What is the best afforable alternative to an 808?

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What is the best afforable alternative to an 808?

Post by Alex E » Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:32 am

I really need that 808 sound but I don't have $1200.
What is the best alternative to an 808? It would have to have some sort sequencer, and would have to be cheap.

I was thinking about an electribe. Any other ideas?
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Post by translucencecs » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:51 am

Hmmm... If you want to go with all hardware:

A decent quality sampler, with multiple outs, a set of good 808 samples, preferably eq-ed right before use, and a sequencer.

I use an E-Mu ESI-4000 and an Alesis MMT-8, which can make a passable go of it. You should also be able to get both for well under $200, with some patience.

I'd suggest an Akai MPC-whatever, but they're all usually pretty damn expensive, too..!

Alternatively, an E-Mu XL-7 command station should be capable of getting pretty close.

EDIT: just noticed you have a Yamaha RX5 - Sound Source Unlimited released an 808/909 cartridge for that in the late 80's - that could be a reasonable solution too, if you can hunt one down... :)

Oh, and if all else fails, pretty much any of the more recent, top-end Boss drum machines can produce some fairly convincing 808 sounds.

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Post by prophei » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:55 am

you can get a drumstation for a few hundred dollars, and that gives you the 909 and 808 together. you can sequence that from a computer... maybe using numerology to get that old school sequencer vibe.

other than that, i'd get an older sampler with analog filters to get a warm tone, then use samples as mentioned earlier. one thing i've had some success with it actually making many of those sounds from scratch using old analogs. not all sounds will be spot on, but you can get there for others, the kick especially.

maybe a mix of the above would do you really well, and could all be relatively inexpensive. ultimately, the drumstation will give you the most accurate sounding bang for the buck... WAY more than any electribe.
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Post by fuckrapsputin » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:57 am

Maybe get an 808 disk for the EPS? I have heard good things about them, but as the disk drive in my EPS 16+ doesn't work too well I haven't been able to load the numerous 808 and 909 drum sets I got with it on disk. Either that or as it has already been said, get another kind of sampler and some 808 sets...
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Post by translucencecs » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:58 am

prophei wrote:WAY more than any electribe.
Agreed - forgot to mention that the Electribe really won't cut it for this. It's ok, but not really a good substitute for 808 sounds.

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Post by Alex E » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:18 am

So it looks like the Drumstation is the best choice. I just looked them up. You can even edit the tones! Very cool. About how much do they go for?


Oh and about the EPS, unfortunately it can't handle bass frequencies, (much less the 808 bass drum) because it's only 12 bits.
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Post by prophei » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:37 am

Alex E wrote:So it looks like the Drumstation is the best choice. I just looked them up. You can even edit the tones! Very cool. About how much do they go for?


Oh and about the EPS, unfortunately it can't handle bass frequencies, (much less the 808 bass drum) because it's only 12 bits.
you can find a drumstation easily between $200 - $300

usually you can get better bass response out of a low bitrate like that... think sp1200 / older mpc's / sound modded drumtraks...etc. the bits should be fine, it is the highend you might lose a bit of, but usually you get a good sound out of it.

still, the drumstation is hard to beat for what you want, and you can experiment with sampling that if you want to.. =]
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Post by Z » Wed Jun 06, 2007 3:47 am

I've owned a MIDI'd 808 for 17 years and just recently bought a DS2. I have to say the DS2 is quite convincing. I haven't A/B'd them yet.

If you've got to have the true analog sounds, I believe the CR-5000 & CR-8000 sounds are based on the 808's. You can't tweak them like you can on the TR and you have limited programmability on the CR-8000 and only preset rhythms on the 5000. Though, I did see a vid on YouTube where someone modded their 8000 with some of the basic sound controls.

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Post by GeneralBigbag » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:09 am

What about the MFB502, or a used JoMoX?
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Post by killedaway » Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:58 am

Korg ESX-1 w/808 samples. under 400 bucks used, and you can load it with whatever the heck you want. sounds as good (or as bad) as you like. rock-solid timing and TR-style sequencing (the most important part -- and my favorite part!). tons of modulation and effects, and it can do more than just drums -- you've got 9 drum parts to cover your 808 needs, plus 2 synth parts, 2 stretch parts and 1 "slice" part (for loops). also, 2 pairs of stereo outs (or 4 individual outs if you use panning) make it pretty useful when it comes time to mix.

since you yourself mentioned the 'tribes, i'm assuming you don't need an analog emulation, so the ESX-1 definitely gets my vote.
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Post by prophei » Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:05 am

i think that the drumstation is a good choice cause you get all the real tweakability of the originals... something samplers will never catch
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Post by sacredcow » Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:23 am

An ES-1 can easily be an 808...
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Post by prophei » Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:40 am

sacredcow wrote:An ES-1 can easily be an 808...
sorry, but not even remo0tely close on a good day. h**l, most things that people think can be an 808 can't be. i have an 808, and it is the most wonderful analog drum machine ever, hands down. the texture and live playability of the original is unsurpassed. the 909 is nothing in comparison... at least not to me.

the tones of the 808 are very much part of its sound, as is the ability to tweak them the way it allows. obviously, the sequencer is a big part, but if you can't get that, get as close as possible with the other two... something the es-1 is never going to do. wrong sounds, and samples don't sound the same really.

if you had top go the sampler route, at least use an older sampler for texture, then utilize the sample time to use many many samples to attempt at getting enough variations on the different knob positions.
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Post by sacredcow » Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:54 am

prophei wrote:
sacredcow wrote:An ES-1 can easily be an 808...
sorry, but not even remo0tely close on a good day. h**l, most things that people think can be an 808 can't be. i have an 808, and it is the most wonderful analog drum machine ever, hands down. the texture and live playability of the original is unsurpassed. the 909 is nothing in comparison... at least not to me.

the tones of the 808 are very much part of its sound, as is the ability to tweak them the way it allows. obviously, the sequencer is a big part, but if you can't get that, get as close as possible with the other two... something the es-1 is never going to do. wrong sounds, and samples don't sound the same really.

if you had top go the sampler route, at least use an older sampler for texture, then utilize the sample time to use many many samples to attempt at getting enough variations on the different knob positions.
That second paragraph doesn't exactly make sense in a few places to me. Either way, the ES-1 works for most people. You seem to be an 808 fanatic so I can understand your not accepting it.
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Post by prophei » Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:00 am

fanatic? haha, prolly a bit. seriously though, there is something special about the original that is not that easily duplicated... regardless of whether people like the es-1 or not... h**l, i'd prolly like the es-1 for lots of things =]

not that any of this matters. they are all just opinions....
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