Dave Smith Tempest Drum Machine (Discontinued)

92 out of 100. Incorporating 70+ ratings and reviews.

Gearank Recommendation

The Dave Smith Tempest appeared on our now defunct recommended list for Drum Machines in our first and second editions.


It’s been a few years since the Dave Smith Tempest was released in 2011.

This premium drum machine is a full featured analog synthesizer / sequencer that’s especially built to make beats. It combines quality analog synthesis with modern digital sound processing and sampling for a broad spectrum of sound possibilities.

This melding of analog and digital is the result of Dave Smith’s collaboration with Roger Linn, who is credited with making the first drum machine that utilized digital samples.

With its 16 velocity and pressure sensitive pads, 6 analog voices, multiple analog/digital oscillators, various filters, built-in effects and its massive bank of samples – there are so many sounds, beats and music that can be made.

It’s not the most affordable piece of hardware but over the years it has proven its staying power and has aged gracefully.

The Dave Smith Tempest is slowly being regarded as the “808 of our generation” and rightfully so. With its unique sound augmenting capabilities, it has earned its place in professional recording studios, performers and the hearts of musicians and beatmakers as a modern classic.

We speculate that it will become a collector’s item in the future so if you’re looking for a timeless drum machine, consider the Tempest.


  • Built-in Analog and Digital Oscillators
  • Classic Curtis low-pass filter
  • Analog high-pass filter
  • Analog VCA
  • Five envelope generators per voice
  • 2 LFOs per voice
  • 8×8 Modulation matrix
  • 16 pressure and velocity sensitive lit pads
  • Pressure and position sensitive touch sliders
  • OLED 256 x 64 display
  • Analog compressor and distortion effects
  • 650 Sound Program locations
  • Built-in Sequencer


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