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Tell me about modern programmable drum machines
Old 17th April 2020
  #1
Lives for gear
Tell me about modern programmable drum machines

Always wanted one and perhaps with the end of the world as we know it getting near - it's as a good time as any to consider getting one.

Also emphasis here on 'programmable', as in creating your own drums using synth engine, so not the likes of RD-8 or Drumbrute

Thus far I know of several like DSI Tempest, Elektron Machinedrum, Analog Rytm and Analog Four (apparently some people say it's a better drum machine than AR?) - and it is worth noting that any demo of them that I hear makes me want all of them since they all sound great. Not to mention all of them having great interfaces.

And since they are all in the same price ballpark (especially secondhand) - the only question is which one is the most versatile?

As I understand Tempest is probably the ultimate one with Machinedrum being a close second since I've read Analog Rytm is limited to certain "drum types" per voice and Analog Four isn't really a drum machine per se, however its synth engine is more or less on the same level as Tempest (except 4 voices versus 6, duh).

Also if there are other similarly great drum machines that I don't know of - go ahead, recommend, discuss.
Old 17th April 2020
  #2
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Tempest doesn’t have user samples like the Analog RYTM. Analog RYTM is the best there is, IMO, if you want an analog drum machine that samples (mki can import sample, mkii can sample directly as well as resample). It’s a monster, and then you have the elektron sequencer. My main set up is an akai Force and various keyboards, but in my room it’s an analog Rytm mki hooked up via overbridge to ableton and a launchpad pro. It’s great.

Last edited by DStep ATL; 19th April 2020 at 01:24 AM..
Old 17th April 2020
  #3
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
Ok so

Rytm: yes there are limited types of analog drum engines, but you can layer them with your own samples. I think up to 64MB of samples per project. 1GB sample storage on the drive. You can mangle the samples by changing start point/loop point per step, and automate LOADS of stuff per step.
Machinedrum: Same deal, mangling, only 2MB sample ram (I think?) as it is a more primitive machine, and some interesting synthesis options. I think I’d prefer one to a Rytm.
Tempest: You can’t add samples, it has a lot built in but what if you don’t like them? You can’t mangle their start/loop points, but it is a proper 6 voice polysynth with Curtis filters, DCOs and Prophet VS waves (some of which were incorrectly looped so buzz a little) you can do a lot with the mod matrix and far more melodic 6voice-instrument stuff than the Elektron’s
A4: No samples, no pre-built drum algorithms that you can wear a cap and nod and tweak blindly, you have to build up your own analog drum sounds, which is doable, great synthesis possibilities.

So I’d pick which matters more, sample mangling or poly sounds.

I don’t own any of these by the way, but I’ve read a lot of manuals.

I bought a Gotharman because I’m odd and need to have both, and the craziest effects around
Old 17th April 2020
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Gotharmann... the LD-3 or the Polyspaze depending on where your tsdtes lie. VERY powerful little boxes, a refreshingly different from the same old same old ...
Old 18th April 2020
  #5
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You might also want to take a look at the Korg Volca Drum and Teenage Engineering PO-32. I have the latter and find it to be a very fun little device with a cool sequencer. Check out some videos on YouTube.

Of those you mention, I'd go with the Analog Rytm, based on videos I've watched.
Old 18th April 2020
  #6
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyB View Post
Gotharmann... the LD-3 or the Polyspaze depending on where your tsdtes lie. VERY powerful little boxes, a refreshingly different from the same old same old ...
I should have a Polyspaze mkii by this time next month (post might be f***ing slow)
Old 18th April 2020
  #7
The machinedrum is the only unit you listed that i have not owned.

between the other 3 in terms of being a drum machine. the rytm wins in a landslide

i honestly HATED the tempest. didn’t like the sound engine for drums at all! that being said - it was a nice six voice synthesizer. but everytime i needed drums i was forced to use their corny samples. part of it was my lack of programming skill and part of it were i didn’t find the envelopes snappy enough. to me it was a six voice synth

i hated the sound of the analog four in general though you could coax some nice kicks out of it

the rytm is my runaway favorite. the analog filters and summing just make everything sound punchy and alive. the high pass trick on kicks is amazing.

to me the rytm is a future classic. a piece i will never sell
Old 18th April 2020
  #8
Old 18th April 2020
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku View Post
TR-8S?
Read the op
Old 18th April 2020
  #10
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Jamie munro's Avatar
Rytm is a monster, undisputed daddy IMO

A4 should never be underestimated as a drum synth though, it's truly a beast and capable of some very very good sounds and the kicks, ooooh the kicks , I've always that normally with a synth you'll find you want more whack when creating hits, with the a4 that is simply not an issue partly due to its very very clever envelope and lfo options

Maschine has great drum syntheis engines since a few years too, very capable engines with a massive amount of variations and the timbre available are pretty damn hard to beat
Old 18th April 2020
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie munro View Post
Read the op
I'm obviously missing something here. Don't get it what you mean I might be tired and should go to sleep...
Old 18th April 2020
  #12
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syntonica's Avatar
I think the Machinedrum UW is the winner here: synthesis, samples, song mode.

If you can find one...
Old 18th April 2020
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraku View Post
I'm obviously missing something here. Don't get it what you mean I might be tired and should go to sleep...
line#3

op wants something programmable, 8s is not, it plays samples and has no actual synthesis engine, look at rytm, a4, tempest etc


Old 18th April 2020
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie munro View Post
line#3

op wants something programmable, 8s is not, it plays samples and has no actual synthesis engine, look at rytm, a4, tempest etc


It does.. not very deep, but the 808, 909 kits etc are synthesized, not sampled.

And with the fx it can get pretty deep as well.
Old 18th April 2020
  #15
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Jamie munro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPrinsen View Post
It does.. not very deep, but the 808, 909 kits etc are synthesized, not sampled.

And with the fx it can get pretty deep as well.

so you start with a raw wave form, it goes through envelopes, filters, lfo dedicated to itself etc in order to create a 909 kick or snare?
no it does not, you are spewing/confusing the so called acb as synthesis, that is not what it is

and fx is not synthesis either
Old 19th April 2020
  #16
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jbuonacc's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perplexo View Post
You might also want to take a look at the Korg Volca Drum and Teenage Engineering PO-32. I have the latter and find it to be a very fun little device with a cool sequencer. ...
the guy is shopping SUVs and you tell him to buy a Go Kart?
Old 19th April 2020
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuonacc View Post
the guy is shopping SUVs and you tell him to buy a Go Kart?
Haha Yeah, why not?
Old 19th April 2020
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Jamie munro's Avatar
GO KART ARE WAY MORE FUN THAN SUV TBF
Old 19th April 2020
  #19
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Really been digging into the RYTM today now that I added a digitone to go with it, I already enjoyed it, but using it in its own dedicated set up is great. Digitone and Rytm via overbridge with ableton as a mixer/fx rack/arranger is the best of both worlds. I’m going to end up having to buy a Rytm Mkii like I should have the first time, because blending a punchy/snappy hi passed kick with a low pass filtered boomy sub can make a brilliant 808 type sound, and now I’d like to be able to resample them together.

Just wanted to reiterate, the RYTM is outstanding. Recording drum tracks over overbridge with the distortion, verb/delay, and compressor makes epic drums for hiphop. Being able to P lock the filter on the sub bass kick, and p lock verb on snares. It’s truly a masterpiece.

Sorry, rant over.
Old 19th April 2020
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie munro View Post
line#3

op wants something programmable, 8s is not, it plays samples and has no actual synthesis engine, look at rytm, a4, tempest etc


Nope. 8S has analogue modelling drum synths and in addition has sample engine for other sounds.

If we compare 8S to some of the original drum synths (808 and 909):
For example 808 and 909 sounds (in addition to lots of others) can be programmed/tweaked the same way, with same parameters, as the original 808 and 909. TR-8S has a lot of parameters you can tweak in addition to the traditional 808/909 parameters. For example adding slow LFO to kick drum sound fabulous when it has some distortion on it and wobbles up and down slowly, giving an eerie feel.

There are at least tuning/envelopes/LFOs/filters/effect for each sound. TR-8S is much deeper than it looks.
Old 19th April 2020
  #21
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraze View Post
Also emphasis here on 'programmable', as in creating your own drums using synth engine, so not the likes of RD-8 or Drumbrute

Thus far I know of several like DSI Tempest, Elektron Machinedrum, Analog Rytm and Analog Four (apparently some people say it's a better drum machine than AR?) - and it is worth noting that any demo of them that I hear makes me want all of them since they all sound great. Not to mention all of them having great interfaces.

And since they are all in the same price ballpark (especially secondhand) - the only question is which one is the most versatile?

As I understand Tempest is probably the ultimate one with Machinedrum being a close second since I've read Analog Rytm is limited to certain "drum types" per voice and Analog Four isn't really a drum machine per se, however its synth engine is more or less on the same level as Tempest (except 4 voices versus 6, duh).

Also if there are other similarly great drum machines that I don't know of - go ahead, recommend, discuss.
I would consider MC-707. You can program 8 parts, and with each being poly synth among others (also drums as one part, so one can go crazy, when treating whole as only drum machine) you can make chords as percussive sounds and synth engine looks complex enough. Although I honestly confess, I didn't try that one.

From the one you liked so far, I have Tempest, AR mk2 and A4 mk2:
I love A4 as a bass and kick drum machine in one part. Recently I discovered that one can input voice one into voice two as one oscillator and process it further (up to four voices), so in theory you can get quite complex patch with two voices panned to one channel, then two voices as another channel and you can have stereo craziness, but with limited polyphony.
AR is instant drum machine. Sounds superb and works as a fast creative device.
Tempest needs some time before one starts making songs. But it is worth it. And it has worst distortion I ever heard. Also: don't expect delay to be sound delay as it is only gate delay.
Old 19th April 2020
  #22
Gear Head
 

From the list, I have only MD UW that IMHO still kick ass on the digital field.
I have also Kawai XD-5 and Waldorf Attack (VST. HW rack ia also available) which are just drum expanders in a sense they don't have built in sequencer, but have flexibility to sculpt your own sets and therefore worth of checking.

My recommendation is to pick one of the Elektron machines for their excellent sequencers and pick Attack VST/iOS application to support it with even more detailed drum programming.

Last edited by Sieniwave; 19th April 2020 at 05:21 PM..
Old 19th April 2020
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie munro View Post
so you start with a raw wave form, it goes through envelopes, filters, lfo dedicated to itself etc in order to create a 909 kick or snare?
no it does not, you are spewing/confusing the so called acb as synthesis, that is not what it is

and fx is not synthesis either
It might not have your standard envelopes, filters etc - or at least full control over it - but it is still synthesized. It is not a sample being played.

So you can think it is not in the same league, but you can’t just ignore it is drum synthesis.

And I think fx is also part of sound design. Technically is may not be synthesis, but rather sound processing, but that is exactly what a filter in a synth does as well.
Old 19th April 2020
  #24
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPrinsen View Post
It might not have your standard envelopes, filters etc - or at least full control over it - but it is still synthesized. It is not a sample being played.

So you can think it is not in the same league, but you can’t just ignore it is drum synthesis.

And I think fx is also part of sound design. Technically is may not be synthesis, but rather sound processing, but that is exactly what a filter in a synth does as well.
Isn't it against this guideline?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraze View Post
Also emphasis here on 'programmable', as in creating your own drums using synth engine, so not the likes of RD-8 or Drumbrute
Isn't TR-8S more like those drum machines, that are programmable in some degree, but far from AR, A4 or Tempest?
Old 19th April 2020
  #25
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Here is an example of what the RYTM can do. Everything but the bells and lead are done on the RYTM, all drums and hits and flute and pad.

https://soundcloud.com/soprano-atl/dark-nights

You can easily make entire songs on it with sampled chords and one shots.
Old 19th April 2020
  #26
Here for the gear
Im.impressed with mpc x because it can sequence old pre midi synths. It's really fast to get stuff written has a scale mode function where you have your pads to modes and scales of your choice. Has a 8 track recorder looper Easy to interface with computer...the controller mode tho I had a hard time to get going because of crashes but in standalone mode it is awsome. The effects not very good wish they would put a h9000 in the next mpc
Old 19th April 2020
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by normanion View Post
Isn't it against this guideline?



Isn't TR-8S more like those drum machines, that are programmable in some degree, but far from AR, A4 or Tempest?
fair enough, sorry missed that.
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