Advantages Realistic drum sounds, inexpensive, can synchronise with MIDI equipment
Disadvantages Expandability limited to user defined patterns
The Zoom RhythmTrack RT-123 is a good quality and fairly inexpensive (about £120) drum machine. Aesthetically it looks good, with a very compact body (dimensions are 20cm * 25cm), and the unit has a hard, transparent blue casing.It can produce backing patterns made up of two drum tracks and one bass track. There are 297 preset patterns, providing a wide variety of popular rhythms - everything from Hip Hop to Stadium Rock! 99 additional patterns can be programmed in and stored by the user.
You can create a backing sequence (song) with up to 99 patterns, and as many as 99 songs can be stored. The RT-123 comes with a demo song pre-loaded which gives a good indication of the type of output you can create with a bit of practice.The pads light up when the sound is played, which is useful for non-drummers, to see how the rhythms are composed. You can choose from 105 built-in drum and bass sounds which are very realistic.
There is a line in jack enabling the connection of external instruments, and the controls are simple and intuitive. A groove play mode allows users to change patterns during play by tapping pads on the unit.The MIDI IN connector allows synchronisation with an external midi sequencer or control of the RT-123 from other midi equipment. So, for example, if you are using a package like Calkwalk or Cubase and have a MIDI OUT connction on your PC, the RT-123 will automatically adjust to the tempo of the song you are playing in your software package. Magic! Especially for musicians like me who use the PC for home recording and want realistic drum sounds.
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