Dave Smith Instruments Tempest
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Tempest, Drum Machine from Dave Smith Instruments.

Deathkillaz 06/18/2012

Dave Smith Instruments Tempest : Deathkillaz's user review

5

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The features are available at the manufacturer's website, so it makes no sense to list them here.

UTILIZATION

Even if it has a good number of controls on the front panel, you still need to browse the menus to access the countless functions of Tempest, but that's almost inevitable unless you would like to have a giant and very expensive instrument. I do regret, however, that it doesn't have dedicated pots for envelope sustain and release without the need to use the shift function.

Editing sounds is easy if you are comfortable with the basics of sound synthesis. On the other hand, you do need to familiarize yourself with the editing modes (beat, pad, time step, mute, etc), especially to know which functions are available in the mode selected. It requires some adaptation time at first... But afterwards it all depends on your sound-design competencies.

The manual is clear, but the Tempest has evolved so much since it came out due to the numerous OS updates, that many functions are not listed. Although I'm sure DSI will provide updated manuals online.

SOUNDS

The factory sounds available on the Tempest are basically based on samples, which is disappointing for an analog drum machine.
So you need to get dirty and create your own sounds to get the best out of it. In terms of architecture, the Tempest presents itself as a 6-voice synthesizer, so if you know how to quickly program analog drum machine sounds on a synth, it shouldn't pose much of a problem. By the way, I think it does a fine job as a polyphonic synth, too!

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using the Tempest for 4 months. I had previously an Elektron Machinedrum SPS1 MKII. The Tempest offers much more possibilities, but is still a bit less "robust," for the time being, because its OS is still in a very active development phase...
Nevertheless, I like it a lot and every OS update provides a handful of good things, allowing you to go further with the Tempest every time.
I had very good feelings about it the first time I used it to improvise, playing with the different Live controls, and I won't get rid of it.
If I had to, I'd buy it again!