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Al Krow

Drum machines - what are you using?

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Well in that case Al,   EZ drummer 2  comes with meticulously recorded performances by real drummers that are used to provide the midi input to immaculately recorded real drums recorded in real studios. Check out the videos.

You could choose a style that suits your song,  choose an intro then verses choruses etc. change the complete kit, tweak it with studio effects, add tambourines, shakers even COWBELL or just leave it as it is, save it and quickly get on with the songwriting then return to tweakiness later ! You  can learn a lot about mixing a kit from the er... mixer

You don't even need a DAW it will download with a standalone version full of drummy goodness

You will definitely understand drums more deeply... I most certainly did.

Would a drum machine do any of this ?

Download the demo and spend a few days with it

 

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7 hours ago, itsmedunc said:

Roland R8 and baby brother R5 are still great machines. I don't have either anymore but wish I had. I'm sure I came across the R8 manual in the loft a bit ago and I still have some sound cards knocking about. I'll have a scout for them if you want them? Gratis of course? 😀

Wow! That would be awesome. Many thanks! :)

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Once any of us understands the interface be that on a bit of hardware or software it will be less of a  barrier and while having knobs etc to tweak might seem more intuitive it's not always obvious if there are multi function on the same buttons etc.

There's a learning curve with any new kit is gonna be a few hours at least beyond the most basic three knob pedal but given an hour or two messing about tweaking/pushing buttons/trying some thing out and basic trial and error anything which isn't glaringly obvious can quickly be found via a you tube tutorial or a manual. It's like the Alesis SR drum machine - if you've reached the limitation of what it can do or just want an more authentic sound then maybe it is time to upgrade but if you feel like there is still some learning to be done on that unit it feels quite intuitive once you get your head around the quantize and the basic recording function - it's basically the same step to record each sound be that the kick or snare etc but obviously one would need to understand the basic's of how that hardware is set up to work and some rhythm knowledge/terminology too!

I'm by no means a master of the software stuff I use  but I've used it enough to figure things out on my own or in conjunction with you tube/manual.

EZ Drummer is super easy (hence the name right!) and if you want actual, recorded drums (as well as individual samples) plus the ability to make your own beats it's as a good a starting point as any. It opens as a stand alone program and it can also be used in a DAW i.e. you can mess about on you pc without a DAW. I was looking at it when I first got it thinking how do I get the drum samples into my DAW? It was a simple 'Drag and Drop' but it never occurred to me to simply pull the drum loop across D'oh! Some might say it was pretty 'intuitive' - it's so bloody obvious now as to be farcical but there you go! :)

I suppose the debate over drum machines may vary from user to user and what's it's needed for - basic demo's or for live use with a band - but be prepared to put in some time learning the unit. Just because something requires a few solid hours of use (I'd say a good 10-12 hours taken in 2 hour blocks can feel like time well spent on a lot of this stuff) doesn't make it clunky or un-intuitive and in fact most of this type of gear really reveals their potential when the user has taken the time to get to understand what it can really do.

As an aside Logic Pro for Dummies has been ordered off Amazon as I know there is so much more available to me in that program which I'm not really making use of!

Edited by krispn
Spellings
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The quality of manuals makes a massive difference to stuff too. The official R-8 manual is notoriously badly translated, so much so that a 3rd party wrote a whole new manual for it. From what I remember of the SR-16 manual it's not much better...

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Yeah there are some shocking examples out there but with you tube there's a really great community to pick u the basics and get going!

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On 15/04/2019 at 20:24, Al Krow said:

Mick - don't disagree with any of your positive comments. The SR16 and 18 are really good bits of kit and also not exorbitantly priced.

But I think I'm correct from what your saying, that you're pretty much using its presets rather than writing your own progs? If so, yes it's gonna be just fine for your needs or indeed something like a BeatBuddy by Sigular Sound would also hit the mark (and be much more compact).

My query for this thread is 'cos I'm looking to move on from presets and the Alesis SR16/18 interface is not the easiest for programming your own drum lines in my experience.

You're absolutely right...I do only use the presets.

However shortly after buying the SR16 I found a video on YT showing how to programme new beats..the person who recorded the video made it look not too complicated . As a self confessed Technophobe I didn't actually try.

Probably need an 8 year old to show me how simple it can be.

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On 17/04/2019 at 02:11, blisters on my fingers said:

Well in that case Al,   EZ drummer 2...

Download the demo and spend a few days with it

Great advice and I tried to take you up on it, but very frustratingly find myself getting stuck at...

Ez drummer - error.png

I guess this is where I need Mick's 8 year old to come to the rescue! 😂

Failing that I'll see if the Toontrack helpdesk can sort me out...

Edited by Al Krow
Mick's roving 8 year old never showed up...

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3 hours ago, blisters on my fingers said:

Have you downloaded the Toontrack Product Manager ?

Cheers - I had, but doesn't seem to let you use to manage products till you've bought them? Anyway Toontrack, bless 'em, got back to me this afternoon and said:

Hi Al,
Thanks for your email!
This usually happens when running the installer from within a zipped download.
Please see this link for instructions on how to solve an error 1311: http://www.toontrack.com/faq/im-getting-error-1311-when-installing-on-pc/

Best Regards,
Toontrack Music
www.toontrack.com

Make sure to download and install the all new Toontrack product manager found here: http://www.toontrack.com/product-manager/

That's actually got me sorted and I'm 'in' :) 

Just need to see if I can get the interface screen to be a bit larger - it's a little bit tiny in relation to my desktop screen! Any tips on that?

EZ drummer - screen.png

Edited by Al Krow

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Wow - I can't believe the customer service of these guys, responding to emails so quickly! Anyway they've got me sorted by going back to my screen display basics and I've got something much more useful, although I'll need to manually adjust screen display each time I come in and out of EZ 2, but that's fine. Ok now for my next trick, getting to grips with this over the next 10 days! :) 

EZ drummer - fixed!.png

Edited by Al Krow
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Glad it is up and running.

Looks like you have a sizable monitor, I'm using a standard size laptop and your second screenshot is in proportion to what I get on my machine. This caused me a bit of headscratching at first --- why won't it expand to fill the entire screen ?

When you use it with a DAW however this makes perfect sense, as krispn states above. You can drag and drop patterns into the DAW to establish the song structure, whilst using EZ 2 as a VST instrument.

Also while I'm blethering away, feel I may have overstated the midi controller angle a bit, AFAIK you cannot tweak sounds in a TB303 acid house or Rebirth way but there is still a lot of functionality available.

Bet your neighbours are having the time of their lives

 

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If you’re interested in the iOS app route, check the Sound Test Room on YouTube. It’s quite annoying with the guy’s hands flapping around, but he shows off the kit quite well. Plus I love his Scouse accent.

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@blisters on my fingers

Thanks - neighbours are fine, I'm lucky to have a 'bass-ment' for making noise and my desktop computer (upstairs) is accompanied by a decent set of headphones!

1 hour ago, blisters on my fingers said:

...your second screenshot is in proportion to what I get on my machine. This caused me a bit of headscratching at first --- why won't it expand to fill the entire screen ?

Glad I'm not going entirely mad today! Seems my 'glitches' and queries are fairly standard ones - and my stuttering start above may hopefully prove useful to others thinking of downloading EZ2, who haven't yet done so.

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