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Groove box survey - lurkers invited to participate!


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Wow! I just received the new Musician's Friend catalog. Four pages are dedicated to groove boxes/rhythm machines, and that doesn't include any of the many software rhythm emulators, like ReBirth, Reason, LM4, etc. That's a LOT of groove boxes! So I'm wondering, who USES these things? What models? For what kind of music? What do you like about them? What DON'T you like about them? Lurkers, this is a good chance for you to weigh in on a topic. We don't bite! :D
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i have one of the newer dr rythms. Is sounds real good. Tons of drum sounds and pre made kits. All really really good sounds. It also has tons o patterns. uses... -band rehearsals or song writing sessions. alot of times some of the members just want to get together to go over structure and the rythm machine is great for keepin it steady. my machine has almost every feel in it.Quantized of course. easy as hell to pull up any pattern or variation. it even has 2 fills for each pattern. -Practicing, great time reference and you can delete as much of the original pattern as you want, or just have a click going by, down to 35 bpm i think. -tranfereing basic patterns into computer through midi. you get 'em into the sequencer and then apply a groove map or what ever to them. -Use the rythm machine as a sound module for other sequencers. - turn it up real loud and hide it in a drawer somewhere and go out for dinner so when your roommate comes home it drives him mad cause he's not spose to touch yr stuff!!! there is more i'm sure
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I stated out with a dr rythm also,I think the mk550 or something like that.I then purchased a MC 303 but didn`t like it that much it`s mainly made for techno.Then I got an SP-1200 Limited edition and ever since then I`ve been happy.Alot of these groovebox`s have these internal sounds and even though you can tweak them out you have a better chance of caturing the sound you want by sampling.I mean no one can copywrite a kick drum or a snare,so I see the sampling percussion machines to be better.But I guess it depends on you.Also after I got the SP and really learned how to work it I purchased a Korg Triton and been in love since,man sampling,internal sounds,appregrio patterns that you can edit or create....just unlimited posiblity`s!Anyway that`s my opinon. Peace and Nevasleep!
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I've never been into the 'canned' groove boxes, but I keep reading 'so & so' did some groovy thing using one. I saw one of the better ones for like $1200.00, and the darned thing seemed so complex, I didn't want yet another thing to learn, when I have several devices already that I use about 2% of their functions, from lack of time to explore them. I don't need another box, I need more time.
In two days, it won't matter.
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we have an mc-303 that doesn't really do very much at all.(meaning it doesn't get used much) it provides glorified click tracks and that's about it. i didn't want to take the time to learn to program it; i paid the 50 bucks and registered fruityloops instead. much easier. matt
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[quote]posted by Nevasleep: ...you have a better chance of capturing the sound you want by sampling. I mean, no one can copywrite a kick drum or a snare, so I see the sampling percussion machines to be better. But I guess it depends on you.[/b][/quote] WORD UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPPP!!! If it depends on me, I will sample, bay-bee! I have been sampling my ASS off lately with the Korg E-Tribe•S, and I LUV it! I sample drum hits, full orchestra hits, and everything in between. It's amazing, you know, if you listen to a CD such as Jay-Z's "The Blueprint," you can see how creative you can get with sampling. I personally do not sample full measure loops of music (drum and percussion loops are fair game, though), 1. because I don't have to, and 2. because I don't wanna have to pay for that shit; but hits, and really short licks, you can sample and re-render (change the pitch, add effects, loop into step-sequenced progressions, etc.) and they're too short to be collected on, and anyway, they end up un-recognizable if you're good at slicing and dicing them and burying them in your mix. But, whoah! The shit you can put together with some tasty samples! I like to take my E-Tribe, lay down a phat groove with some analog sounds, and then start layering on those tasty sampled hits and drum loops. Yeah! A groove box without a sampler is like a biscut without butter. Take heed, groovers. E :)

Eric Vincent (ASCAP)

www.curvedominant.com

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Driload just presented the same question earlier in the week and I'll repeat what above posters have said. I have the MC303 and it sucks. The 808 and 909 kits are passable but you just can't put synth pads, drum kits, sequencers, arpegiators, and a 32 oz soda in a fucking beat box and expect it to sound any good. Thumbs down on the MC series, get a soft synth or better yet something like a Korg oasys PCI card.
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Hey Dan South, It's the young Jedi. I have been using a MC-505 for awhile. It's great for rough sketches, but for the weighted sounds that I like you have to have a sampler. For whatever reason, I haven't heard a drum program that has the thickness, dirt, and guts of sampled loops. However, I have a friend who produces house, ambient, and acid jazz like stuff. He has done some amazing things with his 505, so atleast that machine might lend itself to those genres. Then again it might just be because he's incredibly talented. In addition, I've found if you mix those drum machines together with other units or keyboards you can come up with some interesting and unique sounding stuff. But for me, growing up loving dirty Hip-Hop beats from the late 80s and early 90s you got have a sampler. Jedi

"All conditioned things are impermanent. Work out your own salvation with diligence."

 

The Buddha's Last Words

 

R.I.P. RobT

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Emu El-7 Yamaha Rm1-X Korg Electribe-R Reason A few other programs and devices. I probably used my Rm1-X and Electribe-R a total of 2 hours over the combines 4 years of ownership. The Emu EL-7 is used more, but mostly as a sound source. At least it has velocity pads that are nice for programming drum parts. I just never liked step programming and grove control as a method of creating drum loops. Preset rhythms and patterns are for people with no musicale ability. I keep my Rm1-X around because it had a floppy drive and would make a good backup sound source and midi file player if one of my keyboards went out.
This post edited for speling.
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I own a MC303, but being a guitarist I don't really expect to be a genius with these things... ;) HOWEVER I did notice that the timing is quite unstable... I hooked it up to my laptop running Logic and in the MIDI tempo box I could read that a 120 bpm MC303 groove was actually oscillating between say 117.23 and 120... No wonder I could never get my 120 bpm Logic sequences to run in time with the taped loops!!! I can understand that "groove" supposedly implies some degree of imperfection but that was really too much! Besides this small problem I do like my glorified metronome, though... Paul

JingleJungle

...Hoobiefreak

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I have been using an electribe ES1 recently, i find that i like the creativity side of it, easy to get great grooves or a new vibe happening and I definately prefer to sample my own sounds in, But in trying to record the loops into Logic i have found that the time wobbles way to much to build up really layered rhythm tracks (i just posted a new thread to try and find out if its the MacG4's midi out or anything else in my system), has anyone tried the new korg orbit/mo phatt boxes, i like the idea of it, but does it sound really good...how's the time thing? cheers natty fred
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heya guys yeah i still use my MC-307 very extensively. i think these units are pertty damn good, the mc-307 that is. for its price and portability and pwoer, im a fan. now its not the most powerful thing in my studio, but still used alot. the GOOD sides to it are the inbuilt sequencer, which is good for throwing ideas around. the onboard sounds are fair enough but you can edit a LOT so dont be thinking you are limited :p like ive said before, after learning this unit inside out i can make sounds that beat my friends Supernova2 hands down... because he hasnt mastered it and i know what im doing. having said that, dont expect instant miracles. it IS NOT a supernova2 or anywhere near, as the pricetages will attest to. the LFO's are good, the arpeggiators are damn good, the filters are great but step up in large increments, and the ease of use of the 307 is astounding. even with my samplers and synths i always love the little 307 onstage with me. the onboard fx are ok too, nothing amazing but things like to limter and slicer are worth their weight in gold as far as sound creation goes. if you are comfortable with a unit go for it. i use the 307 in track creation, sequencing parts, sampling, midi sequencer for live shows, its great. what i DONT use is the bpm slider (the digital bpm is better) nor the rag switch (its ALWAYS ON of course!). and those are the two gimmicks they tried to market. good for beginners: learn sequencing, drums, synth etc good for imtermediate: 'fills the gaps' in tangent to other gear, great to use live, flexible sound creation goor for pros: portable sonic scetch pad, robust, useful sounds (im not kidding!) stable midi and damn it, its one of the more usable "all in one" units. put it next to a sampler and a good mixer and by george, you cant f^&king complain!
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[quote]Originally posted by nevasleep@netzero.net: [b]Alot of these groovebox`s have these internal sounds and even though you can tweak them out you have a better chance of caturing the sound you want by sampling.I mean no one can copywrite a kick drum or a snare,so I see the sampling percussion machines to be better.[/b][/quote] Uh, best to check with your attorney on that one. Sorry, but you CAN copyright the way something is recorded (Form SR), and LOTS of people have gotten financially NAILED for not getting clearances on their samples. If it's just for home use or non-commercial use, you're probably fine, but if you plan on selling anything with a sample from someone else's copyright protected record, you'd be best off looking into getting clearances. Outside of that, there's tons of sample CD's on the market, so having the ability to do sampling with your groovebox is a good feature - it gives you more sonic options than what the manufacturer decided to put into the box straight from the factory... and you can always sample your own drums - or whatever ya want. I'd just recommend that you be careful when sampling someone else's stuff. Phil O'Keefe Sound Sanctuary Recording Riverside CA http://www.ssrstudio.com pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com
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[quote][b]pokeefe777@msn.com Senior Member Member # 11694 posted 12-03-2001 12:07 AM                    ------------------------------------------------------------------------ quote: ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Originally posted by nevasleep@netzero.net: A lot of these grooveboxes have these internal sounds, and even though you can tweak them out, you have a better chance of capturing the sound you want by sampling. I mean, no one can copyright a kick drum or a snare, so I see the sampling percussion machines to be better. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Uh, best to check with your attorney on that one. Sorry, but you CAN copyright the way something is recorded (Form SR), and LOTS of people have gotten financially NAILED for not getting clearances on their samples. If it's just for home use or non-commercial use, you're probably fine, but if you plan on selling anything with a sample from someone else's copyright protected record, you'd be best off looking into getting clearances.[/b][/quote] Phil, I suspect Nevasleep is referring to hits, not entire measure loops. For example, Mary K Blige used the entire piano progression from Elton John's "Benny And The Jets" upon which to build a song on her recent CD. She credited Elton with that, and Elton got paid. That's a "loop." Individual one-note "hits," on the other hand, are fair game, and impossible to police, even if they could be, and they aren't. A single snare hit, kick drum, or even a full orchestral hit (especially if you process it in some way, or change the pitch, and we are careful to do any or all of that, take it from me), falls below the radar. Say, for example, Phil, I bought a CD that you engineered, and sampled a snare hit from it. Once it's in my E-Tribe, I use it for some drum beat I program, which eventually ends up on some commercially-released recording. OK - now, you don't even know I've sampled your snare. How do you find out that I have? Even if I tell you in advance that I intend to do this, how do you find it? You see: it's not even like looking for a needle in a haystack...it's more like looking for a needle in a football-sized field full of needle-stacks. So, you march down to your local entertainment lawyer's office, and give him this job of finding a needle in a field of needle stacks. Can you afford that? What would it get you? Why bother? You may as well try to sue me for using an Fmaj7 chord in my song, because you wrote a song with an Fmaj7 chord. The copyright of a song is its lyric and its melody. The copyright of a sound recording is its continuous sound up to a certain number of seconds (4? 7? I forget - someone fill in this blank please), but I'm fairly certain that anything under one second will not bring on a lawsuit. The plaintiff would have to be pretty desparate, and therefore, not resourceful enough to catch you in the first place. It's a numbers game. Gotta go...I have some sampling to do! E :)

Eric Vincent (ASCAP)

www.curvedominant.com

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hmmm yet james brown went after some guys for using his vocals and horn hits all very short hits the vocals i can understand the debate (ahhh! ooooh! hit me!) but the horns... come on i sample like a whore who samples. a sample-whore so to speak. whorish by nature. whore. anyway most of these i never use, or i replace, or something. i prefer sampling small hits or fodder for processing. the Hard House music scene wouldnt exist without samplers... the Hoover sound they all use wouldnt have come from more then a score of sources for sure... i friend of mine does exceptionally well in this market but i cant stand it. regurgitates the same stuff more then boyband pop. any word on the "copyright until X years after the creators death" loophole?
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hEY Phil,Curve`s exactly right about what I meant.I`ll sample a Kick and a snare in a minute and if they wanna sue me for that then they(whoever that might be)can do their thing.I don`t see how a kick drum sound can be traced back to me after I`ve created a song with it,how could they tell that kick was their`s?Remeber IceCube`s jackin for beats? Well if you leave a kick or snare or even hi hats out there naked I`m jackin period.Catch me catch me if ya can it`s the ginger bread man!
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[quote][b]yet james brown went after some guys for using his vocals and horn hits[/b][/quote] James Brown's horn hits are highly distinctive sounding - I personally wouldn't risk that without some serious camoflage; and I would forget about sampling his vocal hits altogether. Stick to obscure stuff. Eric Vincent, CEO Thievery Corporation

Eric Vincent (ASCAP)

www.curvedominant.com

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yeah personally i wouldnt go for his vocals anyway, kinda cliched... as for the horns, they are a standard. the case was disputable because well... can you prosecute a dnb producer for using the Amen Break? no way in hell. having said all that, there are some samples i will clear before i release the next 12", but most i wont. i actually dont mind the system how it is right now. blatant sampling = giving the artist credit thats fair in my eyes
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Guys, I'm not here to preach any particular morality... I'm just suggesting that ya'all be careful. Curve, I have never heard of a specific second count limit. The Beatles got sued (successfully, I might add) for that very small snippet of Glen Miller's "In The Mood" at the end coda of "All You Need Is Love". No direct bearing on their song, but they got nailed nevertheless. Yes, it was a riff. Yes, it's distinctive. Had they chopped it up, changed the order of the notes, etc. might they have gotten away with it? Probably. Would it still have been illegal? Probably - technically - if they had pulled it from a recording (instead of actually playing it - which is what I think they did) yes. Ultimately, it comes down to a court decision in each case, and labels prefer to avoid litigation whenever possible since it tends to dig into the profit margins. That's why ALL majors are so anal about clearances - even for small samples... yes, even a single snare hit. How can a snare be so distinctive that someone could recognise it? Can you say "Fine Young Cannibals"? Lyrics are copyrightable... but titles and single phrases are not (otherwise every time someone said "I love you" in a song, someone would be suing). But how come James Brown can sue for "Hit ME" or "HAH!" getting lifted? Not because of the Form PA (musical work) copyright but because of a violation of the SR (sound recording) copyright. You can just not tell anyone (including the record label you're signed to, but that's almost always a breach of contract - check yours to be sure) and you may get away with it the majority of the time - heck, maybe even all of the time. But you may get bit in the backside too. As always, when it comes to legal matters, consult with your attorney. Personally I think the way it ought to be is if you're using something that is a loop from someone else, pay the man and give the props, and the same goes for a short bit of something very distinctive (and there's the grey area), but if you're going to snag a snare or kick, and make it FUBAR, then you should be able to go for it with no charges or fees required. Phil O'Keefe Sound Sanctuary Recording Riverside CA http://www.ssrstudio.com pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com
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Yeah, there's no set time limit for a sample requiring clearance. If it's recognizable, it's a violation and you can get sued. And if _I_ recognize your sample, then you're a wack-ass producer and not diggin' deep enough in the crates. So there. Sampling off records these days is just... ign'ant. There are so many freakin' sample CDs that nobody but other producers has ever heard, you can get loops by the thousand. Line 'em up in Recycle, drum loops are a commodity. Hell, get 'em for free on the 'net, there are hella free sound sites too. I've got thousands myself, all manually chopped & looped with the tempo marked for quick shifting, waiting to go. But I'm bored with loops, now I just wanna program from scratch 'cuz I'm swing-quantizing everything now. And using the randomizer start time thing in Cubase to slop it up, and the pitch-to-velocity modulator in Battery. Stuff turns out a lot better than loops, even if you're usually chopping goddamn "Amen" breaks like a D&B guy. (and they suck too, cuz that's the lamest cliche since "Funky Drummer" and that "Tom's Diner"/Soul II Soul beat from the early '90s you would hear every 10 minutes.)
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Thanks for the reality check guys. Phew! This all makes me glad that I'm still an old school MIDI fool who builds every groove one (unsampled) note at a time. It takes a little longer, but then Mom's home cookin' takes a little longer than McDonald's, too, if you know what I'm sayin'... :D
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[quote]Originally posted by DRiLoad: [b]the Hard House music scene wouldnt exist without samplers... the Hoover sound they all use wouldnt have come from more then a score of sources for sure...[/b][/quote] that sound is a preset on the Roland alpha-Juno series of synths, and can be recreated on most any decent 2-osc synth with a good filter and some portamento...no sampling involved! :)
Go tell someone you love that you love them.
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