Does anyone use a drum machine anymore?

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by smsuryan, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. smsuryan

    smsuryan Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I don't mean dj's at clubs or hip-hop/rap, I mean rock/blues folks when putting a record together. Reason I'm asking I don't have a drummer and was debating over getting a drum program like protools or something similar vs. a drum machine and using my digital recorder. I'm assuming now that the programs for pcs sound more "real" than a drum machine now, or atleast, a program to record the whole record with drums included in the program vs purchasing a separate drum machine that sounds comparable. Thoughts? Suggestions?
     
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  2. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    check this out


    go to 3:20 in
     
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  3. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    for me I use logic , or Reason to build my drums I have several Virtual drums that I can program and play in real time , but I do like live drums
     
  4. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    If you're going the PC route, you'll need a pretty good PC, at least an i5 with 8 Gb RAM, and a couple hard drives. The cheapest software alternative for a DAW is Reaper. The learning curve is steep, but there's plenty of online tutorials. Registration is only $60, and even if you don't register it, it goes on working forever with startup nag screens, you're basically paying $60 to make the nag screens go away. For free drum software, I recommend Rayzoon Jamstix 4 Free Version:

    https://www.rayzoon.com/jamstix4_free.html

    It's a fully working program that jams drums, so you don't have to program it. The free version comes with a limited set of drum kits and styles compared to the full version, but it's really fun to play with and it's free.
     
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  5. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    I bought a used Boss DR-5 for $55. It seems like it will do a lot more than I am willing to learn. The technology is there, I just have to figure it out.
     
  6. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    There are some REALLY good free drum machine programs and plugins. So good in fact that, although I won't say it out loud with our drummer around, but.... you see where I'm going with this.
     
  7. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    I have one named Rhythm Master and it's great for straight-timing practice, but NOT for gigging.
     
  8. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    There are some fabulous drum machine apps for iPhone and iPad. The most expensive is under US$20. My favorite is Rock Drum Machine.
     
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  9. Tuneup

    Tuneup Tele-Meister

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    I use software based drums, there are also hardware drum machines, some of them surprisingly inexpensive.

    The easiest software route (IMO) is Reason, it's come a long way and offers audio recording, mixing, drum loops you can use to build a track or doing your own drums via the editor or input via keyboard/pads.

    For hardware based drums they have foot pedal style drums that play along with you @ ~$200, or you can get a programmable pattern based drum machine for $149 (Alesis)
    Any software you get comes with a learning curve, the reason I suggested Reason is that it's set up to look like rack mount hardware, and for me that made it a bit more intuitive.
    Reaper is cheaper, but a bit of a pain to learn (though you're better off for it down the road)

    There are freeware DAW's, they likely have pattern editors but I haven't used any of them.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/c643--Drum_Machines_and_Samplers

    https://www.youtube.com/user/PropellerheadSW
     
  10. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    The only thing I would use a dedicated drum machine nowadays is for performance. Virtual drum samples nowadays are as good or better than the vast majority of project studios could get with live drums, and far cheaper. Modern DAW software integrates MIDI engines/sequencing seemlessly. It's a no brainer. Drum machines for recording are totally unnecessary nowadays.

    A dedicated drum machine can simplify things a bit for live MIDI performance, if you like it old skool. But if you're running any MIDI off a laptop and DAW live, it's redundant. For pre-recorded drum tracks I just export WAV files from Reaper, and play them through my iphone plugged into a PA.
     
  11. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some folks still use actual hardware drum machines such as 808 reissue. For example, DAWless jammers playing live. But most people are going the software route these days. I use a couple different iPhone drum apps- Funkbox and DM1. For live on stage I would probably buy a BeatBuddy. Thay are quite excellent sounding and totally designed for live playing.
     
  12. Bella_Caster

    Bella_Caster Tele-Meister

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    I really only use a drum machine anymore (a Boss DR-5 that I bought in '94 that miraculously still works) when I want to program a quick simple beat when working up a new song. Or if I'm jamming with another guitarist and we want some kind of drum backing for timing. After that I write a full drum track with Sonar triggering one of Reason's samplers with an appropriate kit loaded.

    As old drum machines go, the DR-5 is fine enough for a quick dirty backing beat, but it's old, and I've much better kits I use with a sampler, with better editing features and effects.

    If I was still writing industrial music, I might use some of the kicks and snares from the DR-5, but really, outside of being a glorified metronome, it doesn't really get used.
     
  13. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Beat buddy has best (live sound)..just seems more acoustic
    IMHO
     
  14. W.L.Weller

    W.L.Weller Tele-Holic

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    These guys play live with a Boss DR-660
     
  15. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    They sound like it.
     
  16. archtop_fjk

    archtop_fjk Tele-Holic

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    For recording, I used to use a drum machine (Boss DR670), but to me it was hard making it sound "loose" and "live" - especially getting good sounding drum fills and rolls. I never programmed it but tried to play it live with the push buttons. Needless to say, it usually sounded too robotic and amateurish.

    As a result, I recently splurged and got an Alesis Nitro e-drum kit. It sounds great(!) and I'm learning how to play real drums with real sticks. The drums sound much more authentic as you can perform rolls, flams, and fills as a live drummer. Of course, I'm not a great drummer and so have to really focus when I'm recording, but I much prefer this to the drum machine.
     
  17. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I use my Beat Buddy Mini constantly.. but I'm not "performing" with it... 99% of the time I'm just using it to generate a loop to jam over.. so the drums would be boring as heck.

    WAY less hassle than using the computer for my simple use case. I do mess around with the iPad/iPhone for this case too but for simple stuff you don't have to program the Beat Buddy is still easier/faster/better for me.

    Trying something for windows would be on the list of stuff to do though I guess.

    I have an Alesis Nitro Mesh drum kit we bought for my son too setup right next to my guitar gear.. I don't play drums but might be able to get by for some simple stuff if I work at it. It does sound really good. Should try that. He is giving up on lessons for now (he's real little) but hopefully he gets back to it. We have an 80s Yamaha keyboard to.

    I really need to find a guitar pedal that would give me a line in on my pedal board, then I could plug the laptop/keyboard/drum kit into my looper. It'd open up a lot of options.
     
  18. boop

    boop Tele-Meister

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    KISS
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I used one for a couple years when I occasionally had a duo gig at one of the antler clubs. I liked it, but I just kept it dirt simple. Made a chart of style settings and speed for each song. I used a Yamaha drum machine (with the drum pads) for ease of use, although I didn't use the pads..
     
  20. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    i'm in a band with a drum machine. we played a show a few weeks ago with three other drum machine bands. i saw godflesh absolutely kill it this summer with a drum machine.

    we've never had a drummer that really got what we were going for, and we sound better with the drum machine. it's less to carry, it's one less person to get to the gig, and playing messy guitars against rigid drum beats sounds great. i like how harsh and mechanical they sound, and i like them less as they sound more like meat drummers.

    the one serious downside is that if you can't get it loud enough to hear on stage, you're kinda ****ed. and you can't do that "i can deal with murky on stage sounds by watching the drummer's arms" thing. the few worst shows we've played have been when we couldn't hear the drums.

    we've killed two amps using it for on stage drum machine sound, and we eventually just bought our own pa system.

    if you're running it through an amp, you need something with as much ooomph as a bassist playing against your guitars would have, in terms of wattage and speaker capacity. running a drum machine loud enough/with a boost into an amp to make it start to distort can sound pretty great.

    be prepared to fight tooth and nail with sound engineers about getting it loud enough in the house or in the monitors.

    be prepared for some pa systems to not have enough power to do it right.

    part of why we bought our own pa is that we frequently play punk shows, and often nobody puts a microphone on anything but the vocals, and because of that, the pa system tends to be just powerful enough to get the vocals up and over the roar of the band. when you try to run a drum machine through that, you can't hear the vocals or the drums.

    i really like cheaper alesis drum machines.
     
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