most flexible Realistic® drum machine

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most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby smallsynth » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:46 pm

I'm looking to find a Realistic branded (Radio Shack/Casio) drum machine. I'm having a hard time even finding a place to look to get information on such a thing. If a drum machine doesn't exist, one of the keyboards with built-in drums could suffice.... but it would be nice to have something with some/any sort of flexibility (or even -- dare I ask for -- individual outs). So, does anything like this exist? I mean, I know they exist, so, what is the most flexible drum machine or keyboard drum machine under the Realistic umbrella?

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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby meatballfulton » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:29 pm

I don't recall any drum machines ever offered by Radio Shack.

I've never seen any Realistic/Casiotone that had separate outs for the drums.
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby Walter Ego » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:38 am

I have two rebranded VL-1's--they're labeled Concertmate 200 and carry the Realistic badge. They also rebranded the SK-1 and SK-5, but I don't remember what Concertmate model #s they ran them as. If you can find a rebranded SK-5, that might go a long way for you, since it will hold 4 samples in memory. Realistic sold a reverb/delay unit that has a steady fan following, as well as small mixer units in the same form factor. That's about the extent of my Realistic knowledge (other than the obvious, the MG-1, of course).
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby AdamAnt316 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:19 am

This is the only one I'm aware of:
Image
(click here for the catalog page it came from)

This may be the first product offered under the Concertmate name. It only appeared in the 1981 and 1982 catalogs, best I can tell, disappearing when they started offering the Concertmate 200 (aka the Casiotone VL-1). I've never seen one of these "Electronic Accompanist Metronomes" in the flesh, much less listened to one to say how 'flexible' it is, but it looks like a fairly limited device compared to, say, a Korg KR-55/B.
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby balma » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:45 am

WTF :lol: ple - ple - please leave your message after the to-to-tone..... (bleep hi-hat)
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby Walter Ego » Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:07 pm

^^
It does look like an answering machine.
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby tim gueguen » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:43 am

Or a cassette deck with the cassette mechanism hacked off.
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby AdamAnt316 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:01 am

Or a Weatheradio. ;) Much of the stuff RS offered back in the day had an, errm, 'utilitarian' appearance. I have no idea why they had a drum machine built in a case like that. Probably contributed to low sales, as did the relatively high price tag.......... :roll:

Getting back on-topic, if we include keyboards made for Radio Shack, my vote for 'most flexible' goes to the Concertmate 700, aka the Casio MT-207. From their "Super Drums" line, the MT-207 (along with similar models like the MT-205, supposedly offered as the Concertmate 680 according to this page) offers numerous variations on the pre-set rhythms, along with the ability to connect external drumpads (or "sound-sticks", as shown in the catalog ad).
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby grenert » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:13 pm

I'm the proud owner of one of these :) The photo here is really deceptive. It's a lot fatter and chunkier tthan that photo suggests. Think monophonic boombox, rather than answering machine. Off the top of my head (away from home right now), I think it only has four sounds - bass, snare, woodblock, cymbal. They are analog; I have the schematics which are kindly included in the instructions. The rhythms are really simple, no fills, no programming. You can press multiple buttons at once to wring out a few more patterns but there is no more than about 7 or 8 tops. Its main advantage is battery power and big bassy speaker. I modified mine to take an audio input to serve as a portable amplifier.
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby AdamAnt316 » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:30 am

grenert wrote:I'm the proud owner of one of these :) The photo here is really deceptive. It's a lot fatter and chunkier tthan that photo suggests. Think monophonic boombox, rather than answering machine. Off the top of my head (away from home right now), I think it only has four sounds - bass, snare, woodblock, cymbal. They are analog; I have the schematics which are kindly included in the instructions. The rhythms are really simple, no fills, no programming. You can press multiple buttons at once to wring out a few more patterns but there is no more than about 7 or 8 tops. Its main advantage is battery power and big bassy speaker. I modified mine to take an audio input to serve as a portable amplifier.

Depends on the answering machine involved:
Image
(pretty sure it uses regular cassettes :mrgreen:)

Pretty cool, though! I'd like to hear a sound sample of it in action, if you could manage that. I'm not sure how many of those contraptions Radio Shack sold, but the number probably isn't particularly high. I wonder how it compares to more serious drum machines like the Korg Rhythm 55/B, as well as not-so-serious gear like Synsonics Drums. ;)
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby grenert » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:12 am

It's a fun toy, but it really doesn't compare to a more serious machine. The number of rhythms is limited and completely un-customizable. No swing, no fills, no individual outs or volume sliders.
When I'm back home I should be able to record some sounds. It should be a short demo - there's not much to record!
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby AdamAnt316 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:49 am

grenert wrote:It's a fun toy, but it really doesn't compare to a more serious machine. The number of rhythms is limited and completely un-customizable. No swing, no fills, no individual outs or volume sliders.
When I'm back home I should be able to record some sounds. It should be a short demo - there's not much to record!

Guessing it's akin to the rhythm sections used in various home organs made during the 1970s into the 1980s. In any case, I'd still be interested in hearing a sample of its rhythms. I'm rather curious about these sorts of early oddball drum machines, especially since at least a few of the keyboards I own could be referred to as "fun toys".......... ;)
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Re: most flexible Realistic® drum machine

Postby grenert » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:18 am

Well, it looks like a couple of ebayers have already posted a couple of recordings of this box on Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CmC6YEFAeo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKe5j-jAKuQ

I would say they sound accurate, down to the soft "ticking" sound that is unfortuately always present in the background! I could probably get rid of it, but haven't bothered... I forgot there is also a closed hihat sound.
Here's the schematic. It's very similar to the little Univox Sound Master rhythm "pedal." (Video of the Sound Master sounds exactly the same to me except the wood block)
IC1 is the main rhythm chip, LM8972.
Image
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