Arturia has announced the SparkLE, a budget version of their SPARK Creative Drum Machine. Featuring TAE (True Analog Emulation) synthesis, sample playback (with multiple layering modes and post-processing), and physical modelling technologies with the workflow of a hardware drum machine, SparkLE is ready for action in a very compact chassis.
SparkLE Creative Drum Machine serves up classic TR-style workflow via its brightly backlit step sequencer buttons, while a musical platter of bangin’ beats can quite literally be banged out using its eight velocity- and pressure-sensitive backlit pads. Stunning live performances are a breeze thanks to the advanced Looper and beat-slicing functions, while beats can be transformed on the fly with the touch-sensitive FX pad that features eight filter modes (including the famed Oberheim SEM V filter featured in Arturia’s acclaimed Oberheim SEM V soft synth namesake) and seven Slicer modes. Three assignable encoders ease writing automation and realtime sound control. More musical still, TUNE mode permits playing sounds chromatically across those 16 step sequencer buttons or eight pads.
Software-wise, SparkLE Creative Drum Machine makes use of the same full-featured Spark Engine software shipping with the original SPARK Creative Drum Machine. It includes a library of over 1,500 instruments and 100 kits, providing many sounds covering a variety of dancefloor-friendly genres and stylings, ever-expandable with Arturia add-ons.
SparkLE Creative Drum Machine costs $299 / €249 and claims to be available sometime this March 2013, but with Arturia’s track record, your mileage may vary.