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Old 19th May 2020
Gear Nut

TR-707/TR-09 'Song Mode' a must for arranging tracks?

I have been meaning to ask this for awhile now, so decided to finally go ahead and do so, as it is killing me trying to find out what the best way would be to create whole tracks, using my TR-707 and TR-09.

What I am basically wondering is whether the 'song mode' of each unit is a must, in order to create a track using the various patterns programmed into each unit?

I find using the song mode is fantastic to keep the playback of your track tight, with timing and flow being where it should be, as each bar flows into the next, during playback.
I do find it a chore however, putting the track together this way, as you have to fumble around and remember which patterns are which, so you can assign them to the correct slot, in your arrangement.

What I thought I would do instead, was create a pattern on each unit, dump (record/render) this into my DAW (Cubase 10.5), create another pattern, dump this etc. This would be a very quick way to create new patterns efficiently, while using up much less pattern space on the units themselves, while also having better control in seeing what each pattern is, as I can clearly label each event in Cubase, for easy arrangement.
The problem with this is, when I record a 1 bar pattern in Cubase from the machines and then place these recorded patterns/bars next to each other in the project arrangement, they don't flow tight and nicely like they do in the unit, in song mode. You can hear a gap between each bar and it totally ruins everything.

Is using the 'song mode' of the Roland TR machines a must, for putting a song together, or is there a better way, or something I am missing? I would really appreciate any help, or insight into this. Right now, I am simply going back to my Jungle productions, as I find using breakbeats much easier, then these machines for putting tracks together, although I am really feeling I need to take a break from sampling and Jungle and create something more hands on, with the TR machines.

Thank you SO MUCH for anyone who can help.