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Drum Machines? Samplers?
Old 28th January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Drum Machines? Samplers?

Hi, disclaimer: I am a n00b. If you ttlly h4t3 n00bz, don't bother reading.

Okay, for most of my musical life, I've been an all-rock instruments person - 1/2 guitars, bass, drums, MAYBE keys. Recently, though, it has become my dream to create music combining elements of trip-hop/acid-jazz with garage-y punk-y rock. What I'm trying to figure out is what I should buy for rhythm - a drum machine? A sampler? Both? What model for each? I have a little bit of money to spend, but like most, I'd like to keep the cost as low as possible. Any kind soul willing to point me in the right direction? Thanks!
Old 28th January 2013
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
I would start by watching some YT vids of the Akai MPC1000, Elektron Machinedrum and/or Octatrack.
Old 28th January 2013
  #3
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
What do you already have? If you've got a computer, then a DAW with a plugin would be the cheapest by far.

If you don't have one you can use for that purpose( and don't want one), then I second the Akai MPC1000.

But - nobody knows what "cheap" means. $50? $100? $500? $1000?

Drum machines like the Alesis SR16 or Boss DR-770 and related are relatively simple sequencers that work in pattern-based ways; you define a drum loop (or a fill, or an intro), and then a "song" consists of several of these patterns chained together. You build 4 patterns - let's call 'm verse-01, fill-01, chorus-01 and chorus-02, and your song would be

- play verse-01 7 times
- play fill-01 1 time
- play chorus-01 4 times
- play chorus-02 4 times

An MPC works in a similar way, though the patterns do not have to be of equal length; and you could also make one really long pattern if you wanted to.

MPCs, Electribe SX/S, Octatracks - all of these assume that you already have a set of drum samples (or other sampled material). This means that every time you switch it on, you have to load up your sounds first.

Drum machines come with a set of drum samples supplied, but you can't change them because they've been burned into ROM. Of course, exceptions apply depending on the model, etc.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #4
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shponglefan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoozer ➑️
MPCs, Electribe SX/S, Octatracks - all of these assume that you already have a set of drum samples (or other sampled material). This means that every time you switch it on, you have to load up your sounds first.
Just a clarification on the OT, it loads up the last project you were working on when powering up. So you don't have to manually load anything every time you turn it on.

To the OP, as an Machinedrum + Octratrack owner, I'd recommend that combo although it will set you back about $2500. Either one is great, though, so I'd look into them.

Also ditto looking at MPCs.
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shponglefan ➑️
Just a clarification on the OT, it loads up the last project you were working when powering up. So you don't have to manually load anything every time you turn it on.
it's really an awesome feature. loading is such an inspiration killer.
Old 28th January 2013
  #6
Gear Addict
 
mrsound's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
New arturia SparkLE or NI Maschine perhaps?
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
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Entrainer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3001 ➑️
it's really an awesome feature. loading is such an inspiration killer.
Is it? Hmm, I found it annoying. The reason being, I had to wait and load
the last project THEN if I wanted another project, had to wait and load it too!
So I had to wait twice instead of once 90% of the time. (ratio of 10 projects,
probability being I'd choose another project 9 out of 10 times)

To the OP...

If you are really a NOOB, I wouldn't drop a lot of money just yet on a
MachineDrum or Octatrack.

It does take time to learn and master and I do recommend going beyond
what I'm recommending BUT you should start with ONE of these to see if
you even enjoy it.

1: Software/Hardware combo
NI Maschine on a computer. You can get a V1 used. This gives a
combination of software and hardware and you can program the patterns
on the hardware or inside software to discover what you feel more
comfortable with.

2: Hardware only
If you really want to get an intro without a computer, I'd buy an old
MC-303 or MC-909 for cheap and just master that thing for 6-12 months
without buying anything else. No, they aren't pro. But they are great
beginner training stations.

3: Software only
Propellerhead Reason. Great alternative to something like a MC909 or MC303
inside the computer. Still only one master interface you need to learn.
Includes synths/fx/drum machines, etc.

These will help you learn the basics and get to ready for intermediate level
training.

Don't laugh. I started with a DR-660 for about 3-4 months, learning to
program patterns, chain them together, tune and effect sounds, creating
dynamic changes. Then I added a Novation Bass Station keyboard and
MC80 sequencer. I think somewhere in there was an SH101, my first one,
but I wasn't knowledgeable on locking it to the DR-660, so I just played
with the arpeggiator and synthesis. I was like 17-18 yrs old at this time.


>

The problem I've seen a lot of "noobs" run into is

1: they buy a BUNCH of stuff and feel overwhelmed learning it and quit,
even though they did start. It was just to much to learn at once.

2: they buy expensive stuff and never really start to learn it, they
get distracted or into another hobby

The approach I've seen the best results from is learning one
"studio in the box" like MC303/MC909/Reason (or in the older days, workstations)
THEN, expanding upon that knowledge by buying better sounding pieces and
re-creating that workflow in a pro environment. Software OR hardware.
Old 28th January 2013
  #8
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Thanks guys. I'll definitely start simple and work my way up - I actually don't mind low-fi stuff so the lower-end things should be fine at least for the time being. I've read about DR-660 and SR-16 before; I may end up going the drum-machine hardware route because I'm not sure my computer can run anything too complex. I'll read more about it, though. Thanks guys!
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Entrainer ➑️
The problem I've seen a lot of "noobs" run into is

1: they buy a BUNCH of stuff and feel overwhelmed learning it and quit,
even though they did start. It was just to much to learn at once.

2: they buy expensive stuff and never really start to learn it, they
get distracted or into another hobby
Yes this is good advice. If you're just starting out and you have some idea of the sound you want but no idea how to get there, start cheap and simple--enough that you might feel some limitations even at the beginner level. For example, the Akai XR20 (similar to the SR16/18) is quite a capable drum machine that should get you pretty far while also being fun and easy to use.
Old 28th January 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
here is my view:

dont get an octatrack, it's a complex beast, and it will just frustrate you as a beginner.

machinedrum, you can get them cheap if you dont get a sampling one. but it's more suited for electro crap from the mid to early 2000s, the uW is cool but you're spending more, TBH it's not that much money like, 750 for one with the sampling. And the Elektron interface is pretty intuitive. Once you learn it you can go to other pieces of gear. but for trip hop/acid jazz...i dont know if it's the best, I'm also thinking

MC303, MC505, roland crap, dont get it, you'll learn a proprietary interface and not really get to transfer it to much to other gear.

MPC line will deliver what you want for acidjazz/trip hop. you'll learn the MPC interface and then you'll get to use it on all the other MPCs. I
would suggest the mpc2000xl because they're very cheap now, and can do what you want. Check your local craigslist you should be able to find them for $400. It'll give you an interface you can finger drum and use your drummer background. The 1000 is good too, cheap, and have many functions, but they're a little more pricey, and the interface is a little more convoluted.

IF you dont like it, MPC2kxl you can sell probably easy...

IF you want triphop/acid jazz though, you're probably going to want some effects on top of the MPC. I'd suggest: MPC2kxl with 8 output expander, mackie 1202 or similar cheap mixer with inputs, a reverb, and an echo, if you want that portishhead sound, go for that space echo replica, or space echo, but those are pricey, but i'm sure you'll like it with your guitar stuff:>

a lot of your sound is going to be in the effects placement...
Old 28th January 2013
  #11
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ForWerd's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
You should look at the MPC1000. It will take you very far, especially since you can play various instruments. You should be able to get one for $500-650.
Old 28th January 2013
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
The MPC 1000 seems to be a popular choice. I can second - or third or fourth or whatever - one of those. They're a little more involved than a straight-up drum synthesizer, though. The machinedrum is cool...kind of. On the other hand, I got by for quite a while with a DR-670 and still think some of the best sound I've stocked up have come from it. Not a lot of versatility or room to grow though. With an MPC you can grow forever.
Old 28th January 2013
  #13
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apartment dog's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I would start with a lot of software sampler demo's.
Try D16 group, free stuff, FL Studio demo, saturation fx etc, good vst comps and character EQ's.

+1 for Arturia SparkLE that will be out in 2013, I want to try it.

slowly get what you need.

And then later try some hardware.

Have Fun.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #14
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shponglefan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3001 ➑️
here is my view:

dont get an octatrack, it's a complex beast, and it will just frustrate you as a beginner.
For the record, the Octatrack was my first h/w sampler/sequencer and I wasn't frustrated at all. That said, it is definitely not an "instant gratification" device and you do need to RTFM.

I do agree with the advice to go used/inexpensive at first. You can always upgrade later.
Old 29th January 2013
  #15
Lives for gear
 
natefrogg's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
find an old korg electribe er1

it's a great way to get your feet wet into drum machines and it can make more sounds than just strictly drums, you can find them for cheap 100~150 usually
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Entrainer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shponglefan ➑️
For the record, the Octatrack was my first h/w sampler/sequencer and I wasn't frustrated at all.
Yeah, but how long were you a user of software DAWs/Drum
Machines/Sampling Software first?

I doubt you got 1900+ posts since the Octatrack was released.

OP is noob. Not just HW noob.

That being said, I don't think it's a bad beginner machine at all
if you are willing to commit and have the dosh laying around.
I wish I had it when I was starting out.
Old 29th January 2013 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
shponglefan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Entrainer ➑️
Yeah, but how long were you a user of software DAWs/Drum
Machines/Sampling Software first?

I doubt you got 1900+ posts since the Octatrack was released.
What can I say, I have no life. heh

Nah, it's a fair point though. Going from software sequencers to an OT probably made the transition a bit easier.
Old 29th January 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Guns N Dope's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
When I think lo-fi and trip hop I think SP303.

Really simple and straight forward phrase sampler. Works great with loops or sequencing one shot samples. Almost no learning curve if you understand sampling as a concept. Cheap too, easily had under $200.
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