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lowdowner

Drum machine to improv to

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Does anyone have a recommendation for a drum machine I can program with 'common' drum lines so I can practice improvisation? What do you guys use?

 

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I use Hydrogen, the most simple interface I tried so far, very flexible (it can do any time signature, and multiple time signatures in one track) and it's free.

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44 minutes ago, oZZma said:

I use Hydrogen, the most simple interface I tried so far, very flexible (it can do any time signature, and multiple time signatures in one track) and it's free.

Is that an iOS app?

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I used to just use a simple metronome. Lots of stuff you can do with one, have it click at 30bpm, but play at 120bpm for example. The single click can be on any beat, you have to imagine the missing ones.

Edited by ambient
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1 hour ago, lowdowner said:

Is that an iOS app?

No unfortunately it only runs on Windows, Linux and MacOS

This is the download page http://hydrogen-music.org/downloads/

I haven't found any good alternative for Android, seems like there is nothing similar for mobile devices

 

Edited by oZZma
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Our keys player has very many strong points, but they do not include perfect timing - we're getting him this for a big birthday next month: 

https://www.guitarguitar.co.uk/product/14111111163358--korg-kr-mini-drum-machine

We thought a metronome would have looked like an insult but this would actually be fun as well. 

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I tend to use YouTube, type in the BPM and 'drum groove' there are loads.

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If you have an iOS device, I can recommend one of the 'drummer' apps by this developer:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/developer/lumbeat/id590278231?mt=8

I have the Funk, Rock and Soft apps; each comes with a bunch of pre-programmed patterns, or you can enter your own, and each one has a 'jam' setting that determines how random the patterns becomes (but in a completely musical and interesting way). There's an overview of an older version of Funk Drummer here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vdfi7kwfmF0

 

 

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9 hours ago, tauzero said:

Alesis SR16? Well-regarded and going for around £50 on That Ebay.

Whilst they're, reasonably cheap, and sound great. They're not the most intuitive machine to program.

When I used to program mine a lot I drew out grids for different step resolutions. 

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5 minutes ago, lowdowner said:

I've been googling overnight and think this may be the solution:

https://www.elektron.se/products/digitakt/

as I can play drums and keys anyway I can sample into this and make my own backing tracks. It may take me a month of study to work it out though :)

That might be a bit of overkill for what you need.

 

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2 minutes ago, lowdowner said:

I've been googling overnight and think this may be the solution:

https://www.elektron.se/products/digitakt/

as I can play drums and keys anyway I can sample into this and make my own backing tracks. It may take me a month of study to work it out though :)

Yikes £700 for some hardware? Save your time and money and just invest in learning a DAW (Logic, Ableton, ProTools). Will do 100x what that unit can for less money. 

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23 minutes ago, Drax said:

Yikes £700 for some hardware? Save your time and money and just invest in learning a DAW (Logic, Ableton, ProTools). Will do 100x what that unit can for less money. 

£700 is most definitely not the street price for one of those :)

I'm amused by the thought that almost *any* basschat member finds £700 a lot of money for hardware though! Given that it's a musical instrument in its own right, compared to the cost of a new Fender or Stingray I'd say it's a bit of a bargain!

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26 minutes ago, bartelby said:

That might be a bit of overkill for what you need.

 

I think you're right, but now I've done some research over what a 'drum machine' (more of a sampler and sequencer) can do, I'm really interested in exploring this a bit further.

 

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I’m thinking about a Teenage Engineering OP-Z

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45 minutes ago, lowdowner said:

£700 is most definitely not the street price for one of those :)

I'm amused by the thought that almost *any* basschat member finds £700 a lot of money for hardware though! Given that it's a musical instrument in its own right, compared to the cost of a new Fender or Stingray I'd say it's a bit of a bargain!

 

Even £200 for kit that only does what that does, based of what you're looking for, is a huge amount to spend. You've really (really) got to love the hardware interface to commit the time necessary to learn this. 

If you're a keys man, making the (possibly wild) assumption you're more comfortable with tech - a DAW is musical instrument in it's own right - does a million times what this does, easier to learn, and costs a fraction. 

I'm not by any stretch a techy, but taught myself Ableton relatively easily (Logic, ProTools all much the same) - will give you to all the things you want to (create beats, make backing tracks) but then be creative way beyond the confines of any hardware box. 

Edited by Drax

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48 minutes ago, bartelby said:

Whilst they're, reasonably cheap, and sound great. They're not the most intuitive machine to program.

When I used to program mine a lot I drew out grids for different step resolutions. 

Good to know they sound great, though. Maybe I should persevere with my Alesis SR18 for a little while longer then...unless the more sensible option is just to get to grips with a DAW?

@lowdowner the fact that you play drums means that you're already several beats ahead of most of us who are just bass players when it comes to programming drum machines. So I'm kinda interested to know why you prefer hardware to a software solution if it's for home use only?

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It's not programmable, but if you're looking for really good quality loops to jam along to, Drumgenius is great. You can adjust the tempo and pitch by a certain amount as well.

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

Good to know they sound great, though. Maybe I should persevere with my Alesis SR18 for a little while longer then...unless the more sensible option is just to get to grips with a DAW?

@lowdowner the fact that you play drums means that you're already several beats ahead of most of us who are just bass players when it comes to programming drum machines. So I'm kinda interested to know why you prefer hardware to a software solution if it's for home use only?

I always have a preference for a specific bit of hardware because I have one laptop and it's both my work and leisure machine and it's always receiving notifications, has multiple apps and windows open, and set up just how I need it for the current workstream etc. I don't want to worry about turning off notifications and shut down apps and make sure the laptop is 'in the right place' just for the convenience of having an app. I also don't want the hassle of extra input dongles and cables and wondering where the damn things are (I have a Mac that only has USB-C ports for example). It *sounds* easy just running an application and plugging in some dongles, but it's a PITA if it disrupts your normal use of a laptop.

I realise this is probably an unusual view but I already have this hassle with an iPhone and Spotify when I'm playing along to tracks - it's always "where is the dongle for lightening port now? Have I got enough battery or do I need to charge it, in which case where is the changing cable? Will the phone go off if I plug it into my amp, or an email arrive and disturb the track whilst I'm playing or should I turn off all notifications - in which case will I forget to turn it back on and miss important calls?"

It's all a hassle so get a single hardware device, plug it in to one place where you use it, and leave it there always ready to go.

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1 minute ago, lowdowner said:

I always have a preference for a specific bit of hardware because I have one laptop and it's both my work and leisure machine and it's always receiving notifications, has multiple apps and windows open, and set up just how I need it for the current workstream etc. I don't want to worry about turning off notifications and shut down apps and make sure the laptop is 'in the right place' just for the convenience of having an app. I also don't want the hassle of extra input dongles and cables and wondering where the damn things are (I have a Mac that only has USB-C ports for example). It *sounds* easy just running an application and plugging in some dongles, but it's a PITA if it disrupts your normal use of a laptop.

I realise this is probably an unusual view but I already have this hassle with an iPhone and Spotify when I'm playing along to tracks - it's always "where is the dongle for lightening port now? Have I got enough battery or do I need to charge it, in which case where is the changing cable? Will the phone go off if I plug it into my amp, or an email arrive and disturb the track whilst I'm playing or should I turn off all notifications - in which case will I forget to turn it back on and miss important calls?"

It's all a hassle so get a single hardware device, plug it in to one place where you use it, and leave it there always ready to go.

Agree totally.

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