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Al Krow

Drum machines - what are you using?

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1 minute ago, Beedster said:

The times they are a-changing :)

If you had a spare few minutes, could you share what is making you lean towards the TR8S over the MPC?

Hah - that was also my earlier question! Great minds / fools / take your pick 😁

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10 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Anyway, re the MPC One, do you know if it comes with decent samples or whether I have to go looking for them from word go? 

I'm pretty sure it comes with a huge selection of samples standalone. Apparently it also integrates with https://splice.com/ if that's not enough. I don't think shortage of available samples will be an issue for you :)

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1 minute ago, sammybee said:

I'm pretty sure it comes with a huge selection of samples standalone. Apparently it also integrates with https://splice.com/ if that's not enough. I don't think shortage of available samples will be an issue for you :)

Thanks, my problem is the opposite, when confronted by a huge database of of snares and high hats I will be forever changing my mind. What I loved about the Roland TD30K was that pretty early on I found a pre-installed kit that just worked and stuck with it. I'm something of a luddite with tech :)  

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20 minutes ago, Beedster said:

The times they are a-changing :)

If you had a spare few minutes, could you share what is making you lean towards the TR8S over the MPC?

From my PoV it's the fact that the Roland has both synthesised and sampled sounds. IMO there is a place for both. And with a bit of lateral thinking I might be able to use it for some of the simple sequenced synthesiser sounds the band will also need.

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2 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

From my PoV it's the fact that the Roland has both synthesised and sampled sounds. IMO there is a place for both. And with a bit of lateral thinking I might be able to use it for some of the simple sequenced synthesiser sounds the band will also need.

Ah, OK, fair point :)

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1 minute ago, Beedster said:

Ah, OK, fair point :)

And having owned various high-tech devices from both Roland and Akai, I tend to prefer Roland's way of doing things.

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35 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Thanks, my problem is the opposite, when confronted by a huge database of of snares and high hats I will be forever changing my mind. What I loved about the Roland TD30K was that pretty early on I found a pre-installed kit that just worked and stuck with it. I'm something of a luddite with tech :)  

I dont think you are alone there. I've hoarded of 15gb of drum samples over the years. Tend to use the same tried and trusted handful of sample sets that I like. One of the main reasons I like dedicated hardware/instruments for writing music is the lack of distraction. I've tried working ITB with Cubase and Logic & just get frustrated with the number of options.

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

There is so much value in getting the UI right! I think we've all agreed about how shocking the Alesis SR models were in that regard.

It's something that Zoom have got very right with their budget multis like the B1-4 and which put significantly more expensive pedals to shame e.g. something like the SA C4  where the tech looks just great but where you have no decent ability to edit without recourse to a PC. Anyway I'm avoiding SA pedals until they can be ars*ed to provide some form numeric display, at a minimum, to at least let me know which of the 128 patches I'm on!

That’s giving the SA C4 an unfair rap - have you spent any time with it, or is it presumed hearsay?

The pedal stores 6 - a manual switch is flicked to let you know which one you are on.

There is a massive free and open resource where you can download any sounds people have made available and they are very good from the likes of Peter on here and guys like Nathan Navarro - you can access the full capabilities with not editing prowess at all and the software tells you the parameters the 4 buttons on the pedal control.

If you want to edit and existing or make your own then have a play.

The only way to access 128 spaces is via a midi controller and then you would absolutely know which patch you have landed on.

Zoom is a good unit, but it’s interface is not putting others to shame, the SA C4 literally takes 2 minutes and you can change patches on the pedal pressing a couple buttons on a tablet, smart phone, PC/mac if you wish

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44 minutes ago, BigRedX said:

And having owned various high-tech devices from both Roland and Akai, I tend to prefer Roland's way of doing things.

Yep, I get that, one of the things that makes Roland versus MPC difficult is the fact that I have never been disappointed by a Roland product, never struggled to use one, and never broken one, and that’s a pretty good reason to consider them for future gear. The flip side is that a lot of folks appear to favour MPC for what I want to do. Decisions, decisions, decisions :)

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Yes indeedy, I've had my share of SA pedals over the years including a current "one series" pedal which shares exactly the same UI as the C4. So feel free to substitute "AS" for "C4" in my earlier post - I guess I was mentioning the C4 because that is the one I would buy next in a heartbeat if it had a better UI, which is the point being discussed. I totally agree your point that you would need a separate midi pedal to have any idea which patch you are using on it. When you have to fork out £250 (new) for a pedal like the C4, the fact that you even need to do that is just plain rude!

IMO the UI on a £65 Zoom B1-4 leaves the SA UI in the dust. You don't need separate midi or a phone or a PC to edit and store up to 50 effects patches and you know exactly which patch you're using and it's a doddle to scroll through them.

Be interesting to see whether SA agree with my PoV on this and end up bringing out an updated set of pedals with numeric displays later this year 😉

Until then I'll be avoiding SA pedals, just my PoV...

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8 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Yes indeedy, I've had my share of SA pedals over the years including a current "one series" pedal which shares exactly the same UI as the C4. So feel free to substitute "AS" for "C4" in my earlier post - I guess I was mentioning the C4 because that is the one I would buy next in a heartbeat if it had a better UI, which is the point being discussed. I totally agree your point that you would need a separate midi pedal to have any idea which patch you are using on it. When you have to fork out £250 (new) for a pedal like the C4, the fact that you even need to do that is just plain rude!

IMO the UI on a £65 Zoom B1-4 leaves the SA UI in the dust. You don't need separate midi or a phone or a PC to edit and store up to 50 effects patches and you know exactly which patch you're using and it's a doddle to scroll through them.

Be interesting to see whether SA agree with my PoV on this and end up bringing out an updated set of pedals with numeric displays later this year 😉

Until then I'll be avoiding SA pedals, just my PoV...

Not trying to sell any product or UI to anyone, and I am sure using the aftershock (if I remember right) and the neuro editor could have you I been a miss for you, but there are some really cool features on it. The point was a broader one in that you can instantly access a ready made patch just as easily as say a toneprint on the TC electronic gear that gives you a really useable sound you want, in about the same amount of time  it takes to get one up and running on the zoom, it’s just you made it come across more like you couldn’t access a myriad of sounds without using a complex editor and play them without loads of extra gear/faff, which is not quite right - regardless of preference of what one uses, which is absolutely fine

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V good analogy of TC and SA pedals! 

Potentially / actually great pedals with shocking on-pedal UI IMO, YMMV etc. 

Spectracomp would be a good case in point: apparently awesome potential under the hood but one knob "spawn of the devil" (quoting our fav @51m0n) with no metering on the pedal itself. Ugh!! 

But tbf both TC and SA have a large fan base. 

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Yeah i have no vested interest or owt to gain, but just like the zoom does for you, they work straight out the box easily, but have the ability to allow you to get stuck in

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3 hours ago, BigRedX said:

And having owned various high-tech devices from both Roland and Akai, I tend to prefer Roland's way of doing things.

Roland certainly tend to be more intuitive. I used to wonder if the Roland S-770 was easier to use than an Akai S-1000

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I have the Beatbuddy and the Beatbuddy mini. Both are great machines. I tend to use the mini and find a beat that fits. I don't think I can be bothered to use the full potential of the big brother. Maybe it's mental laziness or just old age laziness. Layered menus are something I tend to get lost in, (ah-ha, dementia I hear you all wondering).

One knob effects, if they are good, are great. I use the TC Spectracomp just a tab and appreciate it does a great job without me having to set all the parameters myself.

To those who like to dive in and enjoy the expertise - well done.

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I just remembered i used to have a Yamaha RX21 decades ago, IIR that was a real nightmare to use, although back then we just got on with it. 

These days I’m struggling with Groove Agent. Its very powerful but not quite as intuitive as it could be,. 

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On 26/01/2021 at 15:52, Beedster said:

Yep, I get that, one of the things that makes Roland versus MPC difficult is the fact that I have never been disappointed by a Roland product, never struggled to use one, and never broken one, and that’s a pretty good reason to consider them for future gear. The flip side is that a lot of folks appear to favour MPC for what I want to do. Decisions, decisions, decisions :)

MPC bought, won duel with Drumbrute. Drumbrute consequently offered for sale at very low price for a new unit here 

 

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On 22/02/2021 at 18:48, Beedster said:

MPC bought, won duel with Drumbrute. Drumbrute consequently offered for sale at very low price for a new unit here 

 

Welcome to the MPC family!

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1 minute ago, sammybee said:

Welcome to the MPC family!

Thank you, not quite sure why/how it took so long :)

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On 14/01/2020 at 00:07, StickyDBRmf said:

There's always the Roland HandSonic (I have the older HPD-15) I bought it 'cause I wanted tabla. It's good if you like to bash about on something bigger than typewriter keys. And I also trigger it via MIDI with...AN ALESIS SR-16! I haven't embarked on the computer DAW merry-go-round yet - I've got Audacity installed but haven't recorded anything. Kinda off topic but I use a ZOOM H2 as a "notebook" for ideas outa my mixer.

I'm finding that setting up my PC for composing is a ridiculous amount of faff and, by the time I've done it, I've lost the will to live let alone record any creative inspiration.  Instead, I'm probably going to get a Tascam 24 track recording desk soon for a few hundred quid, it'll allow me to record audio direct guide tracks with minimum hassle.

On 27/01/2021 at 00:25, Al Krow said:

Until then I'll be avoiding SA pedals, just my PoV...

I haven't touched my C4 in 6 months...it doesn't go far enough in terms of UI, sequencing parameters or connectivity...as you'll already be aware.

On 26/01/2021 at 23:51, Cuzzie said:

The pedal stores 6 - a manual switch is flicked to let you know which one you are on.

Which can't be operated realistically mid set on a dark stage without bending over and assuming you've remembered what patch is where.  It's not a convenient solution.

On 26/01/2021 at 23:51, Cuzzie said:

There is a massive free and open resource where you can download any sounds people have made available and they are very good from the likes of Peter on here and guys like Nathan Navarro - you can access the full capabilities with not editing prowess at all and the software tells you the parameters the 4 buttons on the pedal control.

Massive doesn't mean usable.  A lot of the patches are just people throwing stuff at walls and seeing what sticks.  And there's a lot to wade through before I find anything relevant. 

On 26/01/2021 at 23:51, Cuzzie said:

If you want to edit and existing or make your own then have a play.

I did, and subsequently got in contact with SA who gave my comments serious consideration one lunch time but there's no more room in the C4 for more code.  Perhaps my suggestions will be adopted in a new line though.

On 26/01/2021 at 23:51, Cuzzie said:

The only way to access 128 spaces is via a midi controller and then you would absolutely know which patch you have landed on.

It's not that simple, you need an interface before you can connect something like a Morningstar MC6 and that's just to achieve two foot operated patch buttons that could have been included in the first place.  That's in the order of an extra 3-400 quid of stuff before you get basic MIDI 5 pin DIN connectivity offered of pedals way below the price point of the C4.  Integrating a C4 into an existing MIDI pedalboard with 5 PIN based pedals is both expensive and far from straight forward.

On 26/01/2021 at 23:51, Cuzzie said:

Zoom is a good unit, but it’s interface is not putting others to shame, the SA C4 literally takes 2 minutes and you can change patches on the pedal pressing a couple buttons on a tablet, smart phone, PC/mac if you wish

Which means you need to take those things to a gig, potentially leave them unattended before your first song and your hands need to come away from the instrument to make patch changes...but the rest of the stuff in your board can be operated by feet...

I suspect SA prioritised form factor over connectivity in their original design and some of the features came up a bit short.  For example, no individual envelope following for each step which means two steps with the same pitch just merge into one note twice the duration.   Whereas the Adrenalinn III does have individual notes per step but doesn't have a pitch shift based arpeggiator.  Stuff like that lets the C4 down...which is a bit of a travesty given how good it does the things it does well.

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1 hour ago, Kiwi said:

I'm finding that setting up my PC for composing is a ridiculous amount of faff and, by the time I've done it, I've lost the will to live let alone record any creative inspiration.  Instead, I'm probably going to get a Tascam 24 track recording desk soon for a few hundred quid, it'll allow me to record audio direct guide tracks with minimum hassle.

I haven't touched my C4 in 6 months...it doesn't go far enough in terms of UI, sequencing parameters or connectivity...as you'll already be aware.

Which can't be operated realistically mid set on a dark stage without bending over and assuming you've remembered what patch is where.  It's not a convenient solution.

Massive doesn't mean usable.  A lot of the patches are just people throwing stuff at walls and seeing what sticks.  And there's a lot to wade through before I find anything relevant. 

I did, and subsequently got in contact with SA who gave my comments serious consideration one lunch time but there's no more room in the C4 for more code.  Perhaps my suggestions will be adopted in a new line though.

It's not that simple, you need an interface before you can connect something like a Morningstar MC6 and that's just to achieve two foot operated patch buttons that could have been included in the first place.  That's in the order of an extra 3-400 quid of stuff before you get basic MIDI 5 pin DIN connectivity offered of pedals way below the price point of the C4.  Integrating a C4 into an existing MIDI pedalboard with 5 PIN based pedals is both expensive and far from straight forward.

Which means you need to take those things to a gig, potentially leave them unattended before your first song and your hands need to come away from the instrument to make patch changes...but the rest of the stuff in your board can be operated by feet...

I suspect SA prioritised form factor over connectivity in their original design and some of the features came up a bit short.  For example, no individual envelope following for each step which means two steps with the same pitch just merge into one note twice the duration.   Whereas the Adrenalinn III does have individual notes per step but doesn't have a pitch shift based arpeggiator.  Stuff like that lets the C4 down...which is a bit of a travesty given how good it does the things it does well.

All good points on usages, crucially coming from actually having used the pedal rather than hearsay.

Everyone’s needs and how they like to operate are different.

Other patches-yes there is a lot to Wade through, but if you are focussed you soon learn what is useful and who does useful patches and it narrows down options weeding out the chaff.

Editor UI is personal - I didn’t find it so bad, but I my needs are probably not as complex as yours.

Interface - you can use DMC with no interface, or the neuro hub and then Morningstar. you can shave off some of that price quoted buying second hand and Morningstar now does TRS cables. The casual user probably wouldn’t get/need all that stuff, but someone into synth/midi etc probably has this stuff, or they are starting in that world and may need it anyway.

I reckon most people may have a phone with them at a gig or wherever they go 😉 but it was to illustrate that you can do some editing differently and not infront a PC to access and change stuff - likelihood is that you would have set up the sound before the gig and you won’t make huge changes to sensitive parameters on the fly other than what you would assign the big knobs too. Flicking the switch between the 3 saved presets per bank is ok, yes not foot operative in the middle of the song, but there can’t be many instances you will flip between numerous synth sounds during songs, and if you are doing that the likelihood is you would be someone who wants midi and have it.

I have no vested interest in SA or are protectionist about stuff I own, but I do believe that to critically appraise something, it needs to be just that, critically appraised and not just opinions from various sources patched together as de facto without personal knowledge.

Discussion is to create a balanced discourse of pro’s, cons and workarounds which is what we are doing.

I think that’s the most I have been quoted in one post as well - thanks!

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1 hour ago, Kiwi said:

I'm finding that setting up my PC for composing is a ridiculous amount of faff and, by the time I've done it, I've lost the will to live let alone record any creative inspiration.  Instead, I'm probably going to get a Tascam 24 track recording desk soon for a few hundred quid, it'll allow me to record audio direct guide tracks with minimum hassle.

I haven't touched my C4 in 6 months...it doesn't go far enough in terms of UI, sequencing parameters or connectivity...as you'll already be aware.

Which can't be operated realistically mid set on a dark stage without bending over and assuming you've remembered what patch is where.  It's not a convenient solution.

Massive doesn't mean usable.  A lot of the patches are just people throwing stuff at walls and seeing what sticks.  And there's a lot to wade through before I find anything relevant. 

I did, and subsequently got in contact with SA who gave my comments serious consideration one lunch time but there's no more room in the C4 for more code.  Perhaps my suggestions will be adopted in a new line though.

It's not that simple, you need an interface before you can connect something like a Morningstar MC6 and that's just to achieve two foot operated patch buttons that could have been included in the first place.  That's in the order of an extra 3-400 quid of stuff before you get basic MIDI 5 pin DIN connectivity offered of pedals way below the price point of the C4.  Integrating a C4 into an existing MIDI pedalboard with 5 PIN based pedals is both expensive and far from straight forward.

Which means you need to take those things to a gig, potentially leave them unattended before your first song and your hands need to come away from the instrument to make patch changes...but the rest of the stuff in your board can be operated by feet...

I suspect SA prioritised form factor over connectivity in their original design and some of the features came up a bit short.  For example, no individual envelope following for each step which means two steps with the same pitch just merge into one note twice the duration.   Whereas the Adrenalinn III does have individual notes per step but doesn't have a pitch shift based arpeggiator.  Stuff like that lets the C4 down...which is a bit of a travesty given how good it does the things it does well.

Oh and PC drums - again it’s personal - I don’t mind as some of the quality you can get from EZ/Superior drummer is really very good, I’ve actually found it has stimulated creation when searching for a beat for something else.

They do provide a huge bank of very good sounding acoustic drums.

If it’s a quick noodle - I just use a basic stock beat in something like Garageband 

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7 hours ago, Kiwi said:

I'm finding that setting up my PC for composing is a ridiculous amount of faff and, by the time I've done it, I've lost the will to live let alone record any creative inspiration.  Instead, I'm probably going to get a Tascam 24 track recording desk soon for a few hundred quid, it'll allow me to record audio direct guide tracks with minimum hassle. I haven't touched my C4 in 6 months...it doesn't go far enough in terms of UI, sequencing parameters or connectivity...as you'll already be aware.

Which can't be operated realistically mid set on a dark stage without bending over and assuming you've remembered what patch is where.  It's not a convenient solution. Massive doesn't mean usable.  A lot of the patches are just people throwing stuff at walls and seeing what sticks.  And there's a lot to wade through before I find anything relevant. 

I did, and subsequently got in contact with SA who gave my comments serious consideration one lunch time but there's no more room in the C4 for more code.  Perhaps my suggestions will be adopted in a new line though.

It's not that simple, you need an interface before you can connect something like a Morningstar MC6 and that's just to achieve two foot operated patch buttons that could have been included in the first place.  That's in the order of an extra 3-400 quid of stuff before you get basic MIDI 5 pin DIN connectivity offered of pedals way below the price point of the C4.  Integrating a C4 into an existing MIDI pedalboard with 5 PIN based pedals is both expensive and far from straight forward.

Which means you need to take those things to a gig, potentially leave them unattended before your first song and your hands need to come away from the instrument to make patch changes...but the rest of the stuff in your board can be operated by feet...
I suspect SA prioritised form factor over connectivity in their original design and some of the features came up a bit short.  For example, no individual envelope following for each step which means two steps with the same pitch just merge into one note twice the duration.   Whereas the Adrenalinn III does have individual notes per step but doesn't have a pitch shift based arpeggiator.  Stuff like that lets the C4 down...which is a bit of a travesty given how good it does the things it does well.

Excellent summary. On the EBS BassIQ Blue Label - Effects - Basschat, the OP and myself ended up having a discussion on very similar lines about UI and SA C4 and coming to a virtually identical conclusion. 

The UI on a £60 Zoom B1-4 is really already very good and Boss have also upped their game with their latest models such as the RC-5, so it can be done. Word on the street is that SA are aware of the point and may well address it in their future pedal design.

UI / workflow / live usability are all key features which can make a difference between a great unit and one that's a PITA that you want to abandon. In relation to this thread, very similar points have been made as to the pain so many of us put up with in trying to programme our (mostly former!) Alesis SR18s.

Edited by Al Krow

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I use Hydrogen (free to use, fairly simple and friendly) so far, but I guess it´s time to move on to bigger and better sounding software. I still didn´t figure out which one is my best option at the moment.

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