Mooer dropped into the world of pedal manufacture a few years ago without much hullabaloo at all. Their first wave of units, a checklist of super cheap clones of the most popular pedals on the market in tiny enclosures, caused shockwaves to tear throughout the industry on both sides of the exchange.
People cottoned on quickly to the idea that you could now own that Tube Screamer sound for less than a hundred big ones, and the ‘not bad at all for the price’ reputation sees them sell like hotcakes to this day, with several other companies chasing their tails to whip together a half-way competitive, budget series of their own. Since then it’s been like Pandora opening her box; a seemingly endless stream of new micro pedals with all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds inside. Far from draining the well of sonic exploration, it seems Mooer have their eyes set further afield than first anticipated as they bring to life the new Micro Drummer drum machine.
Yet another in a long line of achingly simple ideas, the Micro Drummer is a streamlined drum machine with dozens of patches in a slim-line stomp-box format. There are ten separate styles to choose from with everything from jazz, reggae, hard rock and heavy metal covered like a wet sock on top of a straight metronome. Within each style you have eleven different patterns to play against. There are two different ways to adjust tap tempo settings as well as the Speed knob across the top and you can manually adjust the tone and volume of the beat so that it doesn’t compete with your signal as you shred through the buffered output. All the usual specs are there power wise, so you don’t have to do any fancy wiring to drop it into your board and it’s tidy enough a package that even if you weren’t going to use it in a live situation, it’s not so obtrusive that it demands sacrificing other pedals’ real estate.
For the practice-obsessed player amongst us, this pedal could be a real game changer. Learning their practical application within any style you like could offset some of the tedium of going over modes and scales. Most of the patterns are in 4/4 but there are a few in 3/4, 6/8 and triplet beats if you need, and the Tempo setting has a patch with no accent for those of you who dare to tackle polyrhythms and unusual time signatures. Simply put, it’s everything a Dr. Rhythm does but shrunk down to Mooer’s specs.
It might not be the single most essential piece of kit you ever own, but there is certainly a place for Mooer’s Micro Drummer. Whether you’re honing your craft like a ninja or your band’s drummer is on holiday, there is a very practical application for this little machine and I can foresee stumbling across a tutorial made by some smart-arse who has figured out how to wrestle it into an EDM powerhouse. Watch this space. In a world of good ideas it’s so hard to come up with a truly original one and the Micro Drummer is, to say the very least, original.
Hits and Misses
Great for practicing against tempos.
Excellent tempo control.
Small and affordable.
Not essential for every player.