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tedmanzie

NDMD: New Drum Machine Day! Elektron Analog Rytm

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Sold off a few bits on this here forum so I could get one of these, been lusting after it for a while...
Just arrived! Will report back...

https://www.elektron.se/drum-machines/analog-rytm/

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So jealous! Fancied one of those for ages - even more so now since they've added all the probability trigs, new machines and stuff.

Let us know how you get on with it.

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Cool - I was looking at drum machines the other day but I want one which sounds like a real drum kit rather than electronic funkyness. Not sure what to look for, Alesis SR16/18 crop up a lot but what else?

The Elektron looks great. Will you use it for practicing along to or mainly for recording/playing as an instrument in it's own right?

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Ped - the most 'real' sounding kits are going to require a computer - I own Native Instruments Komplete which has some pretty good drum libraries in it. Theres also things like Superior Drummer https://www.toontrack.com/product/superior-drummer-2/ which gets lots of good reviews.
If you want a stand alone drum machine based on acoustic drum samples, most have been around a while, and haven't aged well to be honest. People still swear by the Alesis of course, and Roland has the Boss DR-880 which doesn't sound too bad to me, although the new price on the DR-880 is a bit steep - can get good deals second hand though.
If you are prepared to put a bit more work in, a second hand MPC1000 will allow you to load in some pretty decent sample libraries.
By far the simplest solution for practicing though is drum loops. Cheap, sound great and most modern DAWs will allow you to change the tempo a fair bit without making them sound too crappy. Loop Loft often have sales on, and generally sound pretty good. http://www.thelooploft.com/collections/rock-loops

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Oh, and you can load drum loops into a looper pedal if you want to keep the laptop at arms length!

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[quote name='ped' timestamp='1464343339' post='3058587']
Cool - I was looking at drum machines the other day but I want one which sounds like a real drum kit rather than electronic funkyness. Not sure what to look for, Alesis SR16/18 crop up a lot but what else?

The Elektron looks great. Will you use it for practicing along to or mainly for recording/playing as an instrument in it's own right?
[/quote]

I'll be using it as an instrument in its own right - I'm a big fan of the very old beatboxes like Korg Minipops, Bentley Rhythm Ace, Hammond AutoVari64, Roland CR78 etc, and I've been looking for a machine that could reproduce those early analog sounds (or at least get close) in a modern programmable machine. Apparently the Rytm uses the same kind of analog synthesis as those early machines, as well as a lot more besides I expect. So the intention is to use a very modern machine to take me back in time, if you see what I mean! :)

I looked at the Tempest too but Rytm seems more useful for me. I didn't want an 808 / 909 thing either so that ruled out a few. I've got a tonne of old samples from early machines but I fancied a bit of hardware action!

So basically we are looking for [i]exactly[/i] the opposite from our drum machines :)
If you want one that sounds like a real kit then there are lots of options but depends on budget and how 'real' you want it to sound. Do you just want to play along for practice? How about one of these (£53 new!)?
[url="http://www.korg.com/us/products/drums/kr_mini/"]http://www.korg.com/.../drums/kr_mini/[/url]

I had an SR16, worse drum machine I've ever owned for me, but a lot people seem to like them.
The Boss ones are probably worth a look (DR3 ?)

p.s. or use Garageband on iPad.

Edited by tedmanzie

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Thanks - yeah I have the drummer package in Garageband which is pretty flexible and fun. Where possible I like to avoid using the computer when I want a quick jam and prefer using hardware. It would just be for practice... I checked out that little Korg which looks great but a bit synthetic sounding. What didn't you like about the SR16? My only concern is how easily you can programme your own loops in, as it doesn't have that 'sequencer' look like the 808 etc..

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[quote name='ped' timestamp='1464345123' post='3058619']
Thanks - yeah I have the drummer package in Garageband which is pretty flexible and fun. Where possible I like to avoid using the computer when I want a quick jam and prefer using hardware. It would just be for practice... I checked out that little Korg which looks great but a bit synthetic sounding. What didn't you like about the SR16? My only concern is how easily you can programme your own loops in, as it doesn't have that 'sequencer' look like the 808 etc..
[/quote]

The sounds, the tweakability and the programming method were not for me on the SR16. I expect for quick jamming it would be fine, it has certainly stuck around through the years!

I've had a Roland R5 and used an R8 both of which were really great and used the step sequencer display which I much preferred, but I expect something by Boss would be the way to go these days rather than by an old digital machine. One of the Boss ones let's you put chord progressions in to jam with, I can't remember which one.

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IME it's not the sounds but how the drums are programmed and the acoustic space they are presented in that makes them sound like a real drum kit and drummer. That's why loops work so well because it's a performance coupled with the production that glues all the sounds together. Also a good programmer and producer can get a very convincing performance out of something as "unrealistic" sounding as a Roland 808, while someone without the required skills will still struggle even with the best sample library on a good DAW.

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[quote name='tedmanzie' timestamp='1464347009' post='3058650']
The sounds, the tweakability and the programming method were not for me on the SR16. I expect for quick jamming it would be fine, it has certainly stuck around through the years!

I've had a Roland R5 and used an R8 both of which were really great and used the step sequencer display which I much preferred, but I expect something by Boss would be the way to go these days rather than by an old digital machine. One of the Boss ones let's you put chord progressions in to jam with, I can't remember which one.
[/quote]


When I was in a band that used a drum machine I used to midi my SR16 and R8 together. Using the R8 as the sequencer (and sound module) and the SR16 as a sound module only.
It worked pretty well, but needed additional ROM cards for the R8.

Edited by bartelby

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[quote name='bartelby' timestamp='1464348558' post='3058680']
When I was in a band that used a drum machine I used to midi my SR16 and R8 together. Using the R8 as the sequencer (and sound module) and the SR16 as a sound module only.
It worked pretty well, but needed additional ROM cards for the R8.
[/quote]

The R8 and the R8 mk2 were really great, still quite fancy getting a Mk2 (which has all the ROM cards built in I believe), super tweakable for electronic music but I think the pads have a habit of going wrong.

For me drum machines are best when they sound like machines and worst when they sound a bit like a drummer.

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[quote name='stega' timestamp='1464343024' post='3058582']
So jealous! Fancied one of those for ages - even more so now since they've added all the probability trigs, new machines and stuff.

Let us know how you get on with it.
[/quote]

Quite a steep learning curve on this to be honest! :(
[i]Lots[/i] of combination key presses to access functions and a rather non-intuitive workflow, but I'm getting the hang of it now. I guess it's the price we pay for 'features', but when it takes me a couple of hours to work out why 'accent' isn't working I do get a bit exasperated...

For some reason mine came with OS1.2 so it wasn't till I installed 1.3 that the new machines appeared - and they are [i]very[/i] good. Without the new machines I think I would have been left a bit frustrated by the sounds but now there are lots of excellent options so I'm happy with those. Toms are still the weakest sounds, maybe they will update those at some point but judging by how long this update took to come out I'm not holding my breath.

Overbridge (VST/AU for controlling the sounds from within a DAW) is very good.
Still haven't really worked out saving kits & sample management.

So far I would say
sound: 9/10
usability 5/10

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Those things are great sounding but the workflow seems to be a bit of a weird one (I'm trying to get my head around an Electribe Mk2 currently, but not had enough time to do so along with my other timesinks).

Still, interested in seeing how you get on. :)

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