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which Drum machines sound the best
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fastlane
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#1
26th February 2006
Old 26th February 2006
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which Drum machines sound the best

I know I know, real drums are best. I am a drummer myself!

Here's the thing, I've started recording drums last in my sessions!! Unconvensional but hear me out.

Most drummers find it hard to play a full song in perfect time. In fact, unless they are very used to playing with a click track then they'll drift in and out time like a cheap casio watch. If the drummer doesn't do his job then the whole song will suffer. So I insist on using a drum machine at the start of the day. I map out the basic drum beat on using Cubase Midi Tracks (one for each drum, kick, snare, hats toms and crash) and use Reasons Drumkits 2 as my sampler. Then I just mix down a stereo mix so the band can use it as a guide track.
Only takes 10 minutes to do.
Once the band have a perfect drum track to work with the guitars, bass etc go down in no time. A quick take on the vocals as a guide and then I start recording the live drums. I find drummer keep time much better when playing along to perfectly in time music.

If the drummer is still having problems then I just re-program the midi files so they are doing exactly what the drummer is trying to do. Then mix down each midi track as a seperate audio file so I can use different VST's on each drum, then a bit of room ambience on the drum Group channel and we have a real sounding kit.

Just wondering am I the only nut that works this way????

Anyway, I do like the different kits that come with reason drumkits 2 but I'm sure there are better drum machine around. If anyone has a definitive answer please let me know.

By the way, if you want to hear what the Reason Drumkits 2 sounds like in a mix then check out http://www.fastlanestudio.net/samples.htm. Have a listen to Population you - Oldest Tricks Newest Tools
Leman - Tonight
Leman - Show me
or Alan Earls - Still here not gone. Also the last song there was recorded for charity, all processed go to Crumlins Childerns Hospital in Dublin. (Caner Ward)
So if you like the song then please use the link at the top of the screen to buy it. The song is only €2 euros to buy and the single is only €5, it's done through PayPal so it's completely safe.

Thanks
#2
26th February 2006
Old 26th February 2006
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Lot's of people use drum machines. I have recorded full cd's with them
It is not as common today in rock/pop cuz everything is so raw and garage sounding like nickel back seether ect...

I used a roland r8 back in the day to program. I use to use an ensoniq asr
to trigger samples. Sometimes I would rent an AMS to trigger.

Today I use nuendo to sequence and steinberg lm to trigger. Sometimes I use drumadog.

In my opinon there is no standalone drum machine that sounds good for rock.,
you have to sample.

But for hiphip there are no rules and every or any drum machine ever invented can sound great on a rap record.

I'm working on a prog rock cd as we speak that the drummer programmed all his beats. We are going to overdub cymbals and hats and trigger kick, snare and toms. It sounds killer it sounds like the yes 90125 cd or like an old rush cd.

It is not modern sounding at all which I like. It is vaer polished and precise
#3
26th February 2006
Old 26th February 2006
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MPC is the best with the best timing, i do hip hop so it is flawless for timing, also you're gonna hear a lot of heads tell you that the 3000 is king, because of the converters, but a regular 2000 is just as good, i have a 2000xl for the sequencer and a asr-x for the sampler, its a killer combo, asr converters are so lust but clean.
#4
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
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Drum machines are 1980's technology, and little has improved since then. You really want to work with high quality samples, and preferably avoid D/A and A/D conversions altogether. So this makes software drum machines a very logical choice.

The internal timing of a software DAW like Cubase/Nuedno is deadly accurate - and an MPC has no particular advantage. Things can get a little sloppy if you use midi - but you can always input with midi and then quantise if necessary (many types of quantise to choose from).

I've owned many drum machines, and have no desire to return. Even free software and samples can outperform the old drum machines.
#5
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
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No need for a machine here, since BFD. All the drum sound, zero drummer attitude
#6
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
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Get BFD and a Trigger Finger by M Audio. It will beat the piss out of everything. I'm sure GC can get you both for $400. I got the TF for 135 and BFD for $235. Fuk GC
#7
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
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What is BFD?
#8
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
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AB3
#9
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
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Sometimes I find some of the keyboards have decent "drum machines" in them and you can use the keys to play them with pressure sensitivity, etc.

I sometimes like a mix of samples drums and real drums (especially hand drums, etc.)

At one time Master Tracks Pro (an old midi program) had a humanize function I really liked. Probably some modern midi programs have it as well.

But of course, playing the drum sounds with keys or pads is human too!
#10
27th February 2006
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There are times when I prefer a drum machine to a real drummer.
#11
27th February 2006
Old 27th February 2006
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Gotta disagree, thats why all these software programs try to emulate the MPC timing and swing,and the idea of programming drums with a mouse is real scary, gotta friend with a trigger finger and the pads are so stiff, he doesnt like them, i could see sampling all those sounds into an MP and using them. Thats a good idea.
#12
27th February 2006
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The good sequencer DAWs all have swing percentage quantisation and can groove like an MPC. Understanding swing percentage is very important.

I always hated the buttons on drums machines, so I don't understand the Trigger Finger at all. Get a midi drum pad you can hit with a stick.

Familiarity is why people prefer one thing over another.
#13
28th February 2006
Old 28th February 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger
Get a midi drum pad you can hit with a stick.
Exactly, if you absolutely have to go down this road - try KONTAKT 2 with a ROLAND TCM-6 audio to MIDI converter and real drum shells with MESH NETS and DDRUM triggers on. Load samples from your own professionally sampled drums and/or buy the mother of most expensive sample CDs you can not afford. Just my cents.

"and then I start recording the live drums."

MPC doesn't mean anything if live drums is to be recorded/achieved. Go with a sampler + triggers.

/D
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#14
28th February 2006
Old 28th February 2006
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Old school, Roland TR808!
New school, Elektron Machinedrum!

/Cojo
#15
3rd April 2006
Old 3rd April 2006
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The REAL deal, TR 909 & 808 still THE best

Hey, gotta say the Roland 808 & Roland 909 are still THE drum machines!

Use them and record with paterns or just record the sounds...either way, they sound amazing and still nothing touches them! Close, but not "it." And I do have the Machine drum, many samples, Kontact, etc.

THE real deal is still the deal. Even when you're taling MPCs, half the time you're talking about 808 or 909 samples and the "feel" of the MPC.

So, when in doubt, go to the source.

-a


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#16
13th December 2009
Old 13th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
Lot's of people use drum machines. I have recorded full cd's with them
It is not as common today in rock/pop cuz everything is so raw and garage sounding like nickel back
Ehh...maybe we have a different view on what a drum machine is. Many modern bands use sampled hi-hat; clicking sounds that were obviously used as a metronome for the band/drummer. Fastlane, I don't think you're crazy or anything, I think you've figured out the trick of many rock/pop bands, who use your proposed technique all the time. I've certainly thought about it. Has any Gearslutz worked on a session where this sort of technique was done? Please give us some feedback! This has been on my mind, mostly because I hear that sampled hi-hat "clicking" sound or open hi-hat sound that is playing right with the rest of the band...
#17
13th December 2009
Old 13th December 2009
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I agree that it depends how you use the machine. Pattern based, I still love my 808/909, but it you trigger in real time, at this point software is the way to go.

In a related note, I got the Ocean Way drums recently for that purpose, but I find I prefer Battery. What's wrong with me?
#18
13th December 2009
Old 13th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
Gotta disagree, thats why all these software programs try to emulate the MPC timing and swing
Nah.
The software drum programmes like BFD use midi played by real drummers.
They have absolutely nothing to do with the MPC concept.
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13th December 2009
Old 13th December 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
Gotta disagree, thats why all these software programs try to emulate the MPC timing and swing,and the idea of programming drums with a mouse is real scary, gotta friend with a trigger finger and the pads are so stiff, he doesnt like them, i could see sampling all those sounds into an MP and using them. Thats a good idea.
It depends on what you`re trying to do. Sorry I didn`t respond sooner.
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13th December 2009
Old 13th December 2009
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#21
7th July 2010
Old 7th July 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwiburger View Post
Drum machines are 1980's technology, and little has improved since then. You really want to work with high quality samples, and preferably avoid D/A and A/D conversions altogether. So this makes software drum machines a very logical choice.

The internal timing of a software DAW like Cubase/Nuedno is deadly accurate - and an MPC has no particular advantage. Things can get a little sloppy if you use midi - but you can always input with midi and then quantise if necessary (many types of quantise to choose from).

I've owned many drum machines, and have no desire to return. Even free software and samples can outperform the old drum machines.

Yeah, you're right. It is difficult for MPC users, like myself (MPC60) to give in to software, but really, take away those nice big pads and there is no advantage in timing, (people say that the quantization on an MPC is different, but....)1/8th is 1/8th. Obviously software sequencers are precise as shi-.
Actually, I think we all crossed over kicking and screaming on every single piece of equipment, like compressors, but where we are at now, it's clearly the way to go.

Re-drum is an awesome drum software, plus there are many that simply use the 808 technology. Give in and lose that bulky crap. The MPC is legendary, no doubt, but so are leather football helmets.
#22
9th July 2010
Old 9th July 2010
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****in Bobby! I love jammin' with his brother! Gawd damn!
Just me or do sampled drums sound too... sampled?
Drum machines are fun because they are just that, but all these libraries that sound like "drums" are killin' the vibrations! My ears can't get over that!

<3 drum machines
</3 sampled drums


+5 for Elektron's Machinedrum!
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#23
15th July 2010
Old 15th July 2010
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Not all music moves right with a strict tempo maintained throughout a song.

The most sophisticated way to do it is to record a great take in pre production and then tempo map it and do some smoothening out of the tempo map. Then re-record everything to click tracks based on the new improved tempo map.

But some songs sound great with strict tempo. The trick is knowing when to use tempo maps.

As for the MPC... people who don't listen and go off theoretical PPQN resolutions and published specs of DAW's need to use their ears! Midi has problems as do a lot of DAW's. Things like midi jitter, computer cpu priorities affecting midi play back in erratic ways and midi ram up as ram and handling stabilise all affect the quality and consisteny of midi timing.

Akai got around some of the flaws in midi and created a box that is more consitent than most drum machines. It has it's own set of flaws and grooves in a way that is consistent and measurable and it is why some DAW's have groove templates emulating the timing quirks of an MPC. DAW's are improving and being coded to stop the OS's in computers from interupting the consistency of midi timing but they are still affected.

So the response of the MPC has non of the random interuptions that a computer OS throws into the midi equation and feels good! Those OS interuptions are random and don't link in to the music in a musical way.

You have to remember that midi can only send one note at a time so even if they are very close together they are a flam. On top of this the random OS garbage going on makes for not the best environment for consistent playback. The MPC takes the midi instruction and usues a propriety akai protocol so that nots that are programmed onto the same beat are delivered at the same time. So MPC for the win.

Or did I dream all that?

Peace,
Cortisol
#24
31st July 2010
Old 31st July 2010
  #24
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Elektron Machinedrum!
#25
7th October 2012
Old 7th October 2012
  #25
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Hey,

If you want your drums to sound acoustic and real then BFD, addictive drums or EZ Drummer are what you need.

BFD is slighly different from the two others in the sense that it really make you feel like a real sound engineer. If you use it bad...it will sound bad (or garage!) if you use it good then it will need a good mastering but it will sound very natural. I think it is also much more complicated to use.

Personally I'm more into mixing acoustic drums and electronic drum machines. I love the TR-707. If you want to get into drum machines then give a try to the Spark Vintage software. You can download the demo from there:
Arturia - Musical Instruments | Resources

This software let you use 30 recreation of classic drum machines. It can also help you define which sound is the sound you really like...as they all sound very different.

Cheers,

Denis

Last edited by DenisArturia; 7th October 2012 at 06:27 PM.. Reason: miss spelling
#26
2nd November 2012
Old 2nd November 2012
  #26
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strengthofsoul is offline
Joe Barresi's evil drums in superior drummer

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