Drum Machines- boomchik later or something(s) now?

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gryphon
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Drum Machines- boomchik later or something(s) now?

Post by gryphon » Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:14 pm

I think part of my problem working with electronic drums is that I am lazy. I first started as a drummer, and dynamics, rhythmic variation and that stuff all come very naturally to me in the context of playing it with my hands. I have never been able to get remotely close to that level of depth with using samples (generally TR-based) in Ableton Live's Impulse, so I just sort of try to do something different with it and don't really care most of the time whether the drums have much dynamic range, variation, or "feel."

I feel kind of resigned to that sort of playing for two reasons- (1)x0x's, as used in techno, electro, and most other genres where they are popular, rarely seem to have much of that and (2) I liked that a lot up until recently.

I have been experimenting further and had some promising results by processing the drums independently and then bussing them back together for more treatment/ease of mixing, but I still can't program the kinds of variations I want very intuitively. I think a hardware drum machine is in order, so that I can do real tweaks while recording into my compy and generate exactly the variations I want over the course of a given track (and because, in the case of the boomchik and others, the real analog element is very attractive to me). This is important to most of the music I make, and I feel it is the area where I am most lacking.

Does anyone have advice for a DM (or two) that could help me take this further? I hate menu-diving, which is why I am inclined to wait for the boomchik as hopefully this will be minimal, but if anyone has ideas for other box(es) that can help do the job I am open to suggestions.

most of my music is kind of downtempo or electro in origin, if that helps.

Thanks a lot everyone!
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Post by JSRockit » Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:45 pm

Would you prefer X0X or MPC style input? What is your budget? Some good ones to look at if you don't want to wait for the boomchik:

Akai MPC1000 / 2500 (some menu diving involved, no built in sounds, but real time drum pad input)

Elektron Machinedrum or UW (Alot of synthesis options, but takes time to make your own, good sounds...it's XOX and real time)

Jomox XBase 999 (Analog, easy to make good usuable sounds, xox, etc)
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Post by Shanesaw » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:40 am

What about an electronic drum kit like the Roland's or Yamaha's?

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kk994
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Post by kk994 » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:45 am

You could go for something like the Alesis Control Pad. Might work for you.

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Post by kuroichi » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:04 am

ahh, someone in the same predicament as me!!!

Ive spent months deciding, and I think Im finally going to settle on a jomox XBase 999 for now, as I have quite a passion for the kick in particular. My biggest problem is that although lots of machines have dials etc, for live tweaking, those dials are only assigned to one sound at a time, so you cannot perform multiple tweaks on separate sounds unless you pre-record certain tweaks. The only exception to this are some older machines like x0x machines which provide one dial for each feature.

Sequencer wise, although Im probably gonna buy a jomox in the next few weeks, I hear the Jomox can be a bit difficult to navigate at times, and accessing things on a Machinedrum can be a bit annoying, particularly the way you apply accents. Im quite certain I will buy a boomchik, as Im expecting good things from it. Sequencer wise I think its a case of how natural you want your drums to flow. Most electronic music has heavily quantised drums, but thats not always the case.

I thought about an MPC, for the sequencer, but most of them dont meet my needs (lack of outputs for example), and the ones that have the right features are too pricey. Plus I know I hunger for analog sounds, so thats always gonna affect me.

An electronic drum kit as mentioned earlier could be a good idea, as far as dynamics and natural variation are concerned, however if you desire unnaturally layered drums they can be a hindrance unless you overdub while recording.

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Post by Dirk » Fri Aug 31, 2007 11:05 am

If you want real analog drums and play your rhythms life into the machine, you will have to wait for the boomchik.
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otto
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Post by otto » Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:26 pm

Considering that you don't really know what the boomchic will be or what options it will have it seems kind of silly to bank on it being something you will really want.
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Post by gryphon » Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:31 am

Thanks for everything guys. The boomchik is definitely THE list right now, but I will check out the Jomox. My friend is going to build some Paia drum tone modules, and I'll try to stay busy helping him with those in the meantime. I want to be able to play a pattern into a sequencer and build up rhythms with the dynamics I'm trained in (hitting things), not an interface that requires me to edit individual accents with some kind of menu. I might as well use Live and automate the notes in there, so I can see what I'm doing better. I thought someone might have an idea of a couple more limited boxes that, together, could produce some pleasing results, based on the good things about layering. I also want to avoid using the same DAC for all the drums. thanks
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Post by bandreject » Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:01 pm

About the tr drums: Two levels of accent is fairly enough. I usually use the accent on separate tracks(if there is possibility). Tweak a lot with the accent, and separate drumms volumes.You can then compress it, not all at once, but in groups. For example hihats with rimshot, cowbell and light toms; snare alone or with hard closed hihats, and rimshot; bd alone, or with low toms. There is lot of combinations depending on what type of groove you want to get (more housey, or breakbeat, or knee breaker). I don't know how hard music you like, but also a good idea to do compression on some soft distortions/tube emulators, or multi band compressors with some extreme values (for example for coloring the snare dynamics).

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