MFB Tanzbär

Analog Drum Computer

  • Step sequencer and 16 instruments
  • Direct control and integration via MIDI and CV / Gate
  • Different step lengths for each instrument
  • Programmable accent and pitch bend
  • 144 Patterns with A/B variations and fill-function to chain patterns
  • 3CV/2 Gate channels
  • Roll and flam recording
  • Individual and global swing-quantization
  • Recording of control-value per step
  • 12 Single outputs and a stereo output
  • MIDI and clock synchronization
  • MIDI dump
  • Metal housing with wooden panels
No JavaScript? No Audio Samples! :-(

Sound samples

  • Pattern 1
  • Pattern 2
  • Pattern 3
  • Pattern 4
  • Pattern 5

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MFB Tanzbär + Boss FS-5U +
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starting from 799 €
84 customer ratings:
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4.6 / 5.0
  • handling
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
37 written ratings Read all reviews

All about the sound

Mark6035, 05.08.2015
First of all I must mention the build quality. The first one I was sent had a fault on it. I feel I must mention this because others claim to have issues too. However, Thomann were great with the return and the second machine I received functions perfectly. Overall it doesn't feel like a premium product although it's acceptable.

The sound, however, is most definitely premium! Being honest, I don't like the cowbell and the two synth parts (bass and lead) are basic at best, but it is a drum machine after all so that's no big deal. That being said, they are useful for playing around with if you're just having a jam.

Two kick drums. Two fantastic kick drums! The first is very flexible - can be quite soft but can also thump with the best of them. It can do 909 and beyond (yeah yeah, it always comes back to the Roland machines). One excellent feature is that the additional 'Sound' function allows you to choose 1 of 16 transient clicks which can add some very useful bite to the kick. The second kick is not as versatile but it is deeeeeeeeeep! In fact, watch your monitors because this thing goes subterrainean. This one does 808 with ease. Layering the kicks allows for some serious thumping with the transient click and body of BD1 and the subby bottom of BD2.

The snare is also very flexible. It can be very snappy, boxy too if you want it and some very interesting, albeit not very 'snarey' noises to. The rimshot and the claves, whilst being kind of unremarkable, are very good with the necessary controls to get them to fit in your mix and I like them very much.

I've never been a fan of synthesised cymbals and the Tanzbar is no exception, for me. Nothing wrong with it, I just never liked them on any machine, The hats, however, are fantastic. As the closed and open hats share the same output you can get the closed hat to choke off the open hat and create some fantastic rhythmic parts that sparkle and can sound very organic. I'm definitely a big fan of these hats!

The clap is very distinctive. It sounds so crisp and can really smack you in the chops. The drawback with it deing so unique is that it may be so much so that you can't use it in so many tracks without considerable processing. However, the filter sweep can make it usable for more than standerd claps and in combination with the step parameter settings some interesting textures can be created.

The toms/congas perform admirably for me. Not such a big fan of the high tom as it just lacks a little presence for me (processing can still make it useful) but I'm liking the low and mid toms.

Rounding up the sounds is the maracas. Not much to write about here but they are useful, particularly (I find) to add a little movement to your pattern, especially with a little 'shuffle' applied.

Be warned! Operating the Tanzbar comes with a steep learning curve. Learn your play modes. Then learn them again. There is an awful lot of functionality packed in to this box but the compromise is that navigating all it has to offer does involve some less than intuative procedures. I would recommend that you don't try to learn all it's functions in a day (like I tried to) but just grasp the basics, enjoy jamming on it to get used to it then start adding in the 'extra' features as you are getting more comfortable.

Once you get used to the parameter/step locks then this thing really stands apart from other analogue machines. It's fairly easy to edit once you know what you're doing and really does open up the utility of the machine. The sequencer is also easy to use and an enjoy just jammin on the box. I have only begun to explore sequencing other synths through the CV/gate and it's not too difficult to get a pattern going but I need to spend more time on it.

Overall, this thing sounds incredible and I am really happy with it. If you're happy to go through the learning curve and fine with the average feel (in build quality terms) then do not hesitate in buying this. In short, it feels cheaper that the 777euros needed to buy it, but sounds way way more than 777euros worth of sound quality and functionality.
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Very cool machine, but could be better built

cfo, 15.11.2014
First of all, this is a very nice drum machine. No complaints about the sounds.

A highlight is the per-step programming of all control paramaters, which can create quite complex patterns. In general, the programming is not the most intuitive, and you have to be willing to spend some time with the device, the (poorly written) manual and possibly some googling. There are lots of modes and button combinations, but if you get them it is quite versatile.

On the programming side, what is missing is a way to make longer sequences. Also copy&paste between A and B parts would be very useful (the A part is once copied over to B when you first create the B part, but after that there is only manual editing. Even deleting the B part again seems to be impossible).

Another concern is the build- and packaging quality. It consists of a single circuit board, which is only connected to the case via soldered metal posts. This is a weak point, and I dont see why they did not use screws in stead. Second is the box, it is only protected by a few layers of buble wrap, which is simply not enough in the world of online shipping. High probability that these soldered posts come off during shipping.

All in all, a very good drum synthesizer, but would be much improved by 4 extra screws and a bit better box.
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