The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Favorite Synths and drumboxes???
Old 2nd August 2005
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
Favorite Synths and drumboxes???

hi there,

my first post here. i like to say hello to everyone.

id wanna know which synths and drummachines are used for today standards.

it cannot only be a triton. heh

so maybe someone knows what big names uses or what you use yourself.

thanks in advance

greetz chester

Old 2nd August 2005
Lives for gear
Stoneface's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Welcome! No, it's not just the Triton. IMO the Triton is a piece of crap. Yes, it served it's purpose and definatley domintated the rap arena for quite a few years but there are much better choices with more flexibilty than the triton.

For drums and samples I use the Akai MPC4000 and Motu Machfive. Not much more you could really ask for in this department.

For synths, I used to try and buy every current synth on the market trying to get every flavor. Truth is, this idea is a waste of time and money and will ultimatly result in much less music being made since those that make great hits try to create thier own sounds within a specfic board as apposed to just using stock sounds.

For synths I use the Yamaha Motif, Roland Fantom and I soon will add the V-synth XT. Not that there arn't other choices out there but these are the heaviest hitters on the block. TONS of flexiblity to create any patch you could imagine. My advice...abandon the idea of the Triton and leave that to the newbies.

Good luck!

Old 2nd August 2005 | Show parent
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
i dont think there are standards... apart from the old school classics like sp, 808 and mpc. theres too much variety
Old 2nd August 2005
Gear Addict
🎧 15 years
thanks for the replys so far.

its isnt bout standards only bout standard in sound. hear todays production
and you will agree its all sounds crisp with alot of hi-end even lowend that dont comes out of a 50$ Kawai drumbox or synth. A standard in quality maybe sounds

grettz chester
Old 2nd August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
audioez's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Big names and small names use the LinnDrum...Big names used them, and small names like myself own them now cause they're junk to the mouse click generation, happy clicking!
Old 3rd August 2005 | Show parent
Gear Addict
RyanR's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Bass: I'm a big fan of Studio Electronics stuff - I own both a SE-1X and Omega8. Bewteen those two, that's plenty of solid bass. I got close to selling the Omega because the SE-1x comes close to it's bass sound, but I eventually decided to keep it. I have also thought of selling the SE-1x to get a minimoog, and still might.

Piano: PMI sample libraries (The Old Lady and The Emperor) and Vintaudio Yamaha C7. The C7 is a nice pop piano which I use for the upper registers. The other two are a Steinway D and Bosendorfer 290 which I prefer for the lower notes. These sound better to my ears than any ROMpler.

Strings: EWQLSO Gold, GPO, VSL. EWQLSO strings sit a little back because they were recorded with the room (and the close mics are provided with the Platinum edition). GPO and VSL have a more direct and upfront sound. A combination usually gets the best of both worlds. Again, string sample libraries sound much better to me than ROMplers.

Ethnic Instruments: EWQL RA ethnic library (the successor to QL Rare Instruments). The definitive ethnic instrument library - nothing else I have seen even comes close.

Ethnic Perc.: Stormdrum or Culture. I prefer Culture as I have little need for all the loops that come with Stormdrum.

Other real instruments: All gigasampler, kontakt, or similar (I use kontakt for my soft sampler - although many sample libraries come with their own player now). For example, the Scarbee R.S.P. '73 is a killer Rhodes. DFHS has some nice acoustic drums (not to mention the expansions). The full VSL has everything orchestra - strings, horns, orchestral perc., harp, flutes, oboes, etc. For acoustic guitar the Musiclab Real Guitar is pretty impressive.

Basically, I don't own a ROMpler (motif, fantom, triton, etc.) because IMO all the sounds they do are done better (sometimes much, much better) with sample libraries or a real analog synth. I mean, the total wave ROM of the motif es is 175MB . . . compare that to *one* piano program that is 1.5 GB and you hear the difference. That said, I am heavily considering picking up a motif es rack just for the quickness of use/getting the rough idea laid down, then swapping in the sample library sound later on.

Drums: I'll get drums from everywhere and anywhere - vinyls, sample CDs, CDs, drum machines, me banging a pan . . . you get the idea. I never really understood what is so special about the MPCs considering you have to load in your own drum hits. I have never used an MPC extensively, but from my little time with one, I could do everything on a DAW much quicker and with better quality. I find where you get your drum hits less important than how all your drum hits sound together (kinda obvious). In other words, I like working with drum kits, where the drums actually sound like a "kit". I spend a lot of time trying to make the drums sound like a kit and cohesive.

Synths: Owning a SE-1x, Omega8, Virus b, and A6 (just sold the NL3), I'm pretty much satisfied on the synth side. I may sell the virus b for a TI. I may sell the SE-1x for a minimoog rack. I may pick up an oberheim xpander or obxa in the future. I might get a motif es rack just for the workflow. The one synth I'm going to get soon is a Wavestation (maybe I'll just get the Legacy Collection . . . or perhaps the Prophet VS?)). I really like the bells and pads on that synth and think it will fill a niche in the studio. I have also thought of the Jomox Mbase (to perfectly tune in the sub BD to the track), but with Stomper on the computer, I'm not sure how useful it will be. Really, I don't find much use for drum machines . . . or I should I say . . . I don't find much use (aka can't justify the cost) for hardware drum machines when I can get a sample CD that contains all their hits for $20. At this point, I'm thinking more about better outboard to run the synths through than getting more synths. Lastly, I don't use many VSTis anymore (ones that model synths), but I still get something out of z3ta+ every now and then.

Anyway, there's some of the tools I use. I make hip hop and I don't use a MPC or a Triton - however, I'll also say the way I work is not for everyone.
Old 3rd August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
XHipHop's Avatar
🎧 15 years
ryan R, great post! i have to check out some of those sample libraries.
Old 4th August 2005 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
beatzz's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Yes thanks! Lots of great information!

Me, i would have just said the Korg Triton
Old 23rd August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Ace'Lo's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I use the MPC3000 and MPC2000. The Sp1200, a Roland XP-80, Motif Rack, Emu planet phatt, turbo phatt, xtreme lead, carnival, orbit, audity 2000 and a Korg Ms2000BR. And I can't forget my favorite.........The Original Roland TR-808!!!
Old 23rd August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Fajita's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I have an old Korg DDD-1 I use for some drum stuff and an old Ensoniq ESQ-1 I use for bass sounds.

I also have a Triton Studio ProX (controller), a Mo' Phatt, Alesis QS6.1 (with several Q-Cards), an SR-16 and an Akai S6000. Someone left an mpc2000 at my place, and I've been playing around with it, but I dare not get used to it, cuz the minute I start really using it, it's owner will re-surface, I just know it.
Old 23rd August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
XHipHop's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Ryan R, what computer are you using to run those EWQL Libraries? I really want to get the RA and possibly even the bundle they are selling on their websites of a few libraries but I was just wondering how big of a hit the computer takes with a typical instrument loaded.

So could you share with us what processor you have and how much ram and any other relevant details?

Old 24th August 2005 | Show parent
Gear Addict
RyanR's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by XHipHop
So could you share with us what processor you have and how much ram and any other relevant details?
No problemo . . . the DAW I am currently using I built myself a little over 2 years ago. The specs:

P4 2.8 GHz
Zalman AlCu 7000 HSF
P4C800-E Deluxe
1 GB Corsair XMS @ 2-3-3-6
36 GB Raptor (OS drive)
36 GB Raptor (Audio Drive <- where audio gets recorded, projects stored)
200 GB Drive (sample storage, also where the libraries get installed)
Antec True 550W
Windows XP Pro (probably should of got Home edition in hindsight)
Rackmount case

Technical notes:

I was one of the very first adopters of the P4C800-E Deluxe mobo (as in I bought it the day it appeared on Newegg). I had scouted it for months previous and knew it was gonna be a great mobo for a DAW. That turned out to be a great decision, as it has been very stable and reliable (for the most part lol).

I used to have 2 GB of RAM, but I sold a GB because i was short on $$$ a while back. While I don't regret selling it, I have thought about picking up another GB - but will probably wait until the next DAW build.

I have been running out of room on my 200GB storage drive, and have been constantly deleting things to make more room. I have finally admitted to myself that 200GB just isn't even close to cutting it, and plan on buying a 400GB drive soon (maybe today). I suspect I'll fill ~300GB of it instantly, and could easily fill it up if I wanted to put more of my sample collection on it.

The first rackmount case I bought was loud - very, very loud (it was also too deep @ 23''). Over time this has really started to drive me insane, so I recently decided to give it another go (moving the computer to another room is not an option). I purchased this case:

Then I got an Acoustipack (standard), some top notch fans, and did some case modifcations. My DAW is much, much more quiet than it was, and IMO it was worth the money. The temperatures didn't change either - my CPU still runs under 35Β°C, even under load (then again, my studio is in a rather cold basement). To top it off (I am really, really sick of computer noise), I have a silence case on the way. heh

I tried reinstalling Windows without hyperthreading and CPU muching is most definitely less. I did a stress test with my 4 UAD-1s at 91% (with the highest card being at ~96%), and the CPU meter at ~85%, and looped the track and let it play for three hours. I came back and listening for about 15 minutes and there wasn't a single click, pop, or any other glitch. Also, the CPU meter was stable and only had very slight movement. I was surprised how much this helped. (Also, I did a quick reboot right after that and checked temps in the BIOS - it said CPU was at 29Β°C, which I almost don't believe.)

I have 4 UAD-1s (with my typical track having 3 male lyricists and one female vocalist, and me having little outboard, they do get used). I scored a 6 slot magma chassis for under 2 C-notes and that is where they all now reside. After some PCI slot re-arrangement, it has been running flawlessly. I also did some noise treatment to the magma chassis, and its now inaudible (and that's not an exaggeration).

I recently (and finally, after more than 3 years planning, listening, and saving) upgraded my front end from a Delta66 to a Lynx AES16 + Apogee AD16x. Part of that is because I am going mixer less, the other part is I wanted better converters - and oooohhh yes, I hear the difference. So far, the DAW functions just like it did with the Delta66 - which is pretty much flawlessly.

General Notes:

First off, I never use a sampler for drums. If I do use a drum sample from, say, Plugsound 4, Stylus RMX, or a .gig file, I will bounce it ASAP and throw it on its own audio track in the Cubase grid. So, my sampler resources (and CPU resources somewhat) are never used on the drums.

I always record my own basslines. If I find a sample I like, I usually re-create it. Like above, they never use sampler resources. The same is true for "synth" sounds.

So, I primarily use the soft sampler for "real" sounds - guitars, strings, horns, harps, pianos, rhodes, etc. Fact is, for hip hop, there usually aren't too many parts left to add once you get past the drums and bassline, so having 1 GB works out fine. Also, now-a-days many of the big libraries have "disk streaming", so the need for RAM is less than one might imagine.

However, there are times when my system resources run out. The quick way around this is to just bounce the part, then turn off that patch in the sampler. If I ever need to make a change to the part, I turn it back on, make the change, re-bounce, then turn it back off (I guess this is like manual "freezing"). If I need to turn off another part to turn the one in question back on, so be it. If it's really a problem, I bounce everything in the track to one stereo file except the part in question, make a seperate project file, and use that file to finish up work on the part. I then bounce, and import that part back into the original project.

It's almost never a problem for me, as I find I like to bounce down instruments ASAP. If I don't, I keep coming back to them, tweaking them, etc. - and while that can lead to a better part, it can also lead to me never finishing that track (because I'm constantly messing with it).

The only time I have ever had a serious problem is when doing detailed string work. I tried to layer two different string libraries, each that included many octaves (and thus seperate programs), and each that had different articulations (even more programs). I got to a point I couldn't load/play anymore programs without problems, and because they were all basically part of the same track, it was hard to split them up. Part of the problem was that I was not very experienced (and am still not lol), combining the articulations to make a great, realistic string section - and so I think there was some redundancy in the programs I loaded.

Lastly, if I am using a lot of sample libraries at the same time that usually means I'm still working on the melody. In this case, I'm more concerned about how the notes fit together, than I am the actual sound. So, in this phase I'll swap in much smaller programs to make sure I don't overload the computer, or will use a similar patch (sometimes not so similar) off my one of my synths. At this point, I know what my best piano programs sound like, so I'll use a worse quality piano (i.e. smaller program) to get the notes right while keeping in mind the sound of the better piano. Once the composing is done, I go back and choose the sounds.

Anyway, computer resources are usually not a problem at all. I find I'm less sample based (as in vinyl rips, melodic loops) than many in the hip hop scene, and it still works good enough for me (being more sample library, you play the instrument based). I'd imagine someone more sample based would load even less programs at once, and it would be even less of a problem.
Old 24th August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
XHipHop's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Ryan R, thanks for the detailed response. It makes me very optimistic that I can use them no problem with my system. I just need to get some more harddrives!
Old 24th August 2005 | Show parent
Lives for gear
themaidsroom's Avatar
🎧 15 years
the ace tone rythym ace is a very organic sounding drum machine.....
it's pretty old, so you can't really program it or change it around too
much, but if you find a sound you can work with, it's unlike
anything else

probably it's best known use was in "family affair" and other sly tracks
from "there's a riot goin on"

they're out there on ebay $150 or so

be well

- jack
Old 24th August 2005 | Show parent
Gear Head
RobDex's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Jv 2080 * 3 expansions
Orbit V2
Nordrack 2
proteus 2000 emu mophatt expansion
Stylus RMX

Thats about what I use
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 25953 views: 2294102
Avatar for Ritmo
Ritmo 2 days ago
replies: 68 views: 3259
Avatar for Monotremata
Monotremata 28th September 2019
replies: 53 views: 3954
Avatar for dopeNL
dopeNL 4 weeks ago
replies: 673 views: 27717
Avatar for signalpudding
signalpudding 31st October 2020
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 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…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump