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Drum Machine question.
Old 28th January 2013
Gear Nut
JohnProctor's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Drum Machine question.

Hey guys, first time poster on here, despite the fact that I've lurked on the forums for a couple of years.

A friend of mine who works in music production told me that the Native Instruments "Maschine" was the way to. I play the acoustic drums, but I have very little experience in drum machines. However, I'm going to start doing solo live shows soon with a loop pedal and I need a good drum machine to accommodate that. I'm also recording in my bedroom/studio in my apartment, so a drum machine would work better due to noise complaints, etc.

So do you guys have any opinions or suggestions as to what I should buy? I want something that can produce realistic sounds as well as synthetic sounding drums. My budget is around $500 give or take $100.

Also, I would prefer NOT to use software. I'm old school in that I like to have the equipment with me, on hand, not on my laptop. And it looks better during live shows.

Thanks in advance for any help/answers.
Old 28th January 2013
Here for the gear
Matthew Delano's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Get a electronic drum set.
"Life's a garden. Dig it!" ~ Joe Dirt
Old 29th January 2013
Gear Nut
JohnProctor's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Are there any out there that sound somewhat realistic?
Old 29th January 2013
Registered User
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
If you want "realistic" then you want a high quality sample player with plenty of memory. A computer is seriously better placed to create realistic drum tracks than a drum machine.

Check out Stephen Slate drums ... read up how they work, because it sounds like you are just finding out about this stuff ...

You could get free software that plays samples, and find free samples on the net. There are thousands of genuine freebies out there: many sound like crap, because they have been sampled from drum machines. Or recorded with poor mics and preamps etc.

Beyond a certain level of quality, a good drum sample is just a good drum sample. It's still static and boring. To get some life into it, you either need a lot of drum samples carefully chosen and mapped out so they sound realistic when you play them: or, you can modulate a single sample with pitch and filters and sample start point etc, and get some real expression out of a single sample.

Or - some makers are using modeling to create drum sounds from scratch, and you can pretty much dial in any drum sound you like by changing parameters.

Some people like artificial sounding drums: I would rather have synthetic sounding drums that are very playable rather than high quality drum samples that just sound boring.

For example - when I play my Korg Wavedrum, hours go by ... when I mess about with samples my brain goes to sleep.

With a limited budget, start exploring all the free software options for a start. You can get a very good idea of what the different technologies can offer, without buying hardware.

You could glue ultra cheap microphones to a piece of board and record the (lame) sounds into you PC. THEN - use sample replacing software to trigger samples, and nobody would know whether you had recorded them in a million dollar studio or not.

There are so many drum technologies, it's easy to buy the wrong thing. Do your homework, try things in a shop, etc.
Old 29th January 2013
Lives for gear
steveswisher's Avatar
🎧 5 years
If you want to avoid software Maschine is not going to be the best choice. It's just a controller for the Maschine software.

In your price range I would look at an Akai MPC1000 or Roland SP 555. If you want to save for the best get an Elektron Octatrack or Machinedrum. They're above your budget but that is what you will want in the future.
Old 30th January 2013
Gear Nut
JohnProctor's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Thanks for the replies, guys. I definitely have some ideas to mull over.
Old 30th January 2013
Gear Addict
decibike's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Akai MPC 1000 sampler.
stage proof
real pads
Old 30th January 2013
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
I see a pattern forming .. Im also voting for an MPC1000 ..

So much more bulletproof and responsive compared to Maschine .. Which is not bad, but better suited to the studio ..
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