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NAMM 2012: Interview with Dave Smith on Tempest

Over at NAMM we decided that we’d leave product demonstrations and the like to the million other sites that do them – especially seeing as we like to do our reviews in house where we can really get the best quality and a truly objective opinion (trade shows are loud!) – so instead I decided to interview a few of who we consider the key players in the electronic music manufacturing industry. Dave Smith is definitely one of those guys, so we had a chat with him about all things Tempest – the new drum machine from Dave Smith Instruments and Roger Linn Design. Take a look!

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Dave Smith/Roger Linn Tempest Imminent – Intro Video

We’ve been excited about this one for some time, and it looks like the release is soon to be upon us, as you can now watch Roger Linn take us through the Tempest’s features with his dulcet tones.

the lineage of this machine, the combined calibre of Roger Linn and Dave Smith, is not something to be sniffed at

It looks really intuitive, has an excellent screen, and of course sounds great. The $2000 price tag may put it out of the reach of many of you guys, but the lineage of this machine, the combined calibre of Roger Linn and Dave Smith, is not something to be sniffed at. We’re hoping to get a review unit in the Oh Drat studio so that we can give you the real heads up and make some great videos too, so watch this space…

Dave Smith Roger Linn Tempest

Dave Smith & Roger Linn Tempest Announced

Now this is exciting. Long in the making, the collaboration between synthesis demigods Dave Smith and Roger Linn has had many forms over the years. Originally a project called BoomChik, it has evolved over a few years into this: The Tempest.

Aside from being dazzling good looking, Tempest boasts a feature set to make other drum machines and even synths green with envy

Aside from being dazzling good looking, Tempest boasts a feature set to make other drum machines and even synths green with envy. A combination of real analogue and the best of digital, every voice has two analogue and two digital oscillators (with a variety of samples), analogue lowpass filter and amplifier, highpass filter, five envelopes, two LFOs, and a massive amount of modulation possibilities. And that’s every one of six voices. The voices can be tuned and the machine can act as a six voice synthesiser, the stereo output has an analogue compressor and distortion circuit as well as a beat synced delay and ‘stutter’ which sounds similar in operation to loop roll.

The 8×2, pressure and velocity sensitive pad matrix is backlit, there are over 90 panel controls including two pressure and position sensitive ribbon strips, real time swing settings (bear in mind that we’re talking about the same guy behind the classic MPC swing), step sequencer, and a great looking high res OLED screen – the list of desirable features goes on and on.

Take a look at the following video, and head over to Dave Smith Instruments or Roger Linn Design for in depth information on Tempest. The suggested launch price is $1999, which for such a fully featured and desirable looking machine could be a bargain…

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