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Drum Maschine for Ambient Music?
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
Drum Maschine for Ambient Music?

Hi there!

I ask myself did I need a Drum Maschine for my Ambient music? If so, which one I should buy?

First, I never used a drum Maschine before!
In fact, I’m not in Drums and I have no experience to arrange rhythms. I’m not interested in EDM music.

But I think it would be a good idea to spice up my electronic ambient music with some nice and decent percussions.

The question is should I buy a decent Drum Maschine like a DSI Tempest or Maschinedrum or will an ipad app and a BeatStep Pro do the job for me? Most important, I need an easy and intuitive way to create rhythms. That’s why I think to buy a dedicated Drum Maschine.

I used to play some Hardware Synthesizer (Pro2, Prophet 12, Rev2 and a Blofeld) and I avoid to start my Ableton Computer for Drums.

I already use an iPad, mainly for FX and recordings. To buy some Drum apps would be a lot of cheaper than a Tempest but if a Hardware Drum Maschine will help me better than I don’t care for the money.

Please give me some advice, very appreciate it!

Thanks a lot for your recommendations!
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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rockreid's Avatar
 

Elektron RYTM would make it possible to do complete ambient tracks just by itself using its analog voices as well as the samples. Elektron’s sequencer can drastically alter parameters on a single track per step meaning just one track can provide a lot of variety.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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intuitionnyc's Avatar
I think software can do everything you need. It’s a question of whether or not that works for you.

In the realm of hardware for ambient, I might look past a drum machine per se and look into a sampler. It can be more versatile. One that stands out to me is Elektron Digitakt. If you watch a few Digitakt tutorial videos, you can see that it is not a crazy hard piece to get into and work with (if you’ve worked with other gear).

If you want to REALLY go crazy, you can look into an Octatrak. Those have a much steeper learning curve though.

Sorry for only offering Elektron gear, those are just pieces I am familiar with.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
maschine would be my first advice

ipad has so many useful and great sounding apps - if you are happy why not stick with it?

rd8

tt78

tt606

rytm

the uno drum

arturia drumbrute

any drum machine used correctly

consider samplers too

only you can decide if it will help you though, good luck
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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jazzcabbage's Avatar
 

Groove Rider
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockreid View Post
Elektron RYTM would make it possible to do complete ambient tracks just by itself using its analog voices as well as the samples. Elektron’s sequencer can drastically alter parameters on a single track per step meaning just one track can provide a lot of variety.
In this instance I think the machinedrum is worth consideration as well
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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djwaxxy's Avatar
Agree Jamie.. Maschine would be my choice because its also a sampler and contains some really good fx.. The ice reverb and granular delay are excellent.
What u can also do is use foley sounds to create your own kits.its fun just walking around recording stuff with your phone or recorder then drop them onto maschine too edit and make your own kits. Get yourself a drum stick and get creative hit anything u can anything can be a drum sound and for ambient tracks you'll have a unique sound and with some time spent experimenting editing and using fx they'll fit in better than using standard 909 sounds.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandro Ji View Post
Hi there!

I ask myself did I need a Drum Maschine for my Ambient music? If so, which one I should buy?

First, I never used a drum Maschine before!
In fact, I’m not in Drums and I have no experience to arrange rhythms. I’m not interested in EDM music.

But I think it would be a good idea to spice up my electronic ambient music with some nice and decent percussions.

The question is should I buy a decent Drum Maschine like a DSI Tempest or Maschinedrum or will an ipad app and a BeatStep Pro do the job for me? Most important, I need an easy and intuitive way to create rhythms. That’s why I think to buy a dedicated Drum Maschine.

I used to play some Hardware Synthesizer (Pro2, Prophet 12, Rev2 and a Blofeld) and I avoid to start my Ableton Computer for Drums.

I already use an iPad, mainly for FX and recordings. To buy some Drum apps would be a lot of cheaper than a Tempest but if a Hardware Drum Maschine will help me better than I don’t care for the money.

Please give me some advice, very appreciate it!

Thanks a lot for your recommendations!
Not sure if English is your first language, or you are Ninja troller, but I feel I need to tell you that it's 'drum machine', not 'maschine' and any drum machine will work, ambient is about tempo and depth of space, there's no such thing as a drum machine that's suitable for ambient.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
I think that for ambient Nord Drum + good stereo delay & reverb may do the trick.
Very large editing possibilities, response to dynamics and the ability to create non-obvious sounds.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Head
 
interruptor's Avatar
 

What drum machine is best for ambient?
Which guitar amp to use for an unplugged gig?
What meat do you cook for a vegetarian?
What is the best paper color for braille books?

Gearslutz...
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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7Wave's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie munro View Post
maschine would be my first advice
This.

The sample library and effects available in Maschine are excellent for making ambient music.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
I would say a TR-626 and an Alesis Quadraverb or newer effect. The Alesis SR-16 is fun too and still being made to this day. Very good drums & the ability to tune them down to feel right for ambient music.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unicorn74 View Post
I think that for ambient Nord Drum + good stereo delay & reverb may do the trick.
Very large editing possibilities, response to dynamics and the ability to create non-obvious sounds.
100% this, the idea of a drum machine for ambient music is a bit of a niche, but as soon as i saw the title of the thread i thought , nord drum, all the way.Really great for tuned percussion and lovely drum sounds that inhabit a netherworld between electronic and acoustic sounds.Other good options would be a 606 or a digitakt, theres loads of nice ambient videos on youtube with people using the digitakt.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

There are going to be as many answers to your question as there are drum machines.

(Well, maybe -1 as I'm not sure how many folks will advocate the TR909 for ambient, although inevitably there will be someone somewhere dong exactly that!)

For my money, you can have a lot of fun with a Korg Volca Drum for not much capital outlay.

One nice feature of the Drum is the % probability settings for each voice which I think could be useful in an ambient setting; pattern programming/chaining is a bit limited but the % probability settings feature can go some way towards mitigating this by creating endlessly random variations to your patterns.

It's not the most intuitive interface to get to grips with but watch this review/tutorial and spend 1/2hr messing around with it and you'll be up and running in no time. Everything is within a button press or two.

In terms of sound, the Volca Drum is definitely going to provide you with some unusual and original percussive and even melodic tones to use in an ambient setting - it doesn't really feature a conventional drum set which is something I would say one wants to veer away from anyway when working in ambient.

You can get some nice stereo panning going with this box too - again, a feature worth exploring that gives good results at lower tempos.

All-in-all I'd say the Volca Drum is a quirky and fun little package that packs quite a lot of interesting features in for the price. I was surprised by how much it can do and how quick it is to work with once you're past the first 15 mins learning curve. It's not a conventional drum machine, but that's a plus in my book, especially for genres other than four-on-the-floor!

PS As my signature says - words are generally ring rather hollow on an audio forum without WAVs so I hope to be able to post a track of two of Volca Drum soon!
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Sonic Charge Microtonic as a slow BPM is awesome, plus the PAtternarium web tool is amazong for generative patterns and sounds, I use it a lot for ambient beats
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Here for the gear
Thanks a lot for your suggestions! Very appreciated!

First, someone was asking is English my native language? No, I’m German maybe that’s why I wrote Maschine instead of machine. Sorry for my basic English but I hope you understand what I want to say...

There was some suggestions here:

NI Machine
I own one but I don’t like Machine so much. I’m looking for a solution what is independently from a Computer. More and more I want to go dawless. My iPad is an exception because it’s small, mobile and instantly on when I need it.

Digitakt
I had a Digitakt one year ago for a few month but I never felt comfortable with it. This special Digitakt Workflow was not mine. I sold it.


GrooveRider
Hehe, I will tryout. I always thought it’s just a techno / edm machine. But I know it’s a powerful app.

Field recordings and sampling
This is also a good idea to get some unique ambient sounds which can be useful for some rhythm stuff.

Volcas Drums
Definitely I will check the Volca. It’s not a huge investment to try out. Thanks you for mentioning the Volca!

All your other suggestions I will check out e.g. Nord Drums. All your suggestions are welcome!

Honestly, when I see videos from Drum machines mostly I hear EDM stuff. Rarely there are used in an ambient context. Because I’m not in Dance music I was never interested in a drum machine , I think this is also the reason why I feel not comfortable with my NI Machine.

Anyway, it’s quite hard for me to find something what will work for me. That’s why I’m asking here for suggestions.

Thank you @ ALL !
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandro Ji View Post

Anyway, it’s quite hard for me to find something what will work for me. That’s why I’m asking here for suggestions.
It's all about what which machine you like the sound of. Listen to demos of the Vermona DRM. I think it's better suited to down tempo and experimental genres, than say, 4 4 beat at 128 bpm - largely due to its envelopes. You can get a very wide range of sounds out of it, including drones and very large bass tones, for further processing. They're very well made. Give it a listen.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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draig's Avatar
 

I use the Analog Rytm for ambient “drum” sounds... It is able flow in and out of rhythm in an organic way. It can create beautiful tones that don’t need to sound like drums but which have some percussive aspect. Unlike most drum machines, it doesn’t sound mechanical and it can create sounds that that are not immediately identifiable and could be some exotic instrument.

I don’t recommend it for you for two reasons. First, you are not sure what you want and that is a lot of cost. Second, if you didn’t like the Digitakt, you likely won’t get along with the Rytm workflow either.

My recommendation is to just use whatever software synths you have to explore what it is you want to do musically speaking. Once you understand what you want to do, then you can find what you need to get it done.
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Maniac
Sonic Charge's Microtonic is ideal for this sort of thing.

https://soniccharge.com/patternarium...eta-Monopodist
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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jazzcabbage's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandro Ji View Post
GrooveRider
Hehe, I will tryout. I always thought it’s just a techno / edm machine. But I know it’s a powerful app.

I mentioned it because you said you have an iPad you’re using.

It has samples of just about every drum machine you can think of built right in to load and you can load/roll your own to tweak. Basically an extension of a virtual Korg Electribe Sampler and then some.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skypainter View Post
It's all about what which machine you like the sound of. Listen to demos of the Vermona DRM. I think it's better suited to down tempo and experimental genres, than say, 4 4 beat at 128 bpm.
Thank you!
I’ve seen some Videos after you mentioned the Vermona. Yes, this device sounds interesting but it’s really huge! I’m afraid that I don’t have enough space anymore for this big machine.

Hi @ draig !
Sound wise I liked the Digitakt and the Rytm sounds sweet in my ears. Maybe the Rytm is more intuitive to handle than a Digitakt? But you are right, the Rytm cost more than 1.400€ , maybe too much just to find out it is not for me.

Hi @ jazzcabbage !
I have GrooveRider already on my iPad but didn’t use it. I was not aware that I can load own samples in it, this function must be quite new. I know the developer released a lot of updates but the sample options are new for me. Time to check it out. Thanks again for mentioned it!

P.S
Maybe I have to revisiting also Electribe Wave again. This app could be also interesting...

@ dj.anti.matter

Never heard Sonic Charge's Microtonic!
I will have a look!
Thank you all!
Old 1 week ago
  #22
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the_soulcatcher's Avatar
Roland TR-8S surely is an option, too
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

Your ipad will be the cheapest way to use for rhythms.
Anotheer option can be a Arturia Spark, you'll find them around 100 euro's secondhand, you can buy only the software too if you want it.
Lots of historic drummachines/samples in it and handson/intuitive.
You can also load your own samples on it;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEQ8YTqsUJU

There's one for Ipad too; Ispark;

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...uria+spark+ios

If you gonna buy it secondhand ask the seller to remove it from his Arturia account.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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horseface's Avatar
Wasn’t ambient essentially defined as being ‘beatless’ music at one point? What changed? Trollin’?
Old 1 week ago
  #25
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the_soulcatcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseface View Post
Wasn’t ambient essentially defined as being ‘beatless’ music at one point? What changed? Trollin’?
FYI:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambient_music
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Gear Head
 
yewtreemagic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandro J
Never heard Sonic Charge's Microtonic!
I will have a look!
Thank you all!
Another vote for the electronic versatility of Microtonic - its generative Patternarium is a stunning way to choose new kits while you're actually playing your own tracks - you can even copy and paste them directly into Microtonic from the Patternarium!

https://soniccharge.com/patternarium



Martin
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_soulcatcher View Post
Roland TR-8S surely is an option, too
The only one drum machine I ever used (in the early 80’) was a TR707.

I just watched a few YT-Videos about the new TR8S. It seems not bad and the price tag would be ok for me. I will have a deeper look...

Thanks a lot for mentioned it!

@ horseface
Did I mentioned it that I never used drums in my Ambient music before? I feel quite comfortable not to use Drums but people like Nils Frahm motivating me to spice up my music with a little subtile rhythm when needed. I’m not looking for the fat Kicks and Snares...


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NW87dBPjHuU


Hi @ willem1958
Thanks for your input! I will have a close look to the Arturia Spark! I know there is also an app but never installed...


@ yewtreemagic
Thank you too! I will check it out!


Thank you all!
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandro Ji View Post
I just watched a few YT-Videos about the new TR8S. It seems not bad and the price tag would be ok for me. I will have a deeper look...
The TR8s is hardly smaller than the Vermona if size is an issue.

Vermona
desktop: 483 mm x 225 mm x 125 mm (width x depth x height)
rack: 19", 5 U, 90 mm deep (from back of front panel)

3.7 k.g.

Roland TR8s
Width409 mm
16-1/8 inchesDepth263 mm
10-3/8 inchesHeight58 mm
2-5/16 inchesWeight

2.1 kg


I second those suggesting exploring the iPad. The possibilities in iOS music have grown hugely in the couple of years I've had one. I haven't tried GR16.

Try combining some drum sequencer apps, e.g. Ruismaker Euclidean sequencer in the Rozetta bundle from Bram Bros, or Octachron and a couple of flexible synthesizers and roll your own ambient beats. Now's the right time to buy apps! Bram Bos will be on sale on Friday only. See the Audiobus forum for info about sales
Old 1 week ago
  #29
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draig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandro Ji View Post

Hi @ draig !
Sound wise I liked the Digitakt and the Rytm sounds sweet in my ears. Maybe the Rytm is more intuitive to handle than a Digitakt? But you are right, the Rytm cost more than 1.400€ , maybe too much just to find out it is not for me.
I haven’t used the Digitakt to compare it to the Rytm. What I’ve heard from the Digitakt sounds good. For me there’s something special about the analog circuits and fx in the Rytm that really speaks to me.

I find the Elektron boxes good for ambient cause the sequencing is so powerful and flexible and can twist the sounds over time and even play different sounds per step.

I could happily make ambient compositions with just two Rytm’s... bonus to add a Digitone for a bit of polyphony.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
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Soothing Sound's Avatar
Electribe old or new one.

You'd want to add effects on top, to achieve a less earthly drum sounds, (if you make ambient like that).
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