custom faceplates, built the things by hand, lined up vendors to sell it through…just on a whim, as a joke. Ha ha ha.

    All of us who already own and love his shit know that the thing is going to be an psychosis bomb capable of a lot more than a bunch of fuzzy pops. So if his halfhearted demo sent you off to buy your shitty Electribe, so you can do some fucking Rompling and he doesn’t have to spend 32 hours wiring one of these gems together for you, then he has succeeded.

      1. You do realize that the idea that a company that puts out marketing materials like this could find stockholders is completely idiotic, don’t you?

        Also, anyone who’s had any experience with Metasonix knows that Eric Barbour likes to stir things up, but he does make completely unique gear. You may hate it, but nobody’s going to accuse him of not taking risks or putting out ‘me-too’ products.

        1. I was being nice. When I said “Stockholder”, I meant “Fanboy” because it sounds like Porfy J is on his knees (bobbing: in service) for this company.

          But it wouldn’t stay, because: pesonalattackdeleted

    1. It is sort of traditional amongst instrument manufacturers that when they tell us about a new product, and produce a demo, that they showcase what the instrument is able to do. Perhaps it is in fact a “psychosis bomb”, but all we hear are fuzzy pops, farts and vl-tone like snares. We can only comment on what’s in the demo. Also taking an elitist view, and being dismissive of anyone that doesn’t “get it”, is going to annoy people – perhaps you or Metasonix could demo something that is more persuasive?

      1. Actually, it’s traditional for most gear vendors to put out TERRIBLE demos with TERRIBLE music.

        And then the dubstep bass drops….

    2. Right. Because, since I don’t want to spend $2,000 to make weird (bad) sounds, I’m going to run out and buy an Electribe.

    3. are you insane flipping out like that?

      its about a drum machine




      … without a sequencer of course, so its not a drummachine at all just a soundmodule, but anyway … that wont fit in any modular system, but … yeah anyway, its pretty cheap

  33. What a joke. Some of the stuff this jerk made years ago was quality and sounded nice but if it is anything like the last few years of stuff he has put out the build quality will be shite. The old TM and TX pedals were great built with quality. Now it’s plastic wobbly pots and badly soldered pcb’s . I bought some of the R series stuff and man was it built terribly one of the units did not even have the pots soldered in fully I had to get my friend to fix it. What happened its all built like a child assembles his stuff. I also tried a S2000 that my friend has had for about a year and the ribbon is peeled up and pots wobbly and scratchy on a $1500 unit! What happened is he getting some place in china to build stuff? I think Their quality would be better and at least you would not have do deal with a nasty cranky old man when it inevitably breaks as he is a complete jerk to have to deal with. I will not be purchasing anything else from these guys their day in the sun is done.

    1. I too have had to deal with Eric and it was miserable. I purchased a Assblaser and it seemed to be not working correctly. Long story short, he sent me a bitchy email saying I did not know what I was doing and proceeded to ream me out on the Muff Wiggle forum basically calling me a idiot. I ended up selling the piece of junk to someone else and guess what? It was broken and caused some issues with between the buyer and I. Never did I get a apology from him for blasting me in messages and a public forum. I hope this is the last thing he puts out he is a complete ass and if you deal with him you may as we’ll bend over and get ready for a nice screwing by a sad. edgy old man and his junkie assembler . Want to take a chance on almost 2k? Not me I learned my lesson the hard way.

      1. Had a s2000 also and it sounded ok but was built like shit with loose pots and shit was crooked on the faceplate. Guy was also a ass to me what is this guys problem and how does he stay in business?

  34. Okay then, good suggestion, I will get a nice Machinedrum instead, for nearly half the price!

    Even if this actually sounded any good, I would not support this kind of hollow marketing fluff:
    “It is NOT intended for fast-and-dirty bland, conventional backing tracks, it is for the mad experimenter and the risk-taker and the experienced studio musician who wants extreme analog.”

    1. Did they really use the term “extreme analog”? HA ha ha ha! Extreme anal-something. That’s for sure.

  35. It’s been on the market for 4 days, and Big City has already sold 8 pieces, three of them to:
    -Trent Reznor
    -Alessandro Cortini
    -William Corgan

    Have a nice weekend. Now I have to order more goddamn boards and parts.

    1. You should let this loosers be. They won’t understand anyway. They probably don’t even know who this people are.

  36. I rep for one of the largest musical instrument manufacturers in the world. I really think we need to get Eric Metasonix in-house, STAT, to head up our marketing team! He’s actually saying what everyone wishes they could say, and you can actually make music w/ $2K of our stuff!

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