Tempest Reviews and Awards



(US) March 2012 issue


"We're blown away by the Tempest. Even at two grand, it's going to change the way cutting-edge electronic artists, composers, and sound designers perform and compose grooves. How many new instruments can claim that?"


"The Tempest is indeed the mother of all groove boxes."


"Full analog signal path. Incredibly deep synthesis tools. Unprecedented realtime performance features. Great sounding distortion and compressor on master bus."


"At the core of Tempest is a shockingly powerful four-oscillator synth that has Dave Smith's fingerprints all over it."


"Once you get the hang of performing your grooves, the results breathe in a way that just can't be achieved with other products. Under the hood is something akin to a six-voice, 16-track Evolver, with one of the most advanced, truly musical performance sequencers as its heart."


"The grooves it generates are playable in truly musical ways, so that your beats are alive in a way that puts the Tempest in a category all its own."




(UK) February 2012 issue


Build rating:            10 out of 10

Value rating:           9 out of 10

Ease of use rating:  8 out of 10

Versatility rating:    10 out of 10

Results rating:        10 out of 10


"Redefines what a drum machine should be. Doubtless destined to be a future classic."


"The hybrid sound engine sounds just right for drums and synth duties. Sequencer has classic Linn/MPC60/3000 feel. Extremely tweakable for studio and live performance."


"The filters sound excellent - raw yet controlled - and the net result is that you can slot the Tempest straight into a mix without the need for much processing…"


"The Tempest filters don't break up, they drive and saturate and no digital system will sound as smooth."


"In all honesty, if the Tempest was the only analogue synth you'd ever owned, you'd be happy!"


"Put it this way, if you're a beat maker starting a setup from scratch that doesn't do much sampling and just wanted great analogue drums, a real analogue poly synth, an analogue distortion box and analogue compressor with an MPC3000-style sequencer, step sequencer plus digital samples, there's no way you could do it for the same price as the Tempest."


"The Tempest could seriously revolutionise your approach to beat, bass and effect making largely due to its plethora of real time controls and expanding feature list, not forgetting it's a totally self contained solution that could allow you to ditch cumbersome computer setups onstage."


"Nothing else drum machine-related on the market is this powerful in terms of hands-on synthesis."


"The Tempest sounds, feels and looks the part and that's the bottom line…The Tempest is a future classic."


"Imagine the sound of a Dave Smith Instruments Mopho/Prophet 08/Evolver wired to an MPC3000 with loads of real-time control and modulation options. That's pretty much the essence of this machine."


For the full text of the review on Future Publishing's Music Radar site, click here. Music Radar rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.





(UK) February 2012 issue      


Rating: 9 out of 10 stars


"A sound and sequencing box done right. The sound is excellent and the interface doesn't get in the way."


"Sounds and feels superb. As much a synth as a versatile drum machine. Incredibly well thought-out interface and layout. Excellent modulation structure."


"We lost hours exploring its envelope, LFO and self-modulating options for routing. Tempest is highly immersive."


"With Tempest...we felt incredibly confident about where to reach for what while creating our compositions within just a few hours -- hats off to the designers for getting this important element so right."


"The core sound quality is very good and the sonic range available via the the tools provided is incredibly vast."


"We look forward to the future and the arrival of [the] missing features, but even as it stands this is an incredible product."






Calling this a drum machine is like calling a Harley a scooter—but it''s one heck of a drum machine. The pedigree on Tempest is enough to get anyone''s attention: Dave Smith, the “father of MIDI,” and Roger Linn, of LinnDrum, MPC, and AdrenaLinn fame. Well, that level of talent certainly didn't go to waste; Tempest is a remarkable musical instrument, and it''s not just “another drum machine.” Of course the sounds are of the expected level of quality, but the surprising thing about Tempest is the workflow (or perhaps more accurately, “playflow”) that's smooth as warm butter, to the point where it encourages creativity—and it's even good for more than just beats."





Tempest Nominated for 2012 TEC AWARD

Tempest received a nomination for the TEC Foundation's 2012 TEC Award in the category of "Musical Instrument Technology / Hardware".







(UK)February 2012 Issue


"As the offspring of two industry giants, the description 'drum machine' seems inadequate for the Tempest. I see it as a new breed of beat-oriented instrument awaiting its first virtuoso. Harnessing the synthesis of Dave Smith's most advanced instruments and the percussive know-how of Roger Linn, the Tempest...offers a professional-level feature set--at an equally professional price."


"As a live, organic sequencer for electronic percussion and synthesis, there’s nothing else quite like it."


"A drum machine with a colossal synth engine."


"It’s in performance that the Tempest shines."


Click here to buy the full text of the article for $1.49 from the Sound On Sound site (or for free if you're a Sound On Sound subscriber).




"The Tempest is a true musical instrument, designed with performance and sound as its priorities. It succeeds in both departments, giving the user loads of expressive playing possibilities and the robust sound you'd expect from both of these giants. The Tempest is not a sampler, although I don't think this is a deal-breaker by any means. There're plenty of sounds available to keep you busy for a lifetime. With a street price of $1,999, it's not for everyone, but for those who want the best, look no further."


Click below for full review:






(Germany) March 2012 issue



Trotz der Einschränkungen durch noch nicht  implementierte Features konnte der Tempest

im Test voll überzeugen. Als eigenständiges Ins- trument versucht er nicht verkrampft, alte Boli- den nachzuäffen, sondern bringt einen eigenen  vielseitigen Charme mit. Von leichten Percus- sion-Klängen über klatschende Analogsounds  bis hin zu geräuschhaften Klanggebilden reicht  das Klangspektrum dieses Ausnahme-Drum- mers. Zusätze wie MIDI-Delay, Verzerrer oder  Kompressor werten das Klangbild weiter auf.  In Sachen Bedienung sucht der Tempest eben- falls seinesgleichen: So viele Funktionen auf so  einfache Art zugänglich zu machen, ist wirk- lich nicht alltäglich. Der Preis mag für viele Inte- ressierte eine bittere Pille sein, angesichts des  Gebotenen und unter Berücksichtigung des  Gebrauchtmarktes für die Klassiker geht er aber  durchaus in Ordnung."





(Germany) April 2012 issue


"Die gebotene Symbiose aus Drumsamples, analogen Oszillatoren und den weiteren Nachbearbeitungsmöglichkeiten definiert den universellen Charakter von Tempest."

"Die Möglichkeiten machen Tempest nicht nur zur Groovebox, sondern wandeln den Drumcomputer sogar in einen sechsstimmigen Analogsynthesizer, der auch konventionell über MIDI gespielt werden kann."

"Tempest ist ein beeindruckender Drumcomputer. Viele Synthesemöglichkeiten, ein verblüffendes Stimmenmanagement, druckvoller Analogsound, eine große Auswahl überzeugender Drumsamples sowie tolle Performancefunktionen...Tempest ist eine Anschaffung, die sich dann lohnt, wenn man mit dem Gerät richtig arbeiten und vom tollen Workflow sowie den inspirierenden synthetischen Klangmöglichkeiten profitieren will, sei es live auf der Bühne oder im Studio."





(Germany) January 2012 issue


"Der spontane Ersteindruck: sehr schick und erstaunlich kompakt!"

" Tempest liefert eine gigantische Klangpalette, die sich keinesfalls auf Drum- und Percussion-Sounds beschränkt."

" Das Konzept des Gerätes ist zweifellos ebenso gelungen wie die hervorragende Hardware. Tempest steckt voller brillanter Ideen und bietet alle Möglichkeiten, sowohl vielseitigste Klänge als auch rhythmisch anspruchsvolle Beats zu erstellen."


For their video demo of Tempest, click below:





Attack Magazine (online, US)

Nov 23, 2012


"...the sound itself is phenomenal. You might get away with burying a thin, weak synth at the back of a mix, but there’s no hiding place for drums. The Tempest delivers top notch hits before you even consider any external processing."


"So is the Tempest worth it? We think so. It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s a phenomenally versatile machine which sounds incredible."


"The Tempest offers virtually infinite sound design options, a fantastically powerful sequencer and real-time performance features which have already made it a mainstay of numerous live dance acts. Its flexibility means it can truly lend itself to absolutely any type of electronic music."


"We’d go so far as to say that the Tempest is the best hardware drum machine currently in production..."


"Will the Tempest go down in history as a classic? Time will tell, but I believe it will."


Click below for full review:





(Germany) February 2012



Der Tempest ist ein faszinierendes Spiel-Werkzeug und kreatives Echtzeitkompositions-Instrument. Das völlig flüssige Ansprechverhalten der Pads, Ribbon-Controller und Knöpfe in Verbindung mit der "The-Beat-Never-Stops"-Philosophie ermöglicht dem performanceorientierten Musiker eine bei Drummachines bisher unerreicht direkte und unmittelbare Bedienweise. Der Spaßfaktor der vielen cleveren und hervorragend implementierten Echtzeitklangverwurstungs- und Beatbearbeitungstools ist enorm. Der Sound ist unverkennbar analog, wenn auch nicht vintage-mäßig breit und edel.

Der Haupteinsatzzweck des Tempest ist die Live-Performance, das Jamming und kreative Beatbasteln zuhause und im Studio, wo er eine gute Ergänzung als Produktionswerkzeug darstellt.

Einen sechstimmigen Analogsynthesizer (quasi einen Tetra mit erweiterten Möglichkeiten) bekommt man sozusagen noch obendrauf."


Click below for full review:




Roger Linn Design

Los Altos, CA