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Modern drum machines
Old 5th May 2008
  #1
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DarkPlasma's Avatar
Modern drum machines

Hi Marshall,

I would love to have a TR-909, but what modern drum machines would you recommend that will sound very similar to the 909 in terms of character? I spent money on plugs like Stylus but that was when I first started producing and had no idea hardware will sound so much better.

I just purchased a Virus TI and the drums sound awesome!!, but would love to own a dedicated drum machine.

Im making progressive house, and so far came across machines like the MC-808, Jomox, Elektron (heard really good things about the machinedrum), and I heard the MPC has a drum machine?

Which of the above would you recommend? Thanks a lot!
Old 5th May 2008
  #2
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
If you want the 808/909 sounds, go for the Novation Drum Station.
Old 5th May 2008
  #3
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inthere's Avatar
 

i haven't heard any of the above, but I'll look into them because i want them myself
Old 6th May 2008
  #4
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teknosmoker's Avatar
 

I had a Novation Drumstation (v2), but sold it many years ago as soon as I got a real TR-909. The Drumstation sounds "thin and round" compared to the punchiness and crispness of the real thing. If you are traveling (doing live PA's) a used Drumstation would not be a bad purchase. It's lightweight & inexpensive. Run it through some other gear/FX and you'll get some sounds that are close enough to a 909 (plus you get 808 sounds with it as well).

But if you are working in the studio and you want the sound of a TR-909, buy a TR-909. The slight variations that you get out of it (being that it's an analog machine - except for the cymbals) make it sound much more alive than any of its counterparts. I don't regret the purchase and will NEVER sell my 909. It's also a hell of a lot more enjoyable to sequence on an instrument (in my opinion) than it is on a computer.

But.....for progressive house, you don't really need a 909. I do house and techno, influenced by a lot of early Chicago & Detroit electronic dance music, so the 909 is pretty much a staple for my style. Most progressive house producers use samples for their drums. You could purchase an older MPC sampler/sequencer (MPC-2000XL or if you can afford one, an MPC-60 or MPC-3000...) and load whatever samples you'd like into it. The older MPCs had punchy sounding converters, so if that's the kind of sound you're going for, grab one. I'm not a big fan of the sound of the Machine Drum, but it's quite popular with a lot of contemporary producers. It has a more "digital", "snappy" sound, which is not necessarily bad if you dig that.

BTW - Stay FAR away from any current Roland gear. Their converters sound thin and their synths are not what they used to be. The last really good synths Roland made were the JD800/990 series (the JP-8000/JP-8080 wasn't that bad either - especially for your genre of music).

The best suggestion I can offer is to try out the machine you'd like firsthand before purchasing anything. Everybody's tastes are different.

Good luck in your quest!


P.S. - If you do buy a nice vintage drum machine, you won't have to worry about losing money. If you decide you don't like it, just to sell it for what you paid for it (or even more). Can't say the same for more modern machines. I bought my Drumstation for over $600 USD new and sold it for under $200...
Old 6th May 2008
  #5
Old 6th May 2008
  #6
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inthere's Avatar
 

The things I've learned here at Gearslutz outway what I've taught by 1000%.
Old 7th May 2008
  #7
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DarkPlasma's Avatar
I think I found my dream machine. Jomox 999, KILLLER!!!
Old 8th May 2008
  #8
Gear Head
 

you defintley need to check out the D16 product line of software based 808s, 909s, etc...
Old 8th May 2008
  #9
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Jim Stout's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by teknosmoker View Post
snappy"

BTW - Stay FAR away from any current Roland gear. Their converters sound thin and their synths are not what they used to be. The last really good synths Roland made were the JD800/990 series (the JP-8000/JP-8080 wasn't that bad either - especially for your genre of music).

.
I dunno man, My V-Synth GT is pretty fat sounding.
Old 9th May 2008
  #10
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DarkPlasma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stout View Post
I dunno man, My V-Synth GT is pretty fat sounding.
I WAAAAAAANT ONE!!!!!!!!!

Just got a Virus...Once ill learn that thing inside out, havnt decided what ill get next, a Voyager or a GT.

Since the GT is sample-based, it would be brilliant to take waveforms from a Virus, a Voyager, and combine them inside GT with GT's own character!! Now that is some serious Residual Synthesis!
Old 12th May 2008
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Jomox

The best new drum machines are the Jomox range 888, 999. They have the quality of the classic Roland TR machines with a tighter sequencer to my ears. However as teknosmoker sez if you want the 909 buy a 909. I have all the classics 707, 808, 909 and they are all incredible in their own way. Don't forget to buy a good compressor as well...
Old 13th May 2008
  #12
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DarkPlasma's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikumotoallstars View Post
The best new drum machines are the Jomox range 888, 999. They have the quality of the classic Roland TR machines with a tighter sequencer to my ears. However as teknosmoker sez if you want the 909 buy a 909. I have all the classics 707, 808, 909 and they are all incredible in their own way. Don't forget to buy a good compressor as well...
Jomox 999 + Distressor + Manley
Old 27th May 2008
  #13
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Space Station's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikumotoallstars View Post
The best new drum machines are the Jomox range 888, 999. They have the quality of the classic Roland TR machines with a tighter sequencer to my ears. However as teknosmoker sez if you want the 909 buy a 909. I have all the classics 707, 808, 909 and they are all incredible in their own way. Don't forget to buy a good compressor as well...
I cant stand any of the Jomox drum machines..they sound horrible compared to a real 909 or 808..I've tested them both side by side. And the build quality is a joke. They don't make em like they used to son :P
Old 27th May 2008
  #14
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Ben F's Avatar
I really like the Quasimidi 309 for 808/909 sounds and more. Quite a usable box that sounds great live. You can pick them up cheap these days.
Old 27th May 2008
  #15
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d1rtynyc's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
I really like the Quasimidi 309 for 808/909 sounds and more. Quite a usable box that sounds great live. You can pick them up cheap these days.
I did recently.
The sounds it has plus the programablity of it really surprised me.
The synth sounds are weak though, but for $200 it was a find.

I also picked up a Jomox Xbase 09 the same day, but in my mind the 309 was the one I really like.
Old 27th May 2008
  #16
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Space Station's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drone View Post
Jomox sounding horrible ?

Why compare to an 808 or 909 ? They're different models from a different company & a different time.
If you only want an 808 kick then by all means use a roland but if you're looking for something different, is jomox really so horrible ?
I'm not talking about the sounds per se, I'm talking about the inherent tone of the Jomox boxes..They sound horrible compared to an 808 for instance...not only are the sounds great in an 808 it's also tonally perfect ,smooth as silk...the Jomox boxes are just harsh and over bright...

Honestly I've had people here stunned at the difference...
Old 28th May 2008
  #17
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crufty's Avatar
maybe-flip side of coin, jomox allows you to load your own samples and is 100% midi controllable. AND--you can buy one new. That for me was the kicker. even dodgy looking tr 909s are around $1200 USD.

i don't look at 999 as a 909 emu. i look at it as its own piece. whatever works, diff strokes for diff folks.
Old 28th May 2008
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Station View Post
I'm not talking about the sounds per se, I'm talking about the inherent tone of the Jomox boxes..They sound horrible compared to an 808 for instance...not only are the sounds great in an 808 it's also tonally perfect ,smooth as silk...the Jomox boxes are just harsh and over bright...

Honestly I've had people here stunned at the difference...
it has a different tone, yes.
I like the Kickdrum the sequencer and the highhats (toktok version)
not really wild about the snare.
Maybe I'll mod it one day.

still it gets used 80% if only for a little bottom under other stuff..
it sounds nice in my little sony mixer (my first ) and an API compressor. The Transient designer works very well on those snares, last week, but I just sold that one. LOL
oh well...
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