909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

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909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by Polyroy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:55 am

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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by Z » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:03 am

Nothing beats a real 808. I was fortunate enough to buy mine 21 years ago when everything digital was all the rage, so I didn't shell out the $1500+ that they're selling for these days. If I didn't already have one, I certainly wouldn't pay $1500+ for one, but I think I would spend a grand.

For the 303, the x0xb0x is an excellent substitute for a fraction of the price.

As far as the 909 goes, there's always the Jomox machines. I've got a Novation DrumStation, and I think it does 909 pretty well and the 808 isn't bad either.

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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by Polyroy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:16 am

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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by Solderman » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:49 am

I've never heard any vst plugin that fully recreated the entire 808 drum sound set, and the Miami, while having some great sequencer features, I feel fell short of the original in punchiness and authenticity for certain sounds. The price is the only thing preventing me from getting one, despite the fact that I'm going more VST these days.

For 303, as mentioned, x0xb0x has a better sequencer, and is nearly as liquid and punchy and acidy and weird as the original. Close enough for excellent acid jamz for sure. Also remember the tolerances of the transistors in real 303's vary enough that no two 303's sound exactly alike.

909 would be a tough one, for me, but some people really love its sequencer. I've settled for the d16 Drumazon plugin, and am happy with the recreation.

I love my 606. Got it for $150 USD and modded it quite a bit, including the kick decay mod, so it sounds close to an 808 kick. I only wish it had a handclap and rimshot. Otherwise, its those hats and that snare.
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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by space6oy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:52 am

i love my 808 & 909 & think they're worth every penny i spent, $1250 for the 909 & luckily $800 for the 808, would be just fine w/ $1500 for one in good shape & order. 303 though i've had & doubt i'll ever shell out for again, unless i happen upon a steal, & in that scenario i'd probably just turn around & resell it. x0xb0x kicks its a*s IMHO.

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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by wiss » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:17 am

303~NO
909-I would not pay a dime over $750, xbase 09 is close enough
808~ Mint, no problem shelling out $1500
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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by garranimal » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:30 am

Solderman wrote:909 would be a tough one, for me, but some people really love its sequencer. I've settled for the d16 Drumazon plugin, and am happy with the recreation.
+1

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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by kuroichi » Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:32 am

I don't think any of them are worth it. But it's the only way to get one nowadays. I think xoxbox can be adecent sub for the 303, although they're are some differences. But the 808 has no real alternative, and the 909 doesn't either in my opinion. I got a jomox 999 a while back and just didn't feel it was a good replacement for a 909. Plus it costs the price of a 909 anyway.
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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by nadafarms » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:12 am

I personally think the 909 stomps the most and is more crucial for me than the 808 or 303, just something about the 909 kick and the other sounds that when used tastefully will always stay fresh and relevant.

No way in h**l does the xbase-09 or clone come close to the 909.
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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by Syn303 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:23 am

I own all 3 of these machines, well i have 2 TB-303's. These machines are expensive now, but only if you want the real deal in terms of sounds, only the x0xb0x comes close to the 303 sound, but it's the 303's screwy sequencer that gives you those weird and wacky basslines/leadlines. I paid £600 for one 303 over 4 years ago and a little bit more for my 2nd one just over 2 months ago which i bought locally. For me - my 303's, 808 and 909 are worth every penny.

Of course there are cheaper alternatives
TR-808 - alternatives = Acidlab Miami (but no intro or fill function), MFB-522 (tiny machine, small knobs, if you have sausage fingers it's a bit more tricky)
TR-909 - alternative = TR-707, Jomox XBase-09 or VST software.
TB-303 - alternative = FR Revolution, Acidlab Bassline 2, x0xb0x or those rack clones like Deep Bass 9, Bass Station etc.

But if you want the sound these machines produce for authenticity sake then it might be worth getting them, but most do with their cheaper alternatives instead. You could always consider an Elektron Machinedrum UW MkI or MkII and use samples of those machines which are free on the internet (808 and 909).

@ Solderman - i don't think the x0xb0x has the better sequencer (maybe in your eyes it does), it's just a basic 16-step sequencer, it has no time-mode function which is the 303's secret to those odd basslines, with the x0x to input a longer note you have to add a slide. and the x0x's Accent is not as punchy as the 303's. I find the 303's sequencer easy to use. And yes no two 303's sound the same, one of mine's is more liquidy sounding and the other is more grittier/raw sounding.

I also like the 606 it has a industrial edge to it, and i like the way the Hats interact with each other, the 606 is considered the poor man's 808, albiet somewhat limited unless you get a tonal mod done to it and it opens it up more.

But remember like any other analogue machine - they will require repair, spare parts and servicing which eats away at your wallet.
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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by StepLogik » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:48 am

If you are going for authenticity, then nothing else will do. There are plenty of alternatives so unless you are featuring (ex: vintage acid house) these instruments in your tracks then you can probably get away with something else. There is also a prestige factor - especially for certain boutique acid-house labels that won't release tracks made without the real deal. If you just need a 909 kick for a commercial dance track, then buying a real 909 is probably overkill.

I also think (and this is just my opinion) that knowing how to record these instruments is very important. Record them live (don't sample a loop and repeat it) so the subtle variances are captured each time through the loop. If you are going to use them together, mix them on an analogue desk. Recording each one digitally then mixing "in the box" will suck the life right out of the them (again, my opinion - I could just be an incompetent recording engineer).

Also read this thread: http://www.vintagesynth.com/forum/viewt ... 40&start=0

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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:36 pm

I personally would not like to be making music that relied on having a particular instrument. What I do uses some of those sounds but I use samples and an M Base 01 for drums and a x0xb0x and modular for 303-like sounds and nobody's ever complained about the sound of my tracks.

People listen to songs not the instruments you use to make them.

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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:52 pm

I am working on a theory that the people who are more likely to roll their eyes at the discussion of subtle qualities which make certain synthesizers difficult to emulate are the people more likely to describe how certain Roland rhythm/bass products have a certain quality that can't be reproduced.

The reason I'm always blasé about these very instruments is that their popularity is largely (note that I did say "largely") based in usage by certain musicians in certain genres, and not as much on their functionality, sound, or implementation. If there was such a thing as a synthesist/musician who had never heard or heard of these instruments and you exposed this impossible person to them, I doubt they would have the enthusiasm that those who love the music they've been used in have. This would not be the case for some other electronic instruments.
If you're cool with paying insanely high prices for limited instruments which will give you an association with an artist or genre you like, then I suppose they're worth it, but if they are weighed on their individual sound and merit against other equipment, not so much.
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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by pflosi » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:55 pm

They're worth the hype, but not the money. Unfortunately the former determines the latter in the €bay-world we live in :)
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Re: 909, 808, 303 - Worth it?

Post by Syn303 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:59 pm

Automatic Gainsay wrote:I am working on a theory that the people who are more likely to roll their eyes at the discussion of subtle qualities which make certain synthesizers difficult to emulate are the people more likely to describe how certain Roland rhythm/bass products have a certain quality that can't be reproduced.
I am looking forward to reading your theory on this Marc ;)

Automatic Gainsay wrote:The reason I'm always blasé about these very instruments is that their popularity is largely (note that I did say "largely") based in usage by certain musicians in certain genres, and not as much on their functionality, sound, or implementation. If there was such a thing as a synthesist/musician who had never heard or heard of these instruments and you exposed this impossible person to them, I doubt they would have the enthusiasm that those who love the music they've been used in have. This would not be the case for some other electronic instruments.
If you're cool with paying insanely high prices for limited instruments which will give you an association with an artist or genre you like, then I suppose they're worth it, but if they are weighed on their individual sound and merit against other equipment, not so much.
I am sure i can bang out a good tune on your equipment, I may have those said Roland overhyped/priced products, but i am adept at playing any kind of electronic equipment be it synths or modulars. I could also say an ARP2600 is not worth the money it goes for, any analogue synth/drum machine seems to be overhyped and priced these days, so it's just not Roland.

Analogue Gear is like fashion in a way, your paying for the name and the association with it and not the product itself.
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