Integrated solutions are becoming popular with a number of manufacturers – Arturia’s announcement of Spark, a software drum machine with a dedicated hardware controller, immediately forces comparisons with Native Instruments’ Maschine.
Spark is focused on analogue emulation, physical modelling, and replicating the step sequencing feel of classic machines
Spark looks to be somewhat more dedicated to drums, though, and rather than phrase based sample slicing it is focused on analogue emulation, physical modelling, and replicating the step sequencing feel of classic machines. A few neat features such as an X/Y control, dedicated step editor, and an aluminium chassis give the Spark a potential edge, and with 480 instruments, 30 kits, and 9 onboard effects, it definitely has promise.
I look forward to getting my hands on one to see whether the 1:1 tactile control can genuinely create the illusion of using a standalone drum machine, but with the boundless quality of a high powered computer behind the sounds. And, of course, whether it lives up to its USD599/499Eur price tag. Until then you can take a look at Arturia’s Spark homepage for more…