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Drum machines?


MrVegas

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I am thinking of picking up a drum machine module to jam with, and possibly use it for composition down the road. While I will eventually use it to punch in my own beats, I think initially it should have lots of pre-programmed patterns. Any recommendations?

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Kronos 88, Korg CX-3, Motion Sound KBR-3D

 

 

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I have read that they have no soul... I think it was on a bumper sticker, so perhaps not the most creditable resource.

 

 

On a serious note, I do think that modern software will eat most drum machines alive these days. I'm a bit out of the loop in the recording world these days, but I'd venture to say depending on your budget, Reason might be a good way to go, or something like logic with a good drum sample plug in- BFD is pretty nice if you want "real drum" sounds, other stuff is nice for electronica type stuff, all depends on what you are trying to do.

 

 

- if you want to get your hands dirty and bang on some pads (with you fingers) an old MPC2000 or MPC2000xl (i think those were the model names) ... those things are fun. You do have to input the sample library but in this day of internet data/file sharing you could probably get that pretty easy and pretty cheap.

Toys: Hammond SK1, Yamaha Motif ES6, Voce V5+, Virus ti 61, Mason & Hamlin upright, Everett upright, Hammond M3, Korg CX3 analog, Motion Sound Pro145, QSC K10, H&K Rotosphere.. etc
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Mr Vegas..

 

It used to be that every keyboard manufacturer had a line of drum machines.. but these days with an abundance of workstations with drum sounds and built in sequencers, there's not a lot around.. Alesis/Boss and a few others.

 

However, depending on your situation there might be something that you'll find a lot more interesting than a standalone drum machine, especially if you think you might want to do more than just jam with a drum machine down the road.

 

Take a look at the Boss, BR-800... it's actual a digital recorder with a built drum machine, and audio interface etc.. that sells for around $399 (you may even find it for less than that).. this think is an 8 track digital recording studio, with built in drum machine, it has all the Roland COSM effects (including pitch correction if I'm not mistaken), it comes with a light version of SONAR (digital recording software for a PC), 2 built in condenser mics, and if I'm not mistaken it functions as a stereo audio interface for your PC. It is huge value, for not much more than you would spend on a drum machine.. IF on the other hand you already have something for recording then you really don't need this.

 

Something to think about.

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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I checked out some youtube demo's of the BR-800. Looks pretty cool, easy to punch in loops. Not sure how easy it is to take different loops and piece them together to make songs.

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Kronos 88, Korg CX-3, Motion Sound KBR-3D

 

 

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There seem to be plenty of iPad/iPhone apps out there. eg http://syntheticbits.com/funkbox.html or http://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/shiny-drum/id364571433?mt=8

 

Apart playing with a few loops in Garageband on my brother's iPad, I haven't actually tried any myself, though.

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Nord Electro 2 | microKorg | Casiotone MT-65 | Hammond XB-2 | Korg Electribe-R ER-1

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This seems related to the thread I started the other day. I am also interrested in a drum machine, but for iPhone. The FunkBox seems pretty cool, but only for old school. Does anybody have any recommendations for more natural sounding drum machine apps?
Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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I checked out some youtube demo's of the BR-800. Looks pretty cool, easy to punch in loops. Not sure how easy it is to take different loops and piece them together to make songs.

 

I'm not sure about that aspect of the operation of the BR-800 itself but I think there are two ways to do that.. it has a USB interface that supports midi in/out, so you can pick up a small midi controller (or any old midi keyboard) and use this to input your own beats and fills, etc.. and you can also record beats and loops and organize them in SONAR which you load into your computer and it talks directly to the BR-800.

 

 

Craig MacDonald

Hammond BV, Franken-B (A100 in a BV cabinet), Leslies 122/147/44W, Crumar Mojo, HX3 module, Korg Kronos, VR-09, Roland GAIA, Burn, Ventilator

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acid is CHEAP and nice (you can find older versions for next to nothing, I got one for $7 once)

 

The big plus on the computer stuff is that it is much easier if you want intros, bridges, outtros.. song structuring stuff. It can be done on the drum machines, but it is a pain in the ass, where as it is supremely easy to do that, or have parts come in and out when you want, fills, etc... and with lots of control.

 

 

If you want to go hardware, I too have used the boss br pieces and they are quite user friendly... MPC- those things are awesome, I said that before, but it is worth repeating.

Toys: Hammond SK1, Yamaha Motif ES6, Voce V5+, Virus ti 61, Mason & Hamlin upright, Everett upright, Hammond M3, Korg CX3 analog, Motion Sound Pro145, QSC K10, H&K Rotosphere.. etc
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If you could consider computer software, Steinberg Groove Agent is a nice choice. Not only does it sound great, but when controlled from a midi keyboard you have instant access to variations, fills half time feel and so on:

 

http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/vst/grooveagent3_product/grooveagent3_features.html

 

Look at page 114 and forward in the user manual and you'll see the clever midi channel/key layout:

ftp://ftp.steinberg.net/Download/VSTi_GrooveAgent_3/GA301_Manual.pdf

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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If you just need a drum machine for jams,practice, etc, consider the old, reliable, tried and true Alesis SR-16. These have plenty of pre-programmed beats and are easy to custom program. And they are inexpensive. You can usually find several of them for sale on Ebay in the $75 range, maybe less.
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I'm a little old school, insofar as I like dedicated standalone drum machines.

 

In my opinion, I think the Boss DR-770 is one of the easiest drum machines to use ever. If I recall correctly, I never had to hit a "save" button. It just remembered my changes. However, at this point in time, the sounds are pretty dated. Unfortunately, I used mine as a metronome for my band to practice with, and my drummer dropped it accidentally twenty times, and it stopped working.

 

So it was just cheaper to get another drum machine.

 

So I got the Boss DR-880. It sounds really great. But its quite a bit more complicated. You have a ton of extra button presses to do anything. Sure, its very flexible, but its almost too flexible. I personally don't like the bass part thing in there too. But it the 880 is likely to be one of the last hardware drum machines ever made, I'll just keep working with it.

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The Nord Drum isn't really a drum machine, right? It's a drum synthesizer, or to be more precise a virtual analog drum trigger sound module. I don't think it has any patterns and fills, like a traditional drum machine. Though, a bit hard to say since the full specifications aren't published yet.

 

http://www.norddrum.com/

Nord Stage 3 sw73, Yamaha CP88, KeyB Legend Live, Kurzweil PC3K7, EV ZXa1 + sub. K&M stands, Hammond E112, Leslie 3300, EHX V256, Roland SE-02, Yamaha EX5R & TG77, Novation Nova desktop & much more...
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http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7187/6942179301_87bf6b9a64.jpg

R82 by ouananiche1, on Flickr

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7048/6942178937_c23263b686.jpg

 

Heres my fellow I have had forever. I also have the brush card. Lots of assignable outs for analogue recording etc. The large pads make for easy real time playing as well as writing patterns. The factory patterns were a little limited. Seem to be going for $200.00 + on the bay. It is perhaps time I looked into software based stuff, but I just like this machine. :) Cheers Mike

R81 by ouananiche1, on Flickr

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...... and my drummer dropped it accidentally twenty times, and it stopped working.

 

 

some people are very accident prone....

Toys: Hammond SK1, Yamaha Motif ES6, Voce V5+, Virus ti 61, Mason & Hamlin upright, Everett upright, Hammond M3, Korg CX3 analog, Motion Sound Pro145, QSC K10, H&K Rotosphere.. etc
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I still use the Dr Rythym 660. For what i do, (swing,bossa,r&b,polite funk,bop,retro 3rd stream,self-styled avante garde (the type of music that plays only when you DON't push the keys)it does the job, & is user friendly for punches, fills on the fly. The BEST $75 i ever spent on used gear ,. When it dies, I'll hunt down a solar-powered one that matches my plaid seer-sucker.
robert w nuckels
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Heres my fellow I have had forever. I also have the brush card. Lots of assignable outs for analogue recording etc. The large pads make for easy real time playing as well as writing patterns. The factory patterns were a little limited. Seem to be going for $200.00 + on the bay. It is perhaps time I looked into software based stuff, but I just like this machine. :) Cheers Mike

 

The Roland R8 is what I have too up today and it never failed.

I own all the cards.

It´s possibly one of the pieces worth to keep because of it´s 16 very playable pads across 5 banks, each pad assignable to a separate MIDI note and transmitting MIDI velocity.

That´s 90 MIDI notes on 16 MIDI channels and therefore a real good MIDI controller device for drum- or any samples to be triggered,- even the internal sounds are outdated and the sequencer is obsolete.

 

A.C.

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I still have the Roland R-70, which was released after the R8. IIRC you could import samples into it, but not so on my R70. My unit has more memory than the R8 so I could store more songs. Whatever. Both these drum machines were great for the era they came out.

 

My R70 still works, I have 3 PCMCIA memory storage cards for it that also work. I love the large playable rubber pads on the front of the drum machine. They are dynamic so you can record and play at different volumes into a song. There is also one long pad on the bottom row that I can assign to any drum and play with a stick or my fingers. When playing a ride symbol the further away from the center of the pad you play, the further away from the "Bell" of the cymbal it sounds. Very cool idea for those days.

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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I still have the Roland R-70, which was released after the R8. IIRC you could import samples into it, but not so on my R70.

 

R8 has no USER sample import, but works w/ the add. samples on commercial PCM cards.

There was the R8 mkII,- so maybe this machine was able to load user samples,- don´t know.

 

My unit has more memory than the R8 so I could store more songs. Whatever.

 

Yeah, that always drove me nuts w/ the R8.

I was running out of pattern memory always and for only 1 song.

Unfortunately, I liked pattern programming on the machine more than programming drums on a regular keyboard instrument w/ a sequencer while listening to the sounds via MIDI thu.

 

The R8 mkII came w/ much more memory already.

 

Both these drum machines were great for the era they came out.

 

Yes,- only a AKAI MPC was a better option.

 

A.C.

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In my opinion, I think the Boss DR-770 is one of the easiest drum machines to use ever. If I recall correctly, I never had to hit a "save" button. It just remembered my changes. However, at this point in time, the sounds are pretty dated.
I still have mine, and I still use it. I think it sounds pretty cool. One of the things I like about it is that somehow, it's not mechanical sounding. I mean, it has to be, but I can leave it on a simple repeating pattern and not feel like "ugh, I need to stop this thing NOW, it's driving me CRAZY" because it's repetitious.

 

Also, I'm often finding new patterns in it that are cool that I had previously overlooked.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I've had the R8, (the brushes were very cool for its time), SR16 and still have the Boss-770. I have to say though , the drums in the CP-5 wipe them all-sonically and rhythmically.

 

The CP-5 pattern #81-Modern jazz with the kit set on Standard 1 is the most swinging groove I've ever heard in hardware hands down. It's the only pattern I've heard that can keep a groove when you goose the tempo up. It can go to about 150 = half note

 

Was pretty heavy into the ballad movement on Bach's 2nd English suite tonight. After about 45 minutes on that, just to blow off some steam, I went over to the cp5 and started practicing Donna lee, head and blowing, on #85 Piano Jazz...you have set the *kit* to "Brushes" otherwise it sounds pretty lame.

 

#89-the Med. Jazz waltz is pretty decent too. I'd never heard a drum machine that could even come close to swinging in 3 before this.

 

The Latin grooves are good. #94 Afro Cuban works well with Night in Tunsia. #95 Salsa & #98 Fast Bossa are cool too.

 

Even the "Unplugged" grooves are kinda cool-#23 & 24. The Reggae groove sucks. Much better on the Boss-770.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

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I've had the R8, (the brushes were very cool for its time), SR16 and still have the Boss-770. I have to say though , the drums in the CP-5 wipe them all-sonically and rhythmically.

 

No question,- todays drumsounds are lightyears ahead.

I sold the SR16 and my customized Drumulator last year.

I think I´ll sell all the PCM cards for the R8 because only the large velocity sensitive pads, their assignment features and the MIDI implementation of the R8 is interesting up today.

Means,- no new investment to get large pads for MIDI triggering.

16 large pads are much better than having 8 smaller ones on a keyboard´s surface or in one of the flimsy USB MIDI controllers.

I wouldn´t buy a R8 today, but it´s still there, so it´s usable and no garbage.

 

OTOH,- I also wouldn´t buy any other new drum machine today.

I watched the Tempest vids, it´s a nice machine if you need it, but I don´t.

Could be interesting for drummers and DJs though.

 

A.C.

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