The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Where to start (synth, sample, drum machine, etc.)?
Old 1 day ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Where to start (synth, sample, drum machine, etc.)?

Hi,

I am an amateur musician and I already play guitar, bass and drum. However, I do like making electronic music even if it's not the core of my practice.

I used to make music with a midi controler and a big bunch of VSTI. I got bored messing with too much stuff and I would like to have a simpler setup, where I can quickly sit and make music after work. A friend of mine has a lot of analog gear which I really had fun playing with but I don't know where to start.

I would like to be able to :
-Make drumbeats
-Play synth (bass and keys)
-Mess around with some sounds and loops

All in all, I want to make complete tracks, play them live without busting my bank account.

Which kind of gear do I need? Would I need to buy an individual drum machine, synth and sampler or I can get a quality all in one machine?

Thank you for your help!
Old 1 day ago
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by yannnn View Post
Would I need to buy an individual drum machine, synth and sampler or I can get a quality all in one machine?
A used Fantom-G does all you want and more and sell for a fraction of what they were new. Built-in 24-track digital recorder and 128-track MIDI sequencer. Easy as pie to use.
Old 1 day ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
cogsy's Avatar
 

The question to ask yourself is do you really want a drum machine if you are already a drummer? I think programming in fills would be torture when you could play them 10x faster.

You may want to consider a groove box to start off. That would give you some synths, drums, and something hands-on to program. Electribe is the cheap option. It has a built in synth engine (not analog) so you can make your own sounds, plus synthesizer drums. Model: Samples is similar. Fewer voices but all the controls are exposed. Or you can step up to an MPC (Live or One) which would really give you some of everything. Secondhand Lives are probably easy to come by right now. Secondhand Elektron A4's are stupid cheap right now, and you can do lead, bass, drinks, you name it. It's analog and only four voices, but you can stretch that in all sorts of fun ways. You'll just probably wind up having to record multiple passes to get around the voice limits.

My recommendation is you probably don't need analog. It will be more expensive and more limited if you just want to make tracks.
Old 1 day ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
chaocrator's Avatar
Quote:
I would like to be able to :
-Make drumbeats
-Play synth (bass and keys)
-Mess around with some sounds and loops
seems like you need a groovebox.
Old 1 day ago
  #5
Gear Head
 
Chandro Ji's Avatar
 

Where to start (synth, sample, drum machine, etc.)?


Get all of them (and a powerful Sequencer) in just one little and mobile box!

I would go for a Synthstrom Deluge!
It’s also very mobile, you can make music everywhere because it can be battery powered.
No need for anything else. With this little device you can easily start in electronic music - with fun!

Here is a fine introduction what you can do with the Deluge
by RED MEANS RECORDING



Deluge is good for many styles of electronic music
There are many videos out there...







Maybe a Roland MC-707is also a good option!

Here is a session with a Deluge and a MC-707

Old 22 hours ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Thank you for your answers!

These seem to be nice pieces of gear! You are right, I do have an electronic drum (Roland TD9) which makes beat making much quicker, but the recording process is more complicated (maybe I didn't found the right way/tools to do so).

Correct me if I'm wrong; I understand that a groovebox is an all in one machine that contains instruments sounds and a sampler as well? Which means that I can use the onboard sounds or import my drumkit sounds (or any other samples) ?

I didn't know that samplers could come with included instruments.
Old 21 hours ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 
kwaping's Avatar
You might also like the new MPC Live II. It’s a “one and done” box for what you want to do.
Old 19 hours ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
was silents's Avatar
Agree with MPC Live.
Old 17 hours ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
syntonica's Avatar
Depends on your groovebox. Some are just a box of sounds (drums, bass, pads, leads, etc.) and some are samplers/sample players.

What's your budget? We can give you just the right suggestions then, rather than the usual scattershot.
Old 16 hours ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

There's a good selection of "grooveboxes" out there.

That, or just get an iPad.
Old 14 hours ago
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by was silents View Post
Agree with MPC Live.
+2

To that I would add:Also get a MIDI keyboard controller (a keyboard with no sounds of its own)—something you can plug into the MPC to play its built-in piano, synth,and bass sounds. The controller could be as small as an Arturia Keystep, or something larger with 49-88 full size keys.

You could also get any synth or digital piano with MIDI jacks (or USB MIDI) to serve as a controller to play the MPC’s sounds.

(Of course you can play, say, a piano sound, using the MPC’s drum pads—but if you play guitar already I am going to guess that a piano-style keyboard will feel like a more natural way to play chord progressions; lots of guitarists can play a little piano.)
Old 8 hours ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
kwaping's Avatar
Actually, Pad Perform is really awesome for chords, progressions, and other playing. I call it "cheat mode".
Old 6 hours ago
  #13
Here for the gear
 

You are right, there are a lot of choices on the market. My budget is between 350-750$us (500-1000$can). I guess I could wait and get a used MPC Live? Or a used Elektron A4? The later sounds great, but I must admit I like the digital approach and possibilities of the first. I can see there is an Elektron A4 MKI one the market in my city for 875$us.

Things is that I already am a musician and I wonder if I would be limited with an electribe. I read the it is one of the most intuitive to quickly create tracks (but has a limite memory, which means I wouldn't be able the create complex grooves). I have already tested the Electribe MX (blue one with a tube) a couple of years ago. It was fun, but the thing was complex! (High learning curve I could notice, you wouldn't make music right away with the thing)

Thank you for your help!
Old 5 hours ago
  #14
Lives for gear
 
syntonica's Avatar
Actually, a new MPC One fits your budget fine. Or, wait a bit as the new Live II rolls out, the older Lives will start to kick loose and show up secondhand.

The new Electribes are fantastic sounding and fun with just the right amount of knobiness and buttoniness. My only gripe is the typical bad Korg interface menu diving, but this is really only if you need to do some fine tuning. It's well worth seeking one out to take for a spin. You just need to decide if you want a sampler or a synth version
Old 5 hours ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
was silents's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by yannnn View Post
I have already tested the Electribe MX (blue one with a tube) a couple of years ago. It was fun, but the thing was complex! (High learning curve I could notice, you wouldn't make music right away with the thing)

Thank you for your help!
Well, whatever you choose will require a significant investment of both money and time. The learning curve will usually be proportional to the capability of the instrument and its ability to accommodate your compositions.

The MPC will be a major learning curve.
Old 4 hours ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 
steelyfan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by syntonica View Post
Actually, a new MPC One fits your budget fine. Or, wait a bit as the new Live II rolls out, the older Lives will start to kick loose and show up secondhand.

The new Electribes are fantastic sounding and fun with just the right amount of knobiness and buttoniness. My only gripe is the typical bad Korg interface menu diving, but this is really only if you need to do some fine tuning. It's well worth seeking one out to take for a spin. You just need to decide if you want a sampler or a synth version
Have you used the drum machine electribe? I’m curious how the synth engine sounds too, I heard it’s essentially one oscillator from the King Korg. I like the Electribe drum sounds, just not sure if you can get much variation from the four bar limit?
Old 4 hours ago
  #17
Gear Head
 

How about this:
Arturia drumbrute impact $260 used
Arturia microbrute $200 ish or less
Tc electronics ditto looper $85
All analog. Except the looper pedal. Easiest setup to learn and hits the analog feel you might want.

The microbrute is monophonic however. If you add another $200 to this price you can get a used korg minilogue and be able to play 4 note chords or mono. There are others in this price bracket too if you shop around. But everything here is kept with analog in mind.
Old 4 hours ago
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowfood View Post
How about this:
Arturia drumbrute impact $260 used
Arturia microbrute $200 ish or less
Tc electronics ditto looper $85
All analog. Except the looper pedal. Easiest setup to learn and hits the analog feel you might want.

The microbrute is monophonic however. If you add another $200 to this price you can get a used korg minilogue and be able to play 4 note chords or mono. There are others in this price bracket too if you shop around. But everything here is kept with analog in mind.
Seems like an interesting option, that wouldn't cost an arm! Thing is that I love playing synth and classic drum machines sounds and feel, but as I already have GAS in the guitar department (my main instrument), I don't want to go too far for starting! Of course if I could, I would get a great synth, a dedicated drumbox and a sampler.

My friend has a bunch of Volka synth, which are nice, but found that I needed more than one or two to create the tracks I wanted. However, I love the fact that you can quickly jam with them and that's the feeling I'm looking for : jamming.
Old 3 hours ago
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yannnn View Post
Seems like an interesting option, that wouldn't cost an arm! Thing is that I love playing synth and classic drum machines sounds and feel, but as I already have GAS in the guitar department (my main instrument), I don't want to go too far for starting! Of course if I could, I would get a great synth, a dedicated drumbox and a sampler.

My friend has a bunch of Volka synth, which are nice, but found that I needed more than one or two to create the tracks I wanted. However, I love the fact that you can quickly jam with them and that's the feeling I'm looking for : jamming.
The drumbrute impact is jam city. So is the minilogue/monologue. Each has its own sequencer and you just sync them up.
Old 3 hours ago
  #20
Lives for gear
 
syntonica's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyfan View Post
Have you used the drum machine electribe? I’m curious how the synth engine sounds too, I heard it’s essentially one oscillator from the King Korg. I like the Electribe drum sounds, just not sure if you can get much variation from the four bar limit?
I have the sampler version of the new Electribe, which only has a few of the VA oscillators and only the Korg filters. The synth version has way more VA oscillators and a I think 6 filter types, including an acid filter. The tech is all from the King Korg, like one oscillator Lite, but is also one huge sweet spot.

The new Electribes do pattern chaining, so you can go up to any number of measures and even do double-time patterns to get two measures of 32nd-notes per pattern. It's not quite a song mode, but you can use chaining for that in a pinch. The best part is that you can export your stems per pattern for arranging in your DAW if that's the way you roll. Or, you can use the Event Recorder to record a whole song and record the playback.

Either model will take a little digging in for some stuff, but the important stuff is mostly intuitive. Whatever gear you get, there will be a learning curve if it actually does something useful.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump