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Drum Machines

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Larmo63, May 17, 2018.

  1. Larmo63

    Larmo63 Tele-Meister

    496
    Feb 1, 2018
    San Clemente, Ca
    I'd like some advice on buying a (hopefully, simple to use and understand) drum machine. Just something to practice with that I could plug into a small amp.

    If I buy something that is too complicated, I know I won't end up using it.

    New? Used? Help?
     

  2. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    May 2, 2003
    Wisco
    mabley123 likes this.

  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana

  4. Deeve

    Deeve Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 7, 2009
    Ballard
    Alesis SR 16?

    A Real step up from my previous rig (an early model dr rhythm - oh g#d, am I sorry I bought that...)

    Peace - Deeve

    Yes, you can find 'em used - I think I paid $40 on craigslist
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    Teleposer, chemobrain and Bob M like this.

  5. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    UK
    Easiest these days though is a simple app for phone or ipad. I have one called Drum Beats+ that is as simple as it gets.
     

  6. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Meister

    277
    Mar 19, 2014
    Madrid, Spain, EU
    I am starting using the Beatbuddy pedal for my acoustic duo...

    Just got it yesterday so I am still testing, just tried it at the rehearsal studio but so far I am happy.

    You can have 200 presets and fire them with the pedal, fills, intro, outro, base rithm and bridges... just on the fly with the pedal...

    And sounds are quite real
     

  7. Plumber

    Plumber Tele-Meister

    366
    Jun 5, 2014
    london
    garage band on I...whatever

    loops and infinitely variable with the dice icon
     

  8. VintageSG

    VintageSG Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 31, 2016
    Yorkshire
    Drum machines are OK, but there's little to no instant gratification with them. Most have some basic rhythms built in, some with bass lines too. They have a place.

    The Digitech Trio+, SDrum or Beat Buddy may well be a better bet in terms of physical hardware. Software?, sorry, I'll leave that to others.
    Hie thee to Youtube and scour the demos.
     

  9. hemingway

    hemingway Friend of Leo's

    Mar 14, 2012
    London, UK
    I have the SR16 - and waaay in the distant past I had the Dr Rhythm, too! Seems like an antique now, but was revolutionary at the time.

    Now, for the SR16 . . . if you just want to put on a stock rhythm and play along, fine.

    But if you want to use it to write songs it's a much more complicated beast and not that easy to use. And the manual is laughable. You have to be prepared for some trial-and-error time.

    Having said that, I don't know if there's any drum machine that's easy to use "well".

    But for your purposes it might be ok.
     
    Teleposer likes this.

  10. johnny k

    johnny k Friend of Leo's

    Jan 15, 2011
    France

  11. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Meister

    Age:
    44
    110
    Feb 20, 2018
    phoenix
    the best reason to have a drum machine is the quantize... you can almost play anything and they will drag it to something rhythmic. The other reason is it is portable.
    I started out on a dr660, then 770, then dr5, then rt323, sr16, etc...15yrs ago!
    Honestly, in this day and age there are so many computer based options I would think they are obsolete.
    I would recommend ezdrummer. the reasons: A. it actually sounds like drums B. you can tap something out and it will find a loop that is close. C. you can easily change the beat. and it's record-worthy.
    if you just want to play along with drum tracks then I'd say there is an infinite free library of both audio and midi drum loops on the web. start building a folder.
     
    SolidSteak likes this.

  12. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 12, 2011
    Around
    aarg..no trio........
    Beat buddy is pretty simple and it's drum sounds are a lot better (more real) than trio or Alexis 16.
    I have had both.. and I run into PA not amp

    You can do more with trio..but...you need a few months to learn the dang thing

    I have to admit, I have not tried any of the online drum apps like JK mentions
     

  13. dswo

    dswo Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    206
    May 1, 2016
    East Carolina
    I like the Rock Drum Machine app for iPhone:



     

  14. rute

    rute TDPRI Member

    42
    Nov 28, 2012
    On the Water
    Beat Buddy mini......125 gigs per year.....past 2 years......Solo guitar and voice. Used correctly....it's perfect.
     

  15. Rayf_Brogan

    Rayf_Brogan Tele-Meister

    Age:
    37
    136
    Dec 14, 2017
    Washington
    Do you by chance have a bluetooth speaker? If this is just for practice and you don't want to spend a lot of time programming, you can stream drum tracks from your phone over a bluetooth speaker. Mine is more than loud enough for bedroom playing. Youtube has a ton of different live drum & backing tracks. You can always download them and upload them to your own youtube channel if you're getting interrupted by commercials.

    From my personal experience with drum machines, I've never really found one that sounded natural. Plus, they're filled with the most ridiculous drum beats imaginable. I suppose if I was playing electronic music it would come in handy, but not at all what I want.
     

  16. fendertx

    fendertx Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 12, 2008
    Houston
    I use the DR-3 and the DR-880. Honestly, I rarely use the newer 880 with more features. I fall back to the simple DR-3. Hook up a simple Boss foots witch and you can control the drum fills as you wish.
    I've tinkered with loops and software, but the machine suits my needs.(which are not very ambitious)
     

  17. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 12, 2010
    Jacksonville
    I don't own any drum machines now but have owned the Alesis SR16, Boss DR770 and DR880.
    The Alesis was the simplest to use and had excellent patterns and sounds.
    The Boss were better and most flexible, particularly the 880 which adds Bass as well. But but they are less straightforward.
    I wish I still had the 880 to be honest. The user interface was not great but it was a true band in a box.
     

  18. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 27, 2016
    USA
    If it's just to practice with at home like a metronome, I'd second that recommendation for a used Alesis SR16. You just turn it on, pick a rhythm, and adjust the tempo with the big giant knob. On the plus side it has some great acoustic drum samples and has actually been used by professionals on commercial recordings! Programming your own patterns is a huge time suck though.

    Or a DR-3, or any number of used drum machines under $100 or so.

    Or yeah maybe some kind of iPhone app? A long time ago I used to use a free Windows program called Hammerhead Drum Machine that came with 6 kits and took like 30 seconds to program an 8 bar pattern on the GUI. I wonder if they have a free app now that does that?
     

  19. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 27, 2016
    USA
    Man that site is addictive :D I was like "Hmm okay what's this..." then 10 minutes later I'm on pattern #4, trying different kits, filters... Don't you know I have work to do??? :D
     
    johnny k likes this.

  20. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Tele-Meister

    229
    Feb 18, 2018
    WV
    You can have cheap, easy, or good. Take your pick. The easiest and cheapest are dedicated phone apps. None of them sound good, IMO, and are useless for complete music production. But for just noodling they might work fine.

    SR16 is great, provided you educate yourself on old-school MIDI, and have the time and patience to program songs. You can use the pre-programmed patterns and fills. But they are highly limited, particularly compared to even the simplest software based solutions nowadays. Plus, they ain't cheap. There are tons of free phone and desktop apps, OTOH.

    I think dedicated drum machines are quickly becoming rarer because of this.

    If I weren't a cheap stingy ba$tard, I would go with the Beat Buddy. Instead, I go with mapping out drum patterns in Reaper with samples from Addictive Drums. AD used to distribute a free, basic plug-in drum editor, that works fairly seemlessly with DAW software with MIDI engines. I guess they caught on and now only have a standalone editor. But their samples are great, and I just keep the old plug in. I typically just export whatever drum tracks I recorded a song with, put in on drobox or whatever, and hook up my phone to a mixer.

    This is a lot of work. As such, I don't have too many backing tracks to noodle with, I'm afraid. But what I do have doesn't make me scratch my eyes out at the otherwise gawdawful drum sounds and canned loop patterns you get from simple drum machines and software.
     
    SolidSteak likes this.

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