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Recommendations for some under the radar vintage drum machines Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 26th December 2018
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Recommendations for some under the radar vintage drum machines

Want to add some vintage drums to the mix. Linndrums, dmxs and 808s are cool and all but not tryna drop 3 grand on a drum machine. Wanna pick up a 606, but what other vintage drum machines should I be looking at? Any recommendations for drum machines under a grand? I like quirky stuff so nothing is too weird for me
Old 26th December 2018
  #2
I'd say older MFB. They had a line of sample based stuff about 20 years ago that sounds pretty good. It's not super popular but you'll see it in studios of european (german) producers enough.
also, there's a whole bunch of new and retro stuff in eurocrack you can get for well under a grand.
Old 26th December 2018
  #3
Gear Addict
 

People have been scouring Internet for "under the radar" drum machines for the last decade. The ones that are still cheap and obscure are cheap and obscure for a reason.
Old 26th December 2018
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
I'd say older MFB. They had a line of sample based stuff about 20 years ago that sounds pretty good. It's not super popular but you'll see it in studios of european (german) producers enough.
also, there's a whole bunch of new and retro stuff in eurocrack you can get for well under a grand.
Thanks man I'll look into those! Tbh I didn't even know mfb had an old line up haha
Old 26th December 2018
  #5
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drockfresh's Avatar
Let’s list them here and then watch the Reverb asking prices double
Old 26th December 2018
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drockfresh View Post
Let’s list them here and then watch the Reverb asking prices double
Ah you're right.. on second thought p.m. me any recommendations haha
Old 26th December 2018
  #7
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syntonica's Avatar
Just put the 606 back down and step back slowly! Am I the only person in the world that knows it sounds like a tinny piece of ****?!? Believe me, I used every trick in the book and it always sounded tinny. I traded mine in for a 525 and I was so happy to have MIDI and I could use it sequence simple bass lines. If I still had a 606, I'd sell it, buy a 525 and still have plenty of cash left over for something actually usable.

Unfortunately, the price of all gear is going through the roof, crap or not. You can still find the old Korgs for cheap-ish, though I've never used one. I used to see a zillion Alesis HRs for sale, but they've dried up and haven't seen one in ages. Weird, that. Old Zooms have all but disappeared. Maybe an Kawai K4 drum rack module will have the mojo you're looking for (I forget the actual model number.) The old Bosses have also gone up in price, especially the ones with useful sequencers. You can also get a JDXi for its vast library of x0x sounds built-in.

What I'd actually suggest its a Rhythm Wolf if you do down tempo stuff, or one of the Drum Brutes or a Tanzbär/maus and save yourself dough and aggravation. They sound good.
Old 26th December 2018
  #8
Gear Head
 
Zero Crossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coleman Young View Post
People have been scouring Internet for "under the radar" drum machines for the last decade. The ones that are still cheap and obscure are cheap and obscure for a reason.
Truth be told. If I did have any "sleepers"...last thing I would do is announce it on a forum full of gear addict producers that have money burning a hole in their pockets. That kind of **** goes to my grave with me.
Old 26th December 2018
  #9
Used MPCs. Every since a Maschine and the New Akai stuff, the 2000xl MCD has dropped in price.

I see them all day under $500
Old 26th December 2018
  #10
At this point the only “undiscovered” drum sources left are the drum programs found in the various 90s ROMplers. For fun I decided to try using the built-in drums in my Yamaha TG33 and discovered some of the sounds were pretty decent. That discovery led me to dig some more into ROMplerdom and came away happy later on with an E-mu Virtuoso 2000 chock full of excellent drum samples. Currently I’m exploring the Roland U-220 and the various PCM cards for it and finding gold. The U-220 has a great drum mode too essentially turning it into a drum module with layering and 6 physical outputs. Tomorrow I’ll be taking delivery on an E-mu Procussion module I ordered before the holiday.

These forgotten old boxes are still dirt cheap and in some cases contain the same samples as actual drum machines of the same era which fetch quite a bit more money.

Heck with the overpriced drum machine rat race there’s gold in them there hills, ROMpler gold.
Old 26th December 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
breakmixer's Avatar
 

Casio RZ-1, but they're increasing in price for broken/beaten examples.

My personal cheap faves are TR-707/727 but even with the TR8/S on the scene the prices are inflating. £500 plus for good examples now. I've been looking...
Old 26th December 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 

If having a built in sequencer is not mandatory, I just got an Emu Procussion for real cheap...lots of classic sounds in there.

For more synth type stuff I’ve always been a fan of percussion coming out of the Nord Modular.
Old 26th December 2018
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syntheseyez View Post
Thanks man I'll look into those! Tbh I didn't even know mfb had an old line up haha
most of it is in the database AFAIK
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/mfb/502-g20956/
here's one of a bunch of one trick eurorack ponies
YouTube
Old 26th December 2018
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Notron Fan's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by syntonica View Post
Maybe an Kawai K4 drum rack module will have the mojo you're looking for (I forget the actual model number.)
Kawai XD-5?

Try to find a deal on a JoMoX AiR Base 99 or JaZ Base?
Old 27th December 2018
  #15
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syntonica's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Notron Fan View Post
Kawai XD-5?
That's the one! But I never see then for sale now.
Old 27th December 2018
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
If having a built in sequencer is not mandatory, I just got an Emu Procussion for real cheap...lots of classic sounds in there.

For more synth type stuff I’ve always been a fan of percussion coming out of the Nord Modular.
So you got it then? Cool!
Mine got sent with extra slow shipping from the West coast so it’s not arriving until tomorrow

Speaking of Nord my radar is tracking the Nord Drum 3P. It seems to be a real beast of a drum synth.

The battery in my U-220 just died today. I just got done replacing it but need to reload the factory patches. But just before this happened I was drooling over the drums in it. I was comparing them to the R8m and they’re actually better samples and even more punchy too. The cymbals have great long tails on them, longer than the ones in the R8m. And the drum sounds are all still really usable today.
Old 27th December 2018
  #17
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mutilatedlip's Avatar
Yamaha RY-30 was my first drum machine and arguably the best (I've owned RYTM, the real 909 and many others).

If you don't want a sequencer then a Roland R8-M or a Yamaha RM-50.
Old 27th December 2018
  #18
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coleman Young View Post
People have been scouring Internet for "under the radar" drum machines for the last decade. The ones that are still cheap and obscure are cheap and obscure for a reason.
Not really. The Yamaha RX7 is still cheap. Those are great if you actually edit the sounds. Plenty of good gear is still under the radar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
At this point the only “undiscovered” drum sources left are the drum programs found in the various 90s ROMplers.
Home keyboards and organs too. They're mostly not amazing, but occasionally great. I've been making sample packs of them when I can. I think they're often a different flavor of drum sounds because they're crammed into very small sample ROMs. Dedicated drum machines from the same era often use higher quality samples, and are thus less interesting. Some of them also have digitally synthesized drum sounds that tend to sound very strange and exotic.
Old 27th December 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Hammmond AutoVari 64. $100



With a little hacking, I can have individual outputs and hook it up to a Beatstep Pro.
Old 27th December 2018
  #20
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astraeus000's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
At this point the only “undiscovered” drum sources left are the drum programs found in the various 90s ROMplers. For fun I decided to try using the built-in drums in my Yamaha TG33 and discovered some of the sounds were pretty decent. That discovery led me to dig some more into ROMplerdom and came away happy later on with an E-mu Virtuoso 2000 chock full of excellent drum samples. Currently I’m exploring the Roland U-220 and the various PCM cards for it and finding gold. The U-220 has a great drum mode too essentially turning it into a drum module with layering and 6 physical outputs. Tomorrow I’ll be taking delivery on an E-mu Procussion module I ordered before the holiday.

These forgotten old boxes are still dirt cheap and in some cases contain the same samples as actual drum machines of the same era which fetch quite a bit more money.

Heck with the overpriced drum machine rat race there’s gold in them there hills, ROMpler gold.
Very true. I was pleasantly surprised with the drums in the Korg 03 RW and Wavestation SR. Just got the Procussion and I think it sounds great as well.
Old 27th December 2018
  #21
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
Hammmond AutoVari 64. $100
I think the sounds are a little weak, but they can make the weirdest polyrhythmic patterns if you mash down 3 or 4 buttons.
Old 27th December 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
So you got it then? Cool!
Mine got sent with extra slow shipping from the West coast so it’s not arriving until tomorrow

Speaking of Nord my radar is tracking the Nord Drum 3P. It seems to be a real beast of a drum synth.

The battery in my U-220 just died today. I just got done replacing it but need to reload the factory patches. But just before this happened I was drooling over the drums in it. I was comparing them to the R8m and they’re actually better samples and even more punchy too. The cymbals have great long tails on them, longer than the ones in the R8m. And the drum sounds are all still really usable today.
Yeah it was a local deal, I rarely buy used gear online anymore unless it’s real specific. I recognized this from my craiglist when everyone else was talking about it in the December thread so I decided to do it.

The nord drums have definitely had my attention at times and those sounds are more or less in the Nord Modulars. Really the main reason I keep my nord around.
Old 27th December 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
 
VennD68's Avatar
A Kawai XD-5, Yamaha RM-50 with editor and an original Elektron Machinedrum (non UW version) would cover a lot of ground.
Old 27th December 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Not strictly a drum machine, but I thought the ASR-X was cool for drum sounds and they don't go for much money.
Old 27th December 2018
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Boss DR660

Alesis HR16

Casio RZ1

Roland R8
Old 27th December 2018
  #26
CRK
Gear Head
A unique vintage drum machine you may want to look into is the Roland CR-8000. Is has the sounds of the TR-808 but the groove of the CR-78 (preset rhythms that you can mix and match as well as preset drum fills). You can however create your own patterns and drum fills. Only issue is that it has a mono output (yet since you were discussing the TR-606 it seems that you might be fine with that)
Old 27th December 2018
  #27
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Korg s3
Old 27th December 2018
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Transistores's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRK View Post
A unique vintage drum machine you may want to look into is the Roland CR-8000. Is has the sounds of the TR-808 but the groove of the CR-78 (preset rhythms that you can mix and match as well as preset drum fills). You can however create your own patterns and drum fills. Only issue is that it has a mono output (yet since you were discussing the TR-606 it seems that you might be fine with that)
8000 doesn't have a sound of 808 at all apart from the cowbell and clap which are a bit similar. I have a CR-5000 (8000 without programmable patterns and clap) and unless heavily processed it is a calm rhythm machine akin to the 70's preset drum boxes.
Old 27th December 2018
  #29
Why not grab a 50-bucks machine like SR-16 or DR-660 and FX the hell out of them?
Want extra outputs? Grab one more!

Or go circuitbent! Circuitbenders.co.uk is a master of his trade, and there are others.

And then there's Kawai R-100 ("thinking man's LinnDrum", I like to call it).
But don't tell anyone..

Cheers,
Bert
Old 27th December 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Rob Ocelot's Avatar
The most overlooked and underestimated drum machines are the preset units that everyone has under their noses and could care less about. You might have to put in a little bit of elbow grease and creativity to get them integrated into a modern studio but the best part about it is you'll have a whole range of sounds that will stand out in the sea of overused 606, 707, 808, and 909 sounds.

*You can pick them up for a song (pun intended), for free, or on rare occasions people pay you to take them away -- especially if they are attached to an organ. Most of the time the rhythm box part of the organ was provided by a 3rd party and the electronics are separate making it easy to rip out of the organ.

*Pair them with some decent effects (especially delay and reverb, but a nice ring mod or phaser/flanger will do wonders) and sample them or record the preset beats to a 4-track with a tape loop (making an instant ghetto Chamberlin Rhythmate**).

*Mod them to take triggers (and hook them up to a modular synth with a clock divider) or take this further and use a MIDI-to-trigger board (Tubbutec, circuitbenders.co.uk and a host of others make boards for this purpose)

Some great preset drum machines to look for:

*Any of the pre-Roland AceTones like the FR-8L (which is basically a TR-77 for often about 1/3 to 1/4 of the price)
*The Hammond Autovari 64 that @EvilRoy mentioned above which I believe is a variant of the TR-77/FR-7L/FR 8L
*Multivox made a whole host of ripoff Acetone machines and didn't even bother to make the names different (FR3/3S, FR4, FR6, FR7)
*Even the Roland CR-68 and CR-5000 machines can be modified to take triggers, though they tend to be more expensive because of the 'R' word.
*The only analog drum machines Yamaha made were integrated into mixers (EM-90, EM-130) and you can often find these for super cheap because people have no idea what they actually are.


**The Chamberlin Rhythmate is the oldest and IMO the coolest drum machine ever made. It's basically a Mellotron with drum loop tapes instead of instrument loops. Replicating this approach on semi-modern hardware like a 4-track Portastudio using drum beats from preset drum machines or ripped off old records would make you cool beyond belief. (well, I'd think you were tops if you did that )
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