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Drum machines - what are you using?


Al Krow

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3 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

No, any self-respecting drum machine gives up in disgust if you add a clap track.

Crappy digital sounding claps are one of the foundations of drum machines! 

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On 14/05/2021 at 14:10, SumOne said:

 

  • 6 Channels is okay for drum loops, but is limited for doing full tunes. (e.g. Kick, toms, snare, hi-hat, cymbal, clap...and you're done, no room to add anything else).

You know you can extend that by using sample locks (ie switching the source sample on a track on a per-step basis)?

 

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On 15/05/2021 at 20:53, Earbrass said:

You know you can extend that by using sample locks (ie switching the source sample on a track on a per-step basis)?

 

Nice one, I hadn't realised that (apparently it wasn't available to begin with so older one's need an update for it to work, but mine already had the update applied). Individual samples easily assigned to each step of each of the 6 tracks opens up a lot of possibilities and is a big upgrade. 

The only downside is that it is still only 6 tracks, so maximum of 6 sounds playing at any one time (which is probably plenty) and the fx assigned for each track is applied to all samples within that track. That's fine, just might need a bit of planning sometimes. 

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9 hours ago, SumOne said:

and the fx assigned for each track is applied to all samples within that track

Again, track parameters such as fx send levels can be changed on a step-by-step basis using "parameter locking"

See manual section 8.12.1. (I don't have a Model Samples myself, but have been a Digitakt user for a while, and a lot of the concepts are similar)

8.12 SEQUENCER FEATURES

8.12.1 PARAMETER LOCKS Parameter locks make it possible to set every trig to have its unique parameter values. The note trigs of an audio track can, for example, have a different pitch, FX send, or filter settings. It is possible to parameter lock the parameters that are controlled by the PARAMETER knobs, and the NOTE and VEL settings. You can also parameter lock the parameters on the LFO menu and the LOOP and the REVERSE settings. For a complete overview of all parameters on the PARAMETER pages, please see “9. TRACK RELATED PARAMETERS” on page 32.

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It might only be 6 channels, but it's so cheap that you could buy two, run them in sync and still have paid less than a new Roland TR8S or Akai MPC One.

Looking at the specs it says 96 projects with 96 patterns per project. Does that mean 96 songs with 96 patterns available for each song? Can you use the same pattern for different projects? Alternatively can you copy a pattern from one project to another? Are all those patterns and projects stored on-board without having to load from and external source? How easy is it to switch from one project to another?

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10 minutes ago, Sarah5string said:

I've got a little beatbuddy mini for practicing, it's a great little bit of kit but I now wish I'd got the upgraded version that you can download stuff onto

@Sarah5string you've just made my day! 

It's not 'cos you're using a beatbuddy mini for practicing, but rather because I've often wondered who the BC'er was who started this fantastic and enduring thread, which you'd not been on for a long while: What are you listening to right now? - General Discussion - Basschat

And also 'cos Cannock is up the road from where I grew up 😊

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Earbrass said:

Again, track parameters such as fx send levels can be changed on a step-by-step basis using "parameter locking"

See manual section 8.12.1. (I don't have a Model Samples myself, but have been a Digitakt user for a while, and a lot of the concepts are similar)

8.12 SEQUENCER FEATURES

8.12.1 PARAMETER LOCKS Parameter locks make it possible to set every trig to have its unique parameter values. The note trigs of an audio track can, for example, have a different pitch, FX send, or filter settings. It is possible to parameter lock the parameters that are controlled by the PARAMETER knobs, and the NOTE and VEL settings. You can also parameter lock the parameters on the LFO menu and the LOOP and the REVERSE settings. For a complete overview of all parameters on the PARAMETER pages, please see “9. TRACK RELATED PARAMETERS” on page 32.

Nice one. I'm not much of a manual reader usually but it looks like it's got a few things like this going on that I'll need to read up on how to do. So far so good with it though, each time I think there's a bit of a limitation there seems to be a way of dealing with it.

I think the main limitations will be:

  • Small screen...but it does the job fine.
  • Velocity pads a bit small and not sensitive enough...but they are fine unless you plan on doing a lot of live MPC style finger drumming.
  • Slightly limited FX...but perhaps as I dig more I'll find other things. And there are workarounds like applying FX to a sample on your DAW before sending it over.
  • Not a huge memory, and it's not expandable....but should be plenty for one-hit type samples.
  • Can't sample directly...but it's simple to drag and drop from computer.

....but adding those things would all probably make it bigger, more expensive, and more complicated so I don't thing they are essential, and not really things I'd expect for something this size and cost- I'm just nit-picking really. Overall I'm impressed.

 

Edited by SumOne
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1 hour ago, BigRedX said:

It might only be 6 channels, but it's so cheap that you could buy two, run them in sync and still have paid less than a new Roland TR8S or Akai MPC One.

Looking at the specs it says 96 projects with 96 patterns per project. Does that mean 96 songs with 96 patterns available for each song? Can you use the same pattern for different projects? Alternatively can you copy a pattern from one project to another? Are all those patterns and projects stored on-board without having to load from and external source? How easy is it to switch from one project to another?

It's early days for me but I'm pretty sure these are the answers:

Looking at the specs it says 96 projects with 96 patterns per project. Does that mean 96 songs with 96 patterns available for each song?

  • Yes

Can you use the same pattern for different projects? Alternatively can you copy a pattern from one project to another?

  • Yes

Are all those patterns and projects stored on-board without having to load from and external source?

  • Yes (one possible issue is that the non-expandable internal memory isn't huge, but it's not the recording of patterns that takes up much memory - it's the storage of samples, so doing things like using mono samples and short one-hit samples helps manage that). 

How easy is it to switch from one project to another?

  • Fairly easy, there are pattern and track buttons and you need to use the function button to get to the secondary button controls.
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17 minutes ago, SumOne said:

Are all those patterns and projects stored on-board without having to load from and external source?

  • Yes (one possible issue is that the non-expandable internal memory isn't huge, but it's not the recording of patterns that takes up much memory - it's the storage of samples, so doing things like using mono samples and short one-hit samples helps manage that). 

How easy is it to switch from one project to another?

  • Fairly easy, there are pattern and track buttons and you need to use the function button to get to the secondary button controls.

These are the most important ones for me when it come to closing a drum machine as I intend to use it live for one of my bands. 

I come from an age where pattern memory on drum machines was limited and although many boasted 99 patterns and 99 songs the reality would be that the patterns required for a single song (intro, verse, chorus, middle 8, outro, plus one or two fills for each) would come close to using up all the available memory even if there were only 10-15 patterns actually used.

The other one might be the deal-breaker if it's at all fiddly as I need to be able call up the next project/song quickly in a gig situation.

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1 minute ago, BigRedX said:

I come from an age where pattern memory on drum machines was limited and although many boasted 99 patterns and 99 songs the reality would be that the patterns required for a single song (intro, verse, chorus, middle 8, outro, plus one or two fills for each) would come close to using up all the available memory even if there were only 10-15 patterns actually used.

Yeah, my R-8 has a 99 pattern / 10 song limit... There are external RAM cards, but that requires you to have 2, and they're pretty expensive these days.

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3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

@Sarah5string you've just made my day! 

It's not 'cos you're using a beatbuddy mini for practicing, but rather because I've often wondered who the BC'er was who started this fantastic and enduring thread, which you'd not been on for a long while: What are you listening to right now? - General Discussion - Basschat

And also 'cos Cannock is up the road from where I grew up 😊

Haha, it's a small world. Someone recognised me/hunted me down over on facebook and Scott's bass lessons and told me that thread was still going 13 years later!! crazy..

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 26/04/2021 at 16:25, BigRedX said:

@Al Krow Let me know when you want to move the Akai on 😉

Managed to finally road test the Akai MPC One this morning. OMG! - I can already tell this is one quality piece of kit and in a different league in terms of feature set to the Behringer RD-8 I've upgraded from.

BRX - soz mate, don't hold your breath for me to be moving this one on! But I suspect if you get your hands on one you won't be disappointed.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just pulled the trigger on the Behringer RD-9, which will make the holy trinity of drum machines in my arsenal complete! Just got to sit tight till it arrives (end of August hopefully)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately, after 6 weeks my Elektron:Samples has had very little use. That's almost entirely down to how much of my fairly limited music time I want to set aside making beats compared to playing Bass (if I want a drum track to play Bass along with I tend to just quickly drag/drop breaks into a DAW and loop them, or plug in an old phone to use apps like 'Loopz', or 'Drum loops') . It's beyond the return window so if anyone is keen on a hardly used one then keep an eye out in the for sale section.

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On 14/06/2021 at 22:46, sammybee said:

Just pulled the trigger on the Behringer RD-9, which will make the holy trinity of drum machines in my arsenal complete! Just got to sit tight till it arrives (end of August hopefully)

I've seen the review vids for these and they seem primarily for dance type music. Can they do decent rock/pop kits?

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3 hours ago, MacDaddy said:

I've seen the review vids for these and they seem primarily for dance type music. Can they do decent rock/pop kits?

Definitely not! You wouldn't buy one of the Behringer RD6/8/9 series unless you are making 'dance music'. They are very exciting though (the RD-9) as they are 99.9% clones of the original TR909 for £270, as opposed to the £4000+ that the original units sell for today. Very eagerly anticipated by those in the know!

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  • 1 month later...

Roland Dr880.

i still have my trusty AKAI z4 sampler with the 8 output card on the back, which is just killer.

but for getting tracks down with sounds as good as the Vdrums ( which i have also td12 and for old school td5).

ease of programing, with more kits than you can shake a stick at,

then my go to for the last 15+ years is the Roland Boss DR880.

its up there with the best available today enough worth looking into.

 

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On 25/06/2021 at 13:37, sammybee said:

Definitely not! You wouldn't buy one of the Behringer RD6/8/9 series unless you are making 'dance music'. They are very exciting though (the RD-9) as they are 99.9% clones of the original TR909 for £270, as opposed to the £4000+ that the original units sell for today. Very eagerly anticipated by those in the know!

 

Worth noting that the Roland MC-101 groovebox has over 3000 sounds onboard, including 606, 808 and 909 drums and many other Roland classics. I picked one up for £300 s/h a while ago just to use as a sound module, though it has way more to offer than that. 

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49 minutes ago, Earbrass said:

 

Worth noting that the Roland MC-101 groovebox has over 3000 sounds onboard, including 606, 808 and 909 drums and many other Roland classics. I picked one up for £300 s/h a while ago just to use as a sound module, though it has way more to offer than that. 

 

And you can pick up sample CD's with 10,000+ samples of drum hits for a fiver on eBay. It's not about the number of sounds, it's about the few that it does do, authentically - which samples, and any Roland gear post 1985 fail to do.

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10 hours ago, sammybee said:

 

And you can pick up sample CD's with 10,000+ samples of drum hits for a fiver on eBay. It's not about the number of sounds, it's about the few that it does do, authentically - which samples, and any Roland gear post 1985 fail to do.

Well, I'll take your word for it - dance music is not my thing, and I wouldn't be using those sounds anyway - I use the Digitakt for drums because of its sequencer and sound manipulation abilities. The appeal of the MC-101 for me was its wide range of keyboard and synth sounds in such a portable package. 

 

EDITED TO ADD

 

Here are some examples (there is also a lot of scope for editing sounds) - I have no idea how authentic they are, but you can judge for yourselves:

 

Edited by Earbrass
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3 hours ago, sammybee said:

 

It's not about the number of sounds, it's about the few that it does do, authentically - which samples, and any Roland gear post 1985 fail to do.

So much this.  It's my experience of using samples generally.  The amount of time that auditioning hundreds to find one that makes you go 'ooh'. 

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9 hours ago, Earbrass said:

Well, I'll take your word for it - dance music is not my thing, and I wouldn't be using those sounds anyway - I use the Digitakt for drums because of its sequencer and sound manipulation abilities. The appeal of the MC-101 for me was its wide range of keyboard and synth sounds in such a portable package. 

 

EDITED TO ADD

 

Here are some examples (there is also a lot of scope for editing sounds) - I have no idea how authentic they are, but you can judge for yourselves:

 

 

The trouble with a sample based machine, is that it will always sound a bit one dimensional... ie. it just plays back the sample.. The TR909/RD-9 - they are Analogue Drum Machines (save the cymbals/hats), . Each of the drum sounds has individual controls to alter the sounds - invaluable for live performance and jamming with it. 

 

Heres a little clip of a demo.. so you can see the variation in the sounds

 

 

I guess to use a 'bass' analogy, there will be those who feel that a Squier Affinity 'P' bass is all the bass they need, and others that believe nothing less than a 10k Fodera will do. Neither are wrong, horses for courses. 

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1 hour ago, sammybee said:

I guess to use a 'bass' analogy, there will be those who feel that a Squier Affinity 'P' bass is all the bass they need, and others that believe nothing less than a 10k Fodera will do. Neither are wrong, horses for courses. 

 

Aww come on, nobody needs a £10k Fodera!! Surely a £6k one will do just fine? 😄

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