This Zoom drum machine provides hundreds of drum and bass sounds. There are 70 drum kits, each comprised of 39 professional-quality PCM drum and percussion samples. These include acoustic drum sounds for rock, R&B, funk, and jazz applications, along with electronic kits optimized for urban music such as techno, hip-hop, and dance. There's even a human beat box which allows you to create kick, snare, hi-hat, and scratch sounds from five banks of human voice samples created by Big Fish Audio.
Drum sounds can be freely selected and assigned to any of the machine's 13 velocity-sensitive pads, and you can fine-tune parameters like pitch, level, and panning to create your own original drum kits. It comes with 440 preset patterns, along with numerous phrase variations, and programming your own patterns is a breeze, since it records not only your timing, but dynamics too. You can create and store up to 127 user-programmed kits and 511 original drum patterns, with a built-in metronome providing a click track in your choice of time signatures.
In addition, it offers 12 realistic bass sounds, including electric bass styles such as pick, finger, and slap, along with acoustic and synthesizer bass. To create a bass line, simply play the pads chromatically and record into the onboard sequencer. A dedicated switch allows you to mute the bass sound at any time.
It provides two types of high-quality DSP effects. COMP EQ allows you to shape the overall sound of the drum kit or bass program, while REVERB enables the sound of the drums or bass to be modulated or placed in natural-sounding spaces. The two effects can be used simultaneously or can be switched in and out individually. Up to 40 user-created effects patches can be stored in memory.
The COMP EQ section offers a multi-band compressor with independent settings for each frequency band. In addition, there's a resonance filter and a Low-Fi effect.
The REVERB section includes four reverbs as well as chorus, flanging, and delay. The effect send level can be set for each sound source individually, for example, you can apply gated reverb to the snare sound only. In addition, modulation rate or delay time can be synchronized to the selected tempo.
It's intuitive user interface and backlit LCD makes it easy to create backing tracks. Most controls have only a single function, and there are no complicated multi-level menus. You can create and store up to 100 songs, either via step entry or real-time input, and it's unique FAST method enables you to create complete accompaniments with minimal programming. In addition, Groove Play mode allows you to trigger patterns simply by tapping the pads, great for DJs.
Various connectors allow you to seamlessly integrate the machine into any rig. In addition to dual output connectors, a line-level input accepts signal from a personal music player or other devices. A control input allows you to connect a Zoom FS-01 foot switch (sold separately) in order to start or stop playback, perform tap tempo, trigger bass drum sounds, or switch between open and closed hi-hat. There's also a MIDI IN for synchronized play with an external sequencer; this also enables it to serve as a sound source module in any MIDI-based system.
The Zoom drum machine can also run on just 4 AA batteries—either alkaline or rechargeable NiMH—or you can use an optional Zoom AD-16D AC adapter. Battery life is up to 8 hours with alkaline batteries, allowing you to use it with confidence onstage