Korg’s Drumlogue bridges the gap between fully analog and fully digital drum machines and synthesizers, offering up a hybrid instrument that makes the best of both sound-generating technologies. Overall, the Korg Drumlogue is a vast and feature-rich drum programming device from which we’ll highlight some of its primary characteristics in this review.
The Korg Drumlogue Desktop Drum Machine Is a Game-Changer
The Drumlogue is an inventive new drum machine, first teased in January 2021 and officially released as of November/December 2022. At face value, you have a relatively compact and powerful instrument that’s suitable for live performance or studio programming. Many producers have applauded its advanced, yet simple, transient-shaping capabilities. In addition, the Drumlogue has a deep sound set for a multitude of genres and grooves.
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Korg’s never been one to maintain the status quo. Their boundary pushing often leads to results, and the Drumlogue is a fresh take on the tried-and-true drum machine.
What’s Included with the Drumlogue?
Korg designed the Drumlogue as a 16-pad, 10-voice polyphonic drum synthesizer with a 64-step sequencer, three sound engines, 128 programs, 128 drum kits, built-in effects, and ample I/O. They made sure it’s ready for the studio or the stage, with the flexibility to handle everything from short grooves to full-on performances.
Korg Drumlogue Review: Analog Meets Digital
Construction & Interface
Instruments with advanced features seem daunting in many instances. Korg does a solid job of keeping the Drumlogue hands-on. Nothing ever feels like it’s buried too deep under various menus, which is often the case with the digital side of instruments like these. Everything sits right at your fingertips, so it “plays” with the intuitiveness of a regular instrument.
In terms of construction, the Drumlogue sits on a plastic chassis to cut weight. The top is metal and wood flanks both sides of the machine for a bit of retro flair. The instrument isn’t a paperweight but a slim and trim 3 pounds for portability, whether it’s to and from the studio or venues.
Three sound engines power the Drumlogue. These are four analog voices for kick, snare, high tom, and low tom; six digital, sample-based voices for cymbals and percussion; and a synthesis-based multi-engine for synths, drums, effects, and rich customization. That final engine is what pushes the Drumlogue past typical drum machine territory into a highly versatile production tool that can build full arrangements.
Plenty of Outputs
The Drumlogue offers six 1/4″ outputs, headphone out, USB-A and USB-B, MIDI, and audio sync. There’s a wide range of connectivity for pretty much any situation in which you’d need to hook up the Drumlogue to various equipment.
The step sequencer utilizes a familiar pattern template. When you save a pattern in the machine, it also saves the associated drum sounds, which is a notable differentiator from the competition. You have the option to play the patterns live and have them quantized or not, or you can manually enter the hits step by step. Both workflows have their merits in different circumstances, and it ultimately comes down to preference.
A nice touch to the sequencing aspect is groove quantizing. You can add some randomization and human touch to velocity and timing. Everything on the grid has its place, but you can make magic with a little purposeful deviation.
What Makes the Korg Drumlogue Stand Out?
Korg makes the Drumlogue stand out amongst competitors simply with its hybrid build. Users can enjoy classic analog drum machine sounds right alongside modern sample-based digital tech. Plus, the multi-engine is an extremely versatile voice able to run synthesizers, master effects, and more. And while not the most interesting feature, the range of inputs and outputs is a seeming no-brainer addition that places the Drumlogue that much farther ahead of the pack.
Korg’s Drumlogue is a welcome addition to the brand’s family of “‘logue” instruments. Balancing a bit of old school with a bit of new, this drum machine is both familiar and fresh. It isn’t a perfect device, as few are, but as time moves on, we’ll see what sort of improvements come the Drumlogue’s way.