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Dave Smith Instruments Tempest

Analog Drum Machine

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Tempest 1
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Dave Smith Instruments Tempest
Dave Smith Instruments Tempest
2 000.00 street price

Legendary designers of electronic instruments Dave Smith and Roger Linn teamed up to create a drum machine called Tempest – quite a loud name today. In the process, both enthusiasts of synth making had separate responsibilities: Linn was busy with a digital part and a sequencer, and Smith worked on the analog side of the instrument.

Tempest is an analog/digital drum machine with 16 pads based on the Evolver, Prophet 08 and Tetra voice chips, paired with the improved sequencer in the style of the classic AKAI MPC. It has a 6-voice polyphony, 2 DCOs (with sawtooth, triangle, triangular/sawtooth waveforms), and 2 digital oscillators with one-shot samples (450 sounds), including FXpansion and Goldbaby noise/waves.

It is worth noting that it is not limited to only drums, in addition to them there’s the ability to synthesize basses, leads, blips, etc. Considering the spectrum of sound, it has almost crystal high, good middle and rather dense low frequencies.

Its interface offers knobs for amplifier, pitch, and 2 auxiliary envelopes (AD/SR) which can be assigned to any of the 58 modulation sources. 2 ribbon controllers stand for pitch and modulation control. The modulation is featured with 2 LFOs generating a triangular, sawtooth, reverse saw, square and random waveforms where they can be tied to a rhythm part or interact with an external MIDI Clock.

The mini mixer has pan, volume, mute/solo knobs. The instrument also has high and low pass VCF, and internal effects, such as compressor, distortion, delay, are quite enough for detailed processing.

Country of origin / production: USA

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More info
Usage area
Bass Synthesizer 
Percussion Synthesizer 
Rhytm/ Drum Machine 
Usage Design/ Form Factor
Without Keys, Desktop 
Analogue (A) 
Tone Generator / Sound Synthesis
Oscillators overall4
Oscillator Type DCO (Digitally Controlled Oscillator)
Oscillator Type Analog
Oscillator Type Digital
Oscillators' hard sync 
Sub-Oscillators per voice1
Waveform/ Spectral form (main generator) Triangle with PWM
Waveform/ Spectral form (main generator) Triangle
Waveform/ Spectral form (main generator) Saw/ Triangle
Waveform/ Spectral form (main generator) Saw
Voltage Controlled Filter (VCF) 
High-pass Filter (HPF) 
Low-pass Filter (LPF) 
LFO: LFO Count2
Step Sequencer 
Arpegiator/ Portamento
MIDI in/ out
Display type OLED
Resolution: Horizontal256
Resolution: Vertical64
Pads Matrix
Pads Count16
Built-in controllers
Pitch Bend/ Modulation Lever 
Ribbon Controller2
External controllers
Expression foot pedal 
Swell foot pedal 
Audio out
Dedicated output per voice 
Analogue: 1/4" (6.35mm)1
Voltage 100-230(250)V
Power Supply External
Height60 mm
Width390 mm
Depth221 mm
Weight2.950 kg
Production start2012

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  • enpdf1.68Mb DSI Tempest 1.41.5 Addendum
  • enpdf6.38Mb DSI Tempest Operation Manual v1.4