NAMM 2023: Donner D1, a new 12-channel sample-based drum machine

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NAMM 2023: Donner has introduced the D1, a new straightforward, portable 12-channel sample-based drum machine. 

The Chinese company Donner was previously known for its super cheap guitar pedals. But since mid-2022, the company also makes synthesizers. With the B1, they introduced a TB-303-like analog bassline Synthesizer. You can hear it in my latest pedal demo.

For NAMM 2023, Donner announced the D1, a new sample-based drum machine.

Donner D1 Essential

Donner D1

After the B1 analog Synthesizer comes the D1 drum machine, a logical next step. It has 12 tracks with 16 RGB backlit velocity-sensitive pads.

Each track can carry a sample that can be imported. However, there is no microSD slot for this. The samples can be shaped with classic parameters available on the color-coded user interface using touchable knobs. Including pitch, decay, and more. According to the specs, there is also a master effects section.

The sounds can either be triggered manually via the pads or using the built-in sequencer. It’s a 4 bars step sequencer with up to 64 steps. More, it can have up to 512 beats and hold up to 128 songs in the dedicated song mode.

Besides the pads and the knobs, you get 4 RGB backlit faders, 16 backlit tactile click buttons, and an OLED display giving you feedback of the sounds.

On the backside, you can find a power supply input, a USB-C port (USB-powered? no info), a headphone port, an aux-in, a MIDI interface (in/out), and a stereo output on L/R mono sockets. The design is strongly based on that of the B1 analog Synthesizer

Donner D1

First Impression

At first glance, the D1 looks like a very classic, intuitive drum machine. Few features, but very easy to use. The features that are known so far are normal. No surprise at all. I would have been happy about deeper sound manipulations. I’m looking forward to all the details and the first demos.

Donner D1 availability and price TBA.

More information will follow here: Donner 

Hardware Drum Machine News

1 Comment

  1. If it’s anything like the B1, the USB-C will be strictly for data/MIDI and not power. Was a HUGE missed opportunity on the B1 and… honestly one of the various reasons I didn’t keep it.

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