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Should I get a drummachine or a grooveboks in my setup? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 7th September 2011
  #1
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kjellg's Avatar
 

Should I get a drummachine or a grooveboks in my setup?

Hi everybody!

First I will inform you of my present keyboard rigg:

Synthesizers.com(44 modules including the sequencer Q119)
Minimoog Voyager+VX-351
Korg MS 2000
Roland D-50
ABS Minimax
Fender Rhodes
Hammond B3
Yamaha grand Touch(GT-2)

I would like to have some kind of drummachine or perhaps a groovebox, but I cannot decide what would be the best option.
I dont know very much about the differences between a drummachine and a groovebox, but I understand that the groovebox have some kind of synth and sequencers in adition to the drumpart.

My budget are 300 to 500 us.
I want something which are relatively simple to use and of course a nice sound. I dont mind to buy a second hand one.
It must be possible to sync it with the synths.

I have listen to some youtubes and like the Korg Electribes, Roland groovebox and similar.
Also the Akai MPC 500 seems to be a very nice one.

It is difficult to decide what to buy since there are very many products in this field.
If you can give me some advice based on your own experiences, it would be a very good help for me!

Thanks
Old 7th September 2011
  #2
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BTByrd's Avatar
If you can save up a bit more, I'd suggest trying to pick up a used Elektron Machinedrum (the first version, non-UW, non-plus-drive). The Machinedrum is the perfect pairing for monosynths and modulars; you can use the MD to sequence your Voyager (and MS2000) over MIDI and use its individual outputs to trigger the envelopes from your dotcom.
Old 7th September 2011
  #3
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My view is unless you want an analog drum machine, go with drum plug-ins and or samples. ITB drums are cheap or free depending on how much flexibility you want. If you do go analog, then you may find a Vermona DRM MkII on ebay for about that price. I don't know what kind of music this is for or sound you are hunting, but I dig mine. Also, you can get individual euro analog drum modules and mix them in with your samples for some added sound options.
Old 7th September 2011
  #4
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incurablebeatlus's Avatar
mpc 60. midi seq, and solid as a rock. sample some drums into it and enjoy 12bit crunch. over your budget but not by too far a stretch.
Old 8th September 2011
  #5
instead of an MPC500 get the MPC 1000 (or the 60 if you can find it)
get JJ OS
done
Old 28th September 2011
  #6
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Great list of gear you got. I just decided to add a dedicated drum machine to my setup too. I got a motif, les paul goldtop, and a yamaha bass. I had been using my motif for my drum machine, but I like having standalone dedicated instruments with their own sound character for each instrument where possible. So I just scored a used mpc 500 for $245 on ebay.

You could definitely get one in your price range if you want, but mpc60's are going for $400-500 right now, and I'd have got one of those if I had enough. An mpc1000 or mpc2000 could be had for $300-400. I just didn't have enough so I went with the 500. But if your just using it for drums like me, and want to save some money the 500 will get the job done and give you the mpc sound/timing.

Some ppl talk down on it but mainly because of its limited sequencer for full-fledged production, but as just a drum machine it sounds great and has the famous mpc swing. I'd go mpc over the others you mentioned if your only looking for drums. The others you mentioned are great for sampling music, but for drums the mpc's are the best imo and would sound awesome in a mix with your B3, rhodes, and moog.

Check out "the funkscribe" on youtube to see what I mean. He's got a bunh of vintage keyboards and jams on them over beats he lays down on an mpc2000. goodluck
Old 28th September 2011
  #7
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Here's the vid I mentioned

Old 28th September 2011
  #8
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sorry. what is the difference between a drummachine and a groovebox? are you serious?

MAybe you shoud get a Rythm box ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv0PYG1g_iY
Old 28th September 2011
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archfrenemy View Post
My view is unless you want an analog drum machine, go with drum plug-ins and or samples. ITB drums are cheap or free depending on how much flexibility you want. If you do go analog, then you may find a Vermona DRM MkII on ebay for about that price. I don't know what kind of music this is for or sound you are hunting, but I dig mine. Also, you can get individual euro analog drum modules and mix them in with your samples for some added sound options.
Its not about the sounds its about the sequencer..of cause you dont need anything else than an iphone to produce music.
But some things are more fun than others. Wether hiring a real drummer is fun can be discussed. But iTB drum programming?
I think the drummachine emulations like the ones from D-16 are usefull. A bit stiff in relation to real drummachines, but allready better than plain editor work.
You should at least ge a cheap electribe and maybe use it as sequencer for ITB sounds. I ve an old es-1 for less than 100.- it is allready very beneficial. A machinedrum is also not too bad.. it usually brings content..and a 808 just works.. wether an mpc or native instruments machine is the better option? lets say.. machine is not too bad really even wehn its no indepndent hardware.. Better than the Mpc´s from the OS.. not as funky as the machine drum.. but more sound options....

In any case you should get familar with drum machines or => DAW independent sequencing.. dont really matters which one you choose for a start.
Old 28th September 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3phase View Post
Its not about the sounds its about the sequencer..of cause you dont need anything else than an iphone to produce music.
But some things are more fun than others. Wether hiring a real drummer is fun can be discussed. But iTB drum programming?
I think the drummachine emulations like the ones from D-16 are usefull. A bit stiff in relation to real drummachines, but allready better than plain editor work.
You should at least ge a cheap electribe and maybe use it as sequencer for ITB sounds. I ve an old es-1 for less than 100.- it is allready very beneficial. A machinedrum is also not too bad.. it usually brings content..and a 808 just works.. wether an mpc or native instruments machine is the better option? lets say.. machine is not too bad really even wehn its no indepndent hardware.. Better than the Mpc´s from the OS.. not as funky as the machine drum.. but more sound options....

In any case you should get familar with drum machines or => DAW independent sequencing.. dont really matters which one you choose for a start.
Why spend money on gear for it's stand alone sequencer? You can program drums through recording software, programs, phone apps, ipad apps, midi drum pads... All of which are dirt cheap or free and infinitely more flexible than a hardware step sequencer. Personally, I would rather spend my money on analog sounds. That is what ends up on my tracks, unless I mic the buttons on a step sequencer one day.

Sample based stuff is redundant to me since all of that is easier in the box. I did own a Diabolical circuit bent TR-707 that was pretty sweet! (sample based, but bent samples) But even that, I usually sequenced through the DAW to save programming hassles.
Old 28th September 2011
  #11
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tvsky's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by archfrenemy View Post
Why spend money on gear for it's stand alone sequencer?
the feel , timing and swing
Old 28th September 2011
  #12
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I like Native Instruments Maschine ...

One of the things you may appreciate as a player of keyboards and synths is the easy way you can arrange patterns to create songs to play along with ... Instead of just jamming to some endless loop or pattern ...

It is also nice to record with in a DAW if you're the recording type ... (Although it still has a little ways to go there ... It's better in standalone mode ... But it's a good place to start with a project then transport it to a DAW later ... )

If you don't have a computer involved, then this isn't such a good idea ... But there is an iPad version apparently ... Which is interesting but I haven't looked at it much ... )

Personally, I would have preferred something standalone ... But nothing else really comes close, though, in the price range ... Electribes are cute -- I've owned many -- but just too limited ... (Oddly enough, i've never really gelled with the Roland Grooveboxes ... I have that covered on my Fantom X anyway ... )

But there are many benefits to having it on a PC/laptop/or maybe even iPad ... It's less expensive ... The number of kits and patterns is staggering and they are quite good ... You can run VST instruments and more importantly effects ... Though I'm using outboard in the form of dual KP3s and a vintage Space Echo ... You also don't have to run a bunch of cables into your mixer or audio interface (but you have total flexibility in using the outputs if your audio interface has them in amply supply and you have outboard to take advantage ... I really do believe the it ALWAYS sounds better when running it through the outboard ... More depth, air and punch ) ...There's also the benefit of having a nice big visual representation on your LCD of your patterns and the scenes they reside in ...

You can also do everything -- except launch the software or save files; why? -- from the controller unlike that more grooveboxian choice from Artuia called Spark ... I feel Maschine is more like an MPC and something all it's own ... Maschine is also nice because it can be as far away from the computer as your USB cable will go ... I go through phases when I have the LCD monitor and/or laptop LCD nearby or in front and other times when it's in isolation ... Works fine either way ... )

If it seems complicated, it isn't ...

Just press PLAY on the controller and jam ...

I considered a machinedrum as well ... But this was WAAY less expensive for me (Only $250 ... soooo ... that colors my enthusiasm a bit ... ) I was never really impressed with the sound of it anyway or the programming of the presets, which IS a factor for me because I use it to jam with and I need good beets ready to go ... Of course, it's easy and inspiring to create your own on Maschine ... )

NI is really creating a top-flight instrument here ... All they need to do is add some audio tracks and you could easily do entire songs inside of it ... Or just really dynamic, sophisticated percussion ... (I want to get another Kaoss Pad as it's really easy to assign any group of sounds or individual sounds to it's own output ... Browsing is very sophisticated and quick as well ... EVERYTHING is tagged and everything is just as fast t find whether on the controller or the software ... It's odd because I say I don't like using the mouse, but I'll find myself using it all the time ... Then there's other times when I'm just about the controller ... I like that ... )

Another cool thing is NI gives you Complete Elements 8 as well ... Which is a buttload of pretty good sounds ... Not really better than anything I have in hardware, but it's nice to know it's there ... And of course, you can use any other software instruments as well ... But I prefer hardware synths ... )

Old 28th September 2011
  #13
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I guess that I did just assume that the guy was recording since this is Gearslutz. If it is just for jamming and mostly repetitive loops, then a standalone drum machine would be way more fun and convenient.

However, if you are planning on having a ton of beat changes in your songs then a computer based sequencer is infinitely easier and more flexible for songwriting. Between the DAW sequencer and standalone programs, you can even duplicate the look, entry and swing timing of many popular drum machine sequencers.

If you are buying purely for a fun sequencer with some sounds, I would consider a tenori-on. You can get it on an iPhone or ipad with midi cable for like $60 if you have a newer one. My guess is in a year or so there will be an app for any style midi sequencer out there.
Old 28th September 2011
  #14
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I was going to post a thread like this so I'll just hijack this one instead.

I've been using Impulse and Drum Racks in Ableton and I'm debating whether to get a PadKontrol + some WaveAlchemy and GoldBaby packs thus keeping everything ITB or spend a bit more to get some kind of sample-based drum machine/sequencer like Machinedrum or an MPC.

I'm not very skilled at drum programming (I used to use ReBirth at some point in the last millenium, thats all I'm familiar with) so its not like I have a highly developed workflow at this point.

I hate inputting anything with the mouse if I can avoid it but I like the idea of playing live on the PadKontrol and doing MIDI overdub recording and then adding various amounts of swing and or quantization etc.

So anyway, other than drum machines being more immediate and good for "jamming out" on, is there anything I'm missing if I keep everything ITB for the near future?
Old 30th September 2011
  #15
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Maschine has a very nice pattern mode .... Easy to switch patterns on the fly (but I think only since this last update because before you had to actually hold the PATTERN button and click on button 1 so you could stay in pattern mode ... or press PATTERN and the pad with the pattern residing there ... horrible !!! ... Too many simultaneous button presses !!! I was delighted at that recent change ... must have been 1.7 ... I posted about this on the NI forum ... )
Old 30th September 2011
  #16
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Thanks everyone for the inputs!

In the meantime I have come to the conclusion that a loopmachine is more what I am looking for, and I have on order the Korg Kaossilator Pro. It has some simple drums, synth, effects and 4 loopstations built in. I think that an Electribe or Akai would be a good combo. Its on my wishlist.
Old 30th September 2011
  #17
WDM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bizness80 View Post
I was going to post a thread like this so I'll just hijack this one instead.

I've been using Impulse and Drum Racks in Ableton and I'm debating whether to get a PadKontrol + some WaveAlchemy and GoldBaby packs thus keeping everything ITB or spend a bit more to get some kind of sample-based drum machine/sequencer like Machinedrum or an MPC.

I'm not very skilled at drum programming (I used to use ReBirth at some point in the last millenium, thats all I'm familiar with) so its not like I have a highly developed workflow at this point.

I hate inputting anything with the mouse if I can avoid it but I like the idea of playing live on the PadKontrol and doing MIDI overdub recording and then adding various amounts of swing and or quantization etc.

So anyway, other than drum machines being more immediate and good for "jamming out" on, is there anything I'm missing if I keep everything ITB for the near future?
I feel like your requirements are completely different from the OP requirements, so the best tools for you and OP would be probably also different.

As OP stated, he has heavy analog OTB rig, it means there is no interface to the computer in any form. No midi, No USB, etc. So, I would definitely look into some sort of groove box with sampling capabilities, steady sequencer, and good assortment of other sounds that are missing in his OTB rig. And that would be more a groove box and not a drum machine, that’s for sure.

Akai MPC would be the first on my list, the higher model numbers the better... I would say 2500, 5000, (not sure about 1000). Why it's still the best? Because it could be used completely without computer, and if OP doesn't have up to date (very important) computer at the moment that would be probably also the cheapest way into sequencing for him. MPC always shined as a standalone sequencer and a sampling tool, with tight timing and great sound. MPC 2500 has CD/DVD drive as an option, so you could get anything from audio CD, chop it up and use it right away. You can also write audio CDs, do backups, sample libraries, export complete songs, whatever…

When it comes to import your grooves or beats to DAW, high end models have plenty of audio outs, which is also really helpful. Other groove boxes (like electribes, etc) doesn't have much, and it's a real pain to get grooves into DAW if you're not satisfied with just one stereo drum track.

Considering amount of space that is available near OPs analog rig, MPC would also fit really well.

If your rig is ITB, you’re using the DAW every day and most of the time, the Maschine would be probably the best, because it has a dedicated controller and you can export your loops/grooves, or to work right in the DAW most of the time. But it would also depend which DAW you’re using.
In other words, it depends where you invested more money, ITB or OTB…

Makes sense?
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