Works great for my needs! UPDATE: Not any more!
Reviewed in the United States on 23 September 2020
Some time ago, I tried using my Novation Circuit to sequence some synthesizers and enjoyed it immensely. I used the Circuit for drums, note and pattern sequencing, and master clock. Eventually I wanted different tones other than the kick, snare, hi hat and ride cymbal that the Circuit offers. Since the drums in the Circuit take up two of it's four tracks, I searched for another sequencer and gave up.
Fast forward to now, I got a Launchpad Pro MK3. It fits my needs based off the Circuit perfectly, but now I needed a drum machine or synth. Enter this UNO Drum.
This synth is way more capable than I gave it credit for!! It's sequencer is surprisingly robust, the drum tones have, in my opinion, the right amount of dialing flexibility. I'm able to alter the tones to the point of being highly noticeable, but I don't feel overwhelmed by options either. Having a broad variety of drum kits to choose from further encourages creative experimentation.
To go back to my note about this synth's built in sequencer, obviously I'm not utilizing it. I'm using my Launchpad Pro to sequence it, which it does fine with proper setup. When I first tried sending some MIDI commands to this synth at first, it did some startling things like playing it's own step-sequenced patterns, switching drum kits and so on. I finally did the sensible thing and read the manual, which revealed to me that this synth was trying to pull it's own weight by handling some of the sequencing and performance duties itself.
For the time being, I'm keeping it simple and just having this synth take note commands from my LP Pro, so as not to stunt my creative enthusiasm. I'm happy to know that this synth has capabilities for me to grow into though!
Finally, a note about the tones of this UNO Drum: While you can easily look up videos of this on the internet and judge for yourself, I'm happy to say this synth has some very nice drum tones. You can dial them to sound more natural, or more synthesized, more "electronic" per se. Heck, even the sequencer has a timing option called "Human" that, as you may have guessed, tweaks the timing of sequences just a little, to mimic a human drummer. As I'm just a bedroom guitarist that noodles with synths, I can't speak with authority has to how authentic this feature is, but I'm glad to have it there! Heck, maybe I'll use this to make up some drum tracks to jam along with on my guitar!!
UPDATE: After having owned this thing for a few months, it has turned into a fire liability. It has killed several batteries and fried a USB power supply.
It began a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't done any "DAW-less" jamming in a while so I sat down to do just that. I noticed after a few minutes, the UNO Drum was flashing "BAtt" on it's display. I was a bit surprised, since I'd dropped fresh batteries in it the last time I used it but went and grabbed another fresh set of batteries. I noticed when I took the first set of batteries out, that they were REALLY warm to the touch, almost hot. I hoped it was just a fluke, and put the fresh batteries I'd grabbed earlier in. After a few minutes of use, the UNO Drum once again flashed "BAtt". Once again, the batteries were nearly hot to the touch. Probing them with my multimeter showed one of the three batteries had less than 0.6 volt in it, with the other two reading at normal levels. Again, these were fresh batteries that I had bought a couple of weeks before.
So, I tried USB power. I used an adapter rated at 2 amps, which I figured would be more than enough to power the UNO Drum. Once again, a few minutes after use, the UNO Drum began wildly flashing it's LEDs and shut down. It would not power back up. Probing the adapter, which is of course rated at five volts, it was only outputting about 0.1 volt now!
I emailed IK Multimedia immediately, detailing the events I just covered. Now, a week and a half later, they replied, saying they needed to discuss what to do with my UNO Drum and to stand by! I understand that the holidays are nearly upon us at the time of writing this update, but this is ridiculous!
I dislike having to update my reviews in such negative ways, but I find the dangerous nature of this UNO Drum and the lack of concern from IK Multimedia to be completely unacceptable. I cannot encourage anyone at all to buy an UNO Drum, or any product from IK Multimedia now.
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