Anyone have a drum machine...?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by TheMusicMan, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    With my synth geek hat on - I am in the market for a new Drum Machine and am wondering if anyone here owns one and would like to offer thoughts on what to go for.

    I am considering a few models and types:

    Boss DR880

    Or the superb Korg Electribe EMX1

    ... any others I should look at?
  2. jamieow

    jamieow Member

    My friend has the boss machine - we use it quite a lot and the standard set sounds are really good. You can also tailor and edit your own sounds. I don't know much about the Korg but the Boss is great.
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Wohoooo - I decided to go for the Boss DR880 Drum machine and ordered it online today.
  4. Di

    Di Active Member

    You should have just said John. I'd have let you have Adam AND his drum kits for nowt. ;)
  5. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Does he come with 2 * 1/4" jacks too? Oh and a MIDI port?
  6. Di

    Di Active Member

    Oh here he goes with the techno mumbo jumbo again. :rolleyes: His kit's got locks of plugs and sockets but don't ask me what they all do. :tongue:
  7. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member


    You're a musician sir, (by all accounts ;7).
    Use some of your skills.
    Get a Roland Handsonic....the latest one. All the necessary outputs and about fifteen input pads and a couple of cool IR sensors too.
    It's a must. Even if you DO succumb to the ease of the 880.

    P.S. If you want the really old school sound get a 303 from Ebay.....if you can. It'll actually INCREASE in value as time goes on. Good luck trying to get one tho.
  8. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Will you never learn? ;)

    Chalk another one up to gear lust....
  9. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Aye - total gear head me now eh!

    Must admit though, this DR880 is a corking little machine... a plethora of kits, user storage areas, effects, and 20 pads to boot!

    Having a little trouble getting MIDI over USB with it though - my studio PC just won't see it. It works fine with MIDI In and Out connectors though, just not via USB. Weirdness...!!

    Not to worry though as I am getting a Motu MIDI Express 8*8 later this week. 128 ports over 1 USB, rather than using 5 USB's with my existing gear. The Access VirusTI needs a dedicated USB port for its 2*audio channels - as does my MW12. So the fewer USB devices I need to plug in, especially for low volume data tx such as MIDI, the better.
  10. steve_r

    steve_r Member

    Just for completeness *yes* to the jacks and thats midi IN and OUT :) I have used him for a drum machine but he insists on trying to make things up for himself :-?
  11. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    I wondered why buy a drum machine? There are alternatives like Sampling CDs (real drummers play and you cut it up in your computer), or ReCycling existing drum tracks, synthesizing drum sounds with your modular synth, using the existing drum sounds in your workstation or soundcard, or even colaborating with a real drummer. Drum machines are OK, but you only ever get out of them what you put in. As a non-drummer, I find it hard to program stuff that sounds natural.
  12. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Yep - 'tis an art to program them realistically.

    My reason for having a dedicated box like this would be that it'd give me access to things like the Fantom drumsets and the velocity sensitive trigger pads and so on for a fraction of the price of the workstation itself.

    Additionally, having a box like this can be more useful as a compositional tool than, for instance, using a sample can just hit go and play over the top of it....rather than have to fiddle with the other stuff you alluded to.

    You're quite right, though, depending on your genre you can get better results with other methods...even down to augmenting a real drummer with samples (or even replacing the recorded drums with them and just using him / her as a real life 'groove template' ;) )
  13. bagpuss

    bagpuss Active Member

    How do you think I've been getting away with it for so long at Wem??

    Thankfully RT hasn't found it yet and if he has, he hasn't found the volume control or off switch!!!!:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

  14. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Hi Brian

    Interesting comments., thanks.

    For me though, there are several reasons why I wanted to use a dedicated drum machine to handle all my percussion sounds.

    1 - Though I can create sounds from Init Patches for certain genres, of the percussion/drum sounds I attempt, well... lets simply say that they have all fallen well short of the 'quality' mark - I am not yet skilled enough to create any sound. Pads, Leads and Arp related sounds & patterns - yes, percussion, real and complex sounds - no!

    2 - Though I can create sounds from scratch on two of my synths, and the third has many built in kits, I don't want to use a timbre from these for percussion.

    3 - When you use a synth for percussion, you need to use certain Master and Insert effects. This then limits the use of these effects for other timbres. I forget exactly what the numbers are, but it is something like 7 Insert effects and 3 Master effects across all timbres. If I used several of these for a percussion timbre, I am then limited for however many timbres remain. I prefer to use s synth for creating synth sounds!! and besides, when you have so many timbres available - it can become a little restrictive.

    4 - (probably the main reason too!!) - I am lazy :) the DR-880 is velocity sensitive, has a sort of 'human' mode, and contains literally hundreds of sounds - with built in effects that can be easily applied to those sounds; and is a breeze to programme. One is able to design and build a new bespoke kit, complete with full effects, different bar patterns & fills in only 10 or 15 minutes.

    5 - I can upload riffs I have found on the net (or from my existing synths drum patches) directly to the DR-880 in MIDI format thus allowing me to utilise the sounds in the DR-880 with rhythms from anywhere and (though I do) not have to sequence these in a software DAW.

    I guess in the end, as with everything else, it simply comes down to personal preference and how to get to a position to be able to create ones music in whatever manner best fits what it is that one does. This is the way I produce music, which most certainly would not be right for someone else, nor perhaps is the best way to accomplish it, but it works for me. :)
  15. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    There's something else that comes out this particular discussion (that's a general thing, John, and not atually aimed at you ;) )

    In the main, a lot of the presets are designed to sound impressive to the casual punter who wanders into the music shop to press a few buttons in the hope that (s)he'll buy it. In a lot of instances, the effects that are built into the patches can get seriously in the way of a mix if you use them as is....which is the main reason you'll find in a lot of studios a lt of things are tracked clean (or the very least a clean signal will be recorded along with the effected the effects can't be removed later)...

    Again, though, it's down to workflow and if it works for you then it works for addressed by