Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

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Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by KBD_TRACKER » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:41 pm

Maybe this is just an isolated case, but I thought about whether "old timers" musicians would stick to the vintage stuff or newer gear, by looking at a picture of DJ Pierre studio in 2015.

BTW, DJ Pierre is considered one of the "originators" of acid house and "wild pitch" dancing tracks. A career spanning over 30 years doing electronic dance music. Most of his early stuff used the Roland x0x boxes.

So, assuming this man is certainly not short on cash and could certainly afford a TB303, TR808, TR909, SH101, I was surprised to see this image of his present studio with a TR8, and TB3, and a System 1.

An exception ? Maybe...

And the full article where he comments on his studio gear.
http://www.attackmagazine.com/features/ ... re-studio/

Image

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by Re-Member » Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:29 pm

Well, the real question is whether or not you feel this person's new music sounds as good as the stuff he was producing 20 to 30 years ago.

Take someone like Gary Numan for example... In new interviews he's always talking about his love for new gear over the vintage stuff, but his music today really doesn't sound anything like his earlier work and a lot of fans are divided between the former and latter.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by Bitexion » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:20 pm

You also have to remember that for someone who started a genre, or were there at the time, synths and rythm machines were utility devices, not vintage treasures like we see them now.

When you've hauled around 10+ big analogue synths on world tours for the past 10 years, you're delighted to see hybrid analog/digital synths appear that can downsize your rig massively.
I think it's the same in this case. Instead of carrying around half a dozen boxes, you just carry one or two boxes.

For fulltime working producers or musicians, practicality usually comes before "vintage" or awesomeness unless you can do everything in your own studio, never tour, and it doesn't matter

Let's use Rush as an example. When they were touring in the 90s/00's, they just sampled all their vintage synth sounds and used a stack of Roland XV samplers on tour instead of lugging around 20 year old brittle synthesizers. The sounds were exactly the same, and still played by Geddy lee. It's not like they sampled entire songs. So what's really the difference?
Musicians progress, they don't tend to get stuck in the past.

I also read an interview with a big swedish producer (can't remember his name), who ditched half a warehouse of vintage synths for VST's and a laptop. He had some pretty convincing reasons, even though you'd think he was mad.
He said he had piles of synths lying around that were never used anymore.
Last edited by Bitexion on Mon Apr 06, 2015 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by bhrama » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:20 pm

Re-Member wrote:Well, the real question is whether or not you feel this person's new music sounds as good as the stuff he was producing 20 to 30 years ago.

Take someone like Gary Numan for example... In new interviews he's always talking about his love for new gear over the vintage stuff, but his music today really doesn't sound anything like his earlier work and a lot of fans are divided between the former and latter.
This is a valid point, but I'd ask you to list any musicians who've made music for 20-30 years, to still be on the "level" of which made them who they are today.

For the record, I owned both a 808 & 909, and now own a TR8. No complaints, only praise of the new stuff.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by KBD_TRACKER » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:28 am

Re-Member wrote:Well, the real question is whether or not you feel this person's new music sounds as good as the stuff he was producing 20 to 30 years ago.
bhrama wrote:This is a valid point, but I'd ask you to list any musicians who've made music for 20-30 years, to still be on the "level" of which made them who they are today.
I am puzzled by this. Sure enough it is hard for any musician to stay creative and relevant over a period of 20-30 years. This seems true for all forms of music: jazz, pop, rock, etc..

But are you saying that for a musician to not use "epochal" gear (ie the original, now vintage gear) 20-30 years latter, is a clue, a cause, or else consequence of inferior music quality now ??

In other words then, do you think there is a "correlation" (or more) between the evolution of the musician's choice of gear (toward more modern gear) and the "quality" level of his/her musical production ??
Last edited by KBD_TRACKER on Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by madtheory » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:49 am

The correlation is false, because there are too many variables. The person had changed, so the music has changed, the gear is almost irrelevant in comparison.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by KBD_TRACKER » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:59 am

Bitexion wrote:You also have to remember that for someone who started a genre, or were there at the time, synths and rythm machines were utility devices, not vintage treasures like we see them now.
I can definitely agree with this: I do remember that in the 80s-90s this gear (junos, x0x boxes, etc.) was considered basic, good, even essential "tools" by many electronic musicians, but it did not have this aura of preciosity, exception and economic valuableness.
In fact this gear had determined its own aesthetics and as result .... it got the job done .... :mrgreen:

But I believe that if in the 80s the price of 303s and 808/909s had been like they are today, they simply would not have been used: they would have been largely ignored, and electronic and dance music would have evolved in a different aesthetic direction.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by RetroSynthAds » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:46 am

I agree with Bitexion. It appears his tool choices are based on utility and what is most convenient for him.

According to a Nov2012 interview he had totally transitioned to software - Reason in particular. He even mentions replacing his 303 with Rebirth.

http://news.traxsource.com/articles/105 ... -dj-pierre

If true, it does't look like he gave up the XOX stuff for the new Roland stuff. But when the new AIRA gear was released, they were convenient and worked easily with his software workflow.

I'm guessing a lot of musicians made the switch for this reason.

Heck, it's the reason I bought all the AIRA gear even though i have all the old XOX gear. I do wonder if he had to pay for his though. And yes, if he didn't, I'm jealous as heck. :)
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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 6:56 am

KBD_TRACKER wrote:Maybe this is just an isolated case, but I thought about whether "old timers" musicians would stick to the vintage stuff or newer gear, by looking at a picture of DJ Pierre studio in 2015.

BTW, DJ Pierre is considered one of the "originators" of acid house and "wild pitch" dancing tracks. A career spanning over 30 years doing electronic dance music. Most of his early stuff used the Roland x0x boxes.
Do you realise that the 'old timers' who invented these genres and made those machines famous were at the time using pretty new gear to make the most futuristic music they could? :?:

I find it kind of hilarious when people think that musicians who broke the boundaries and made completely new things should just freeze themselves in time and keep making the same music with the same gear forever. :lol:

I guess things have changed a lot in the last twenty years with western culture on the whole becoming a lot more backward looking and afraid to try to do anything new. Fetishising old gear is not the way to make great new music, it's the 21st century version of playing with a train set in your basement.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by GuyaGuy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 8:56 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:
KBD_TRACKER wrote:Maybe this is just an isolated case, but I thought about whether "old timers" musicians would stick to the vintage stuff or newer gear, by looking at a picture of DJ Pierre studio in 2015.

BTW, DJ Pierre is considered one of the "originators" of acid house and "wild pitch" dancing tracks. A career spanning over 30 years doing electronic dance music. Most of his early stuff used the Roland x0x boxes.
Do you realise that the 'old timers' who invented these genres and made those machines famous were at the time using pretty new gear to make the most futuristic music they could? :?:

I find it kind of hilarious when people think that musicians who broke the boundaries and made completely new things should just freeze themselves in time and keep making the same music with the same gear forever. :lol:

I guess things have changed a lot in the last twenty years with western culture on the whole becoming a lot more backward looking and afraid to try to do anything new. Fetishising old gear is not the way to make great new music, it's the 21st century version of playing with a train set in your basement.
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I would add that cool vintage pieces aren't going to make your music cooler or less cool. And furthermore cool vintage pieces aren't going to lock you into one sound. There are plenty of musicians who have used cool vintage pieces to create sounds and approaches that would have been completely foreign to people using the pieces when they were new--whether it's Sonic Youth and their cool vintage 60s Jazzmasters or Aphex Twin and whatever stack of vintage synths he's been using.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by Bitexion » Wed Apr 08, 2015 12:21 pm

That was exactly my point. When they made the albums back in the 80s and 90s, the gear was the latest and the greatest. It wasn't some cool hip vintage gear from 1965 that cost $40000. So naturally, modern producers and musicians use the latest gear that is available to us now.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by GuyaGuy » Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:24 pm

Bitexion wrote:That was exactly my point. When they made the albums back in the 80s and 90s, the gear was the latest and the greatest. It wasn't some cool hip vintage gear from 1965 that cost $40000. So naturally, modern producers and musicians use the latest gear that is available to us now.
That wasn't my point. Mine was that vintagey gear doesn't by default result in vintagey sounds.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by KBD_TRACKER » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:06 am

Bitexion wrote:That was exactly my point. When they made the albums back in the 80s and 90s, the gear was the latest and the greatest. It wasn't some cool hip vintage gear from 1965 that cost $40000. So naturally, modern producers and musicians use the latest gear that is available to us now.
Well,
the TB303 came up around 83.
theTR808 in 80-83
the TR909 in 84.

(Acid) House and techno developed from the mid-late 80s onward. So this gear was already a few years old when they started being used in the new electronic music.

Also both TRs were sold around $1000 originally. That was a much cheaper alternative to what Linn or others mfgs did in these days. The 303 was originally sold around $500.

So one could argue that at birth of the house/techno era, the x0x boxes were not really state of the art, and that they were rather "economical" tools compared to much of the other instruments/boxes of that time.

Imo, where x0x boxes were the "greatest" is at what they were doing (which of course is sort of circular logic since they were precisely used for what they could do). But otherwise these boxes imo were neither state of the art or "top shelf" stuff.

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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by griffin avid » Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:52 pm

It might be worth noting that some gear arrived with NEW SONIC CAPABILITIES that were rare or didn't exist at all- before....
So it could be as simple as (those older artists) creating whatever they wish and it would sound new and different or even futuristic because their instruments were, um...that.

As opposed to our current NEW and EXCITING gear that doesn't do more than generate those same old sounds and tones...as per our continuous requests.....and demands.

Make something that sounds totally new and different and no one knows what to do with it.
"Hey, this is no good for today's music!"

At some point that artist has to become more than the tone of his tools and either- experimenting for unique combinations- along with some different taste (imagination and such) or explore unheard of directions.
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Re: Choosing TR8 and TB3 over TR808/909 and TB303

Post by recordbot » Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:30 pm

you have to keep in mind that it seemed there is an interview with every artist under the sun associated with 303/808/909 productions even though a lot of these guys were sampling their friend's box and never actually owned one,

but a bunch of artists mention in those Roland review interviews that they will keep the OG box in the studio and take the new one on tour, pretty funny because most of them are known for traveling with records not drum boxes and synths.

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