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Anybody got an MFB 503 Drum machine? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 30th August 2008
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Anybody got an MFB 503 Drum machine?

I know it has been asked before but i was hoping maybe some more people might now own an MFB 503 drum machine. I was thinking of buying one but i cant find any reviews of it anywhere and not many sound examples. If anyone has one i would like to know what the sound quality is like in a mix and maybe more importantly how the bass drum sounds and any general things about it. Is there a good reason why its so cheap? If someone could give it a full review that would be great.

Cheers,
Paul
Old 30th August 2008
  #2
It's cheap because it's made from cheap components, and because Herr Fricke believes in providing affordable tools to provide for musicicians. thumbsup
I fumbled around with one, but never got deep into it. operation was straightforward, and the sound ok. If I was loaded with cash I'd pick up one. The eurorack module SEQ-01 I'll buy anyway.

The sound? The overall tone of the box you can hear here:
Demos
Old 1st September 2008
  #3
i seem to like the 502 demo more, sorta CR78-ish.


anyone know whats the differences btwn 502 n 503 ? only operational, i.e. same sound... or indeed they got different hw circuits?
Old 1st September 2008
  #4
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Ben F's Avatar
I had a bit of a play, would have to admit I like the Korg ER-1 more.
Old 1st September 2008
  #5
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Justynfromnz's Avatar
 

I have One. I got it at that funky Synth shop in Tokyo from that other thread. I find the Kick and snare really good. The kick is really malleable and sits well in a mix. The hats a bit brittle kinda though... that could be just me ... I haven't tried the other sounds yet. If you like i could post samples for you when i get in to work tomorrow. My favorite thing about it though is that its tiny... like the same size as a x-box controller kinda, but flatter. And weighs almost nothing. Only gripe i have is that the stereo outputs are REALLY noisy. Its ok on the kick and snare cause they have their own outputs that aren't that noisy. But the stereo output is quite noticeable. Its pretty damn cheap though so you gotta love that!
Old 2nd September 2008
  #6
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Phaidon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineChemical View Post
I've got a question: with the kick and snare outs, when those are engaged, does that take them out of the stereo outputs?

And hell yes on the demos, foo!
Yeap,they're subtracted from the mix out.
I got one a couple of months ago and for the money is a nobrainer.
They kick is solid and I use the cl.hats quite often as well...
The bottom line: a nice little unit!

Definitely recommended.
Old 3rd September 2008
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Cheers for the replies, i think ill definately pick one up so. You cant really go wrong for that price but i would love to hear some samples Justyn, if you could post some that would be great, i would like to know how noisy them outputs are. Cheers.
Old 3rd September 2008
  #8
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Phaidon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
Cheers for the replies, i think ill definately pick one up so. You cant really go wrong for that price but i would love to hear some samples Justyn, if you could post some that would be great, i would like to know how noisy them outputs are. Cheers.

No worry,the outs are fine.No noiz.
My only grip is the small buttons for the indiv.drums,but I use the keys of my keyboard...

Cheers
Old 4th September 2008
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineChemical View Post
I just did some rearranging in the studio so I've got some room to accomodate this thing. I may give it a shot in a couple weeks.
Rearranging for a 6 inch box? heh
Old 6th September 2008
  #10
Gear Nut
 
DGTom's Avatar
 

The 503 looks super-bad! Love the screen front & centre!

If the midi-cv eurorack module I ordered works out ok, I'll get the Step64 once I have built the modular up abit. Would be great for seq'ing my S-50 over midi as well! 16 step, 4-voice polyphonic FTW!

MFB make some cool stuff! Theres a bunch of modules on my 'to buy list'
Old 6th September 2008
  #11
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
would like to know what the sound quality is like in a mix

Mix Demo
Old 7th September 2008
  #12
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Demo was made by Hyboid and he told me the snare is compressed (before you buy the unit and notice the snare doesn't sound like that).

Matrixsynth: MFB503 Audio (Hyboid)
Old 7th September 2008
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Cheers, i think im sold as well. It sounds pretty clear and the snare does sound suprisingly good.

I think i might go for that combination as well: Jomox Mbase and the 503. I was finding it hard to justify paying so much money for a jomox 888/999 but they say by far the best thing about the jomox is the bass drum and the hi hats are sampled on the 888/999 so it seems like it could be a great combination for around 500 yoyos/dollars which is a fraction of the price of a full jomox.
Old 8th September 2008
  #14
Jose Ramón Alvarado Villa
 
Don Solaris's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
the snare is compressed
@DC: That's just in case you buy the MFB-503 and start staring at the screen with disbelief!!!












Old 8th September 2008
  #15
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
Yeah, sounds really nice!
Old 8th September 2008
  #16
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
Is it me, or did the price go up? I thought they were only $350?

*edit* WAIT... no hand clap?? WTF?
Old 17th February 2009
  #17
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Well, I just ordered one of these puppies. The Jomox's and the MachineDrum look and sound amazing, but their prices are so prohibitive...so I was looking around and discovered this thing, listened to a few samples, and I ordered it without any hesitation.

So, here's my plans for it. I have a Doepfer modular setup, it has an A-137 module, which does insane things to drums. I do industrial music, so dirty, fat, distorted drums are a must. I'll be able to take this thing, run it through the A-137, and then possibly run it through one (or several?) of my various filters in my modular rack. The end result will be pure chaos. I like how you can route each drum to its own output, so I can leave the kicks clean and only effect the snares or cymbals, for example...should be interesting and fun. We're about halfway done putting together our new album, and I think having some drums from hell are going to be very important as the songwriting comes to a close and the production goes into full force.

I'll try and get some samples up for you guys to check out once we get this new gear properly situated into our workflow, but I think it's going to be absolutely perfect. I can't stress enough how awesome the Doepfer A-137 is for making drums sound more..."industrial"...
Old 18th February 2009
  #18
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rids's Avatar
 

Care to post a clip of the A137 in action Would like to hear what your talking about.
Old 24th February 2009
  #19
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Okay, I got the MFB-503 in this past friday, so I've had a couple of days to play with it. My opinion so far? It sounds pretty good, I'm not disappointed in the sound. The interface is kind of blah, not real intuitive, but what do you expect for a $400 analog drum machine from a boutique synth module manufacturer from Germany? It definitely lacks some polish, but for my needs I think it'll be just fine. The built in step sequencer is so-so, but for $400 I wouldn't even really expect one to be there at all. If you want more polish, like a proper retail product, you might look at one of the Korg or Roland groovebox type of drum machines. But this is definitely cool.

Anyways...rids asked for a demonstration of the A-137, and I've done a little better than that. I've got kind of a step by step demonstration of how a modular can be used to manipulate the sounds of a drum machine.

First, the link:
http://www.doomsdaytechnologies.com/...dular-Demo.mp3

So, here's the deal. I played this thing in 8 measure chunks, and in each section, I patch in an additional module. It's pretty cool, because you can do whatever you want to this thing and make it sound like total chaos, where there's hardly a beat any more, and it's just a bunch of noise...then you gate it with some 16th notes and suddenly it's a beat again. So, here's the description of what all I did:

1st section: Just the raw drums of the MFB-503. Terrible pattern, but it doesn't take much to get started. You'll see.
2nd section: The Doepfer A-137 module is introduced and tweaked a little
3rd section: The Doepfer A-124 Wasp filter is added in high pass mode, and tweaked a little
4th section: The Doepfer A-124 Wasp filter is set to low pass mode, and tweaked a little
5th section: The Doepfer A-146 LFO module starts modulating the Wasp filter, and yes, I tweak it a bit
6th section: I set up a midi track playing 16th notes seperated by 16th rests, which gates the ADSR module, to open and close my VCA module.
Old 24th February 2009
  #20
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
Very nice. I have a Doepfer MS-404. This thing has made me seriously consider starting a Doepfer Modular.
Old 17th August 2009
  #21
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FS: MFB-503 Drum Machine and EH Holiest Grail

$335 shipped in the USA for the MFB-503. MINT with original box, power supply, and manual.

$225 shipped in the USA for the Holiest Grail. MINT with original box, power supply, and manual.

taco6 at yahoo dot com
Old 14th October 2011
  #22
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moonK's Avatar
 

ordered one today $329 shipped to u.s.

i'm aware of the noise issue, i hope it's not too big of an annoyance. I wish it had a clap? i absolutely adore the clap on the 522.

tried to get the tempest, but seems like i'll have to wait awhile... shrug.
Old 14th October 2011
  #23
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lovekrafty's Avatar
 

Yeah I,m torn between getting the 503 or a Jomox xbase 09
I have a Machinedrum but I,m not digging it for kicks or snares
I,d like some kick, snare analog to add to the machinedrum,s sequencer.

Anyone tried them both out, opinions?
I am digging the 503 demos out there, not a lot of xbase demos.

Cheers
LK
Old 14th October 2011
  #24
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moonK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovekrafty View Post
Yeah I,m torn between getting the 503 or a Jomox xbase 09
I have a Machinedrum but I,m not digging it for kicks or snares
I,d like some kick, snare analog to add to the machinedrum,s sequencer.

Anyone tried them both out, opinions?
I am digging the 503 demos out there, not a lot of xbase demos.

Cheers
LK
ah, i have the jazzbase 03, it's great, i would recommend that over the 503 if you had to choose
Old 3rd August 2012
  #25
Gear Head
 

I have both and I am currently sampling both too.

Advantages of MFB:

-IMHO the MFB sounds better and sits much better in the mix than the Xbase 09. The 09, aswell as most of the Jomox stuff I've tried (Mbrane, 888) has very weird piercing highs on many settings wich i find totally unusable unless using lotsa eq.

-It also features analog toms, wich i find more interesting than the extra sampled sounds on the Jomox.

-It has no bugs, unlike the Jomox. I wouldn't gig with the 09.

-It's MUCH cheaper.


Drawbacks of MFB:

-If you're looking for a 909ish drum machine, the MFB-503 sounds less 909-like than the Jomox. (This is a plus for me actually, but some might not like this.)

-The kick and snare are much less "maleable", it's a more limited drum machine from a sound designer's point of view.

- If I remember correctly, the MFB has no elektron style "parameter locks", so making bassdrum sequences with different notes is impossible unless you sample it. The jomox has this feature wich is interesting for live use.

- It uses encoders (like the 888 and 999 jomoxes) instead of knobs, so live tweaks are slower (although more precise in some situations). In most situations I prefer knobs like on the 09, and they're probably more durable/easier to change.



I really feel the 503 is a bargain, and i love the sound.

On my Xbase 09 and 503 background noise is about the same. So, I don't think it's something you should be worried about.


BTW, im not connected to MFB in any way. I also think their 522 is kinda weak sounding and I much prefer the MIAMI by acidlab or even a 606 for that kind of sound.
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