Drum machine recommendations?

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Drum machine recommendations?

Postby skunk3 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:19 pm

I have been buying gear like a fiend lately and I feel as though the finish line is finally in sight... (for real!)

I have everything I 'need' and I am now finishing up with procuring those extra 'want' bits. I would like to get an analog drum machine to complement my Elektron Machinedrum. I've got my eyes on several units, but I can't decide which one to buy. So far, the candidates are:

Jomox XBase 888
DSI Tempest
MFB Tanzbar
Acidlab Miami


I considered the Vermona DRM for a while but I haven't found any demos that really sell me on the overall sound. I also would kinda prefer to have something with a dedicated sequencer. The Elektron Analog RYTM is very tempting, but unfortunately it is very pricey and there aren't many used units on the market just yet. The Tempest is still on the high side of what I'd like to spend, but I do feel as though it is the most versatile / interesting of the ones I listed. The Miami is honestly a bit too vanilla for me, but if I found a great deal I wouldn't pass it up. The Tanzbar *sounds* really interesting to me, but it is a MFB product so the build quality could be dubious... as far as the 888, I love the way that it sounds but I feel like it's so much more limited than the Tempest, not to mention I hear that it's kind of a pain in the a*s in terms of operation.

So basically, I've got my mind set on a Tempest but I just want to hear from others... :ugeek:
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby skunk3 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:20 am

Also, I should mention that I'd settle for any of the ones listed (or even something else) if I found a good enough deal. Most of these options are at the $1000 mark or so (even used), so I'm just trying to figure out if it makes sense to buy something that is less capable vs. something that is more capable/versatile even if the less capable option still sounds damn good. :?
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:09 am

The DRM1 mk3 is a killer drum machine, so deep, so tweakable, so much fun to play. Would pair really nicely with the MD sequencer as well. That would be my pick for sure.
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby skunk3 » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:22 pm

I'd have to hear more demos of the DRM mkIII because thus far I haven't heard much that really sells me on it.
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby Jinsai » Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:33 am

The answer is kind of "what matters to you?"

The Tempest is similar to other DSI gear:
- It is very deep, powerful, and extremely programmable
-...but that means you MUST invest time in learning how to program it to get great sounds.
- People don't like the preset sounds, it doesn't come with a bunch of 808 and 909 and other stock kits easily available
- The sequencer/programming and playback is oriented towards live performance and "playing" the patterns, not just programming and standing back
- ...this also means there's some stuff other people consider essential that's not there, like MIDI CC control of parameters
- You can't load your own samples. That is a deal-breaker for some people

I have one, and I love it, but it took several weeks of focused work to start to "get it".
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby Stab Frenzy » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:25 am

skunk3 wrote:I'd have to hear more demos of the DRM mkIII because thus far I haven't heard much that really sells me on it.

That's because people who make demo videos are usually not great at making sounds. :idea: If you can find one to try out for a bit you'll be sold I reckon, it's very hands on and you can make a wide range of great sounds on it. Or bad ones.
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby skunk3 » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:03 pm

Jinsai wrote:The answer is kind of "what matters to you?"

The Tempest is similar to other DSI gear:
- It is very deep, powerful, and extremely programmable
-...but that means you MUST invest time in learning how to program it to get great sounds.
- People don't like the preset sounds, it doesn't come with a bunch of 808 and 909 and other stock kits easily available
- The sequencer/programming and playback is oriented towards live performance and "playing" the patterns, not just programming and standing back
- ...this also means there's some stuff other people consider essential that's not there, like MIDI CC control of parameters
- You can't load your own samples. That is a deal-breaker for some people

I have one, and I love it, but it took several weeks of focused work to start to "get it".


That's exactly what I want. I don't care about sampling capabilities... I've got other machines for that. I just want a badass analog drum machine that excels when it comes to live jamming/performance. That's what I'm interested in. I'm a MPC fanatic, so it seems like the Tempest would work for me nicely.
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby tomorrowstops » Fri Aug 08, 2014 12:14 pm

Jinsai wrote:The Tempest is similar to other DSI gear:
- It is very deep, powerful, and extremely programmable
-...but that means you MUST invest time in learning how to program it to get great sounds.
- People don't like the preset sounds, it doesn't come with a bunch of 808 and 909 and other stock kits easily available
- The sequencer/programming and playback is oriented towards live performance and "playing" the patterns, not just programming and standing back
- ...this also means there's some stuff other people consider essential that's not there, like MIDI CC control of parameters
- You can't load your own samples. That is a deal-breaker for some people

I have one, and I love it, but it took several weeks of focused work to start to "get it".


This is pretty damn accurate. But it does come with 808/909 samples in the digital oscillator section. They're not difficult to wrangle out and assign to pads?

The synthesis section is pretty intense. I barely wrapped my head around it. I mostly used mine for the all the drum machine samples. The live interaction thing is pretty neat, I found myself twisting beats in ways I've never done before!

I let mine go because I felt it was under utilized at the time. Wish I still had one!
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby GuyaGuy » Sat Aug 09, 2014 4:10 am

tomorrowstops wrote:
Jinsai wrote:The Tempest is similar to other DSI gear:
- It is very deep, powerful, and extremely programmable
-...but that means you MUST invest time in learning how to program it to get great sounds.
- People don't like the preset sounds, it doesn't come with a bunch of 808 and 909 and other stock kits easily available
- The sequencer/programming and playback is oriented towards live performance and "playing" the patterns, not just programming and standing back
- ...this also means there's some stuff other people consider essential that's not there, like MIDI CC control of parameters
- You can't load your own samples. That is a deal-breaker for some people

I have one, and I love it, but it took several weeks of focused work to start to "get it".


This is pretty damn accurate. But it does come with 808/909 samples in the digital oscillator section. They're not difficult to wrangle out and assign to pads?

The synthesis section is pretty intense. I barely wrapped my head around it. I mostly used mine for the all the drum machine samples. The live interaction thing is pretty neat, I found myself twisting beats in ways I've never done before!

I let mine go because I felt it was under utilized at the time. Wish I still had one!


It does have 808 and 909 samples and you can program the analog engine to sound pretty dang close. Or dig around for other people's patches if you're lazy.
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby skunk3 » Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:45 pm

GuyaGuy wrote:
tomorrowstops wrote:
Jinsai wrote:The Tempest is similar to other DSI gear:
- It is very deep, powerful, and extremely programmable
-...but that means you MUST invest time in learning how to program it to get great sounds.
- People don't like the preset sounds, it doesn't come with a bunch of 808 and 909 and other stock kits easily available
- The sequencer/programming and playback is oriented towards live performance and "playing" the patterns, not just programming and standing back
- ...this also means there's some stuff other people consider essential that's not there, like MIDI CC control of parameters
- You can't load your own samples. That is a deal-breaker for some people

I have one, and I love it, but it took several weeks of focused work to start to "get it".


This is pretty damn accurate. But it does come with 808/909 samples in the digital oscillator section. They're not difficult to wrangle out and assign to pads?

The synthesis section is pretty intense. I barely wrapped my head around it. I mostly used mine for the all the drum machine samples. The live interaction thing is pretty neat, I found myself twisting beats in ways I've never done before!

I let mine go because I felt it was under utilized at the time. Wish I still had one!


It does have 808 and 909 samples and you can program the analog engine to sound pretty dang close. Or dig around for other people's patches if you're lazy.



Seems to me that using a Tempest to emulate an 808 or 909 would be sad. You have this really powerful, modern drum machine and you use it to make emulations of sounds that have been used to death... wtf?! That'd be my take. I'd want to use it to make stuff totally fresh.
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Re: Drum machine recommendations?

Postby GuyaGuy » Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:18 pm

It would be sad if that's all you did with it. But I can see the advantage of having an 808, 909, and ultra-flexible drum synth in one box.

Then again, we have VSEers who go out and buy a synth to get that one preset sound from an 80s hit that could be programmed on just about any subtractive synth. So what do I know?
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