A Tr 909 or something modern?

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micahjonhughes
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A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by micahjonhughes » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:27 pm

I thought I wanted a 909, but decided I should look at what else has been produced in the last 25 years.

I will use the drum machine for hard Detroit style techno, and it must have x0x style programing. I'm really only interested in the classic drum machine sounds: kick, hats, clap, ride,... I don't need, or even want, a drum synth or something that does electro type sounds. While manufactures have focused on the kick sound, and that is important, there is something about the 909s hi hats that I don't hear in the modern drum machines.

What should I be checking out? And, where are some good demos?

Thanks

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by JSRockit » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:30 pm

It really sounds like you want a 909... so maybe it would be easier / better to just get one of those. 909 type of machines include the Jomox 09 and 999... but they are not as simple as the 909.
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kuroichi
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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by kuroichi » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:43 pm

I originally wrote a long detailed response but I'm just gonna say this.

Just go for the 909. Don't waste time with the other stuff unless you are interested in different sounds/workflow.

Everyone will say ''this can do it just as well'' etc...

But just get a 909,

and if it aint right, sell it.
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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by Sir Ruff » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:22 pm

like everyone else said, if you want a 909, get a 909... BUT saying that, since they are THE most cliched drums sounds known to man, why not deviate from the norm a little bit and get something different? A lot of detroit stuff used a 909, but a lot didn't, and it just seems in the day and age those sounds are SO played out (especially for the price).
Do you even post on vse bro?

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by kuroichi » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:06 pm

Sir Ruff wrote:like everyone else said, if you want a 909, get a 909... BUT saying that, since they are THE most cliched drums sounds known to man, why not deviate from the norm a little bit and get something different? A lot of detroit stuff used a 909, but a lot didn't, and it just seems in the day and age those sounds are SO played out (especially for the price).
Gotta agree here.

For years I wanted a 909 but when I finally got one I realised that when I use mine, it reminds me of all the horrible cliched chart dance music that I despise.
Come on Bennett.... Let's Party!

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by micahjonhughes » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:16 pm

I'm hoping for a good discussion here, and I appreciate everyone's posts. I have a few follow-up questions, one for the sake of information and one to keep the discussion going.

1) So, what drum machines should I consider as alternatives to a 909?

2) While certainly "played out" is the 909 (808, 303, ect.) like a Telecaster, Stratocaster or LesPaul, in that it is such a part of the sound of the style that it wouldn't be rock and roll (techno) without it?

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by novielo » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:31 pm

micahjonhughes wrote: 2) While certainly "played out" is the 909 (808, 303, ect.) like a Telecaster, Stratocaster or LesPaul, in that it is such a part of the sound of the style that it wouldn't be rock and roll (techno) without it?
that's why i got a danelectro u2 guitar... :wink:

i was searching for some time the perfect machine drum for my needs. i've deceided to make all my drum sound. microkord, kraftzwerg even my mouth sometimes gets in the process... now i got to learn my new aquisition, a micro q to go on with that
-Save yourself the time and have a conversation with a plastic chair. -RobotHeroes

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by kuroichi » Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:47 pm

micahjonhughes wrote:I'm hoping for a good discussion here, and I appreciate everyone's posts. I have a few follow-up questions, one for the sake of information and one to keep the discussion going.

1) So, what drum machines should I consider as alternatives to a 909?

2) While certainly "played out" is the 909 (808, 303, ect.) like a Telecaster, Stratocaster or LesPaul, in that it is such a part of the sound of the style that it wouldn't be rock and roll (techno) without it?
well...

1) alternatives are quite vast, for an analog sound you could try the obvious ones like jomox, vermona etc. Or you could try the machinedrum, theres always samplers, however it all depends on whether you are interested in finding good sounds etc. (its not that hard, but hey some people cant be assed).

I'm personally trying to get myself an sp1200(!!!!!!) so that I can sample sounds that I make with my analog gear etc, and find sounds, as my 909 is too limited for that.

But, thats because I base my production around the drums, and so I sometimes want really specific sounds that I have to create.

If you are after some bang to add to your setup then by all means the 909 will do it, but its price means you should only get one if you really feel the need to get a '909' specifically. For example the main reason I wanted one was the interface combined with the sounds, I hate encoders and hate having to share dials between lots of sounds, which a lot of new gear does. I bought all the alternatives first, jomox, elektron blah blah, and then decided they didn't give me the specific things I wanted so I sold up and got a 909. Thing is, as great a machine it is, the cliche hurts its legacy severely. Plus now I fear selling it because I might miss it, and I wont get another one in this condition (its absolutely mint).

2) The thing with music is, with the exception of Jeff Mills and some others, a lot of producers don't actually use a real 909. I get what your saying here though, because when I got mine I found you certainly get a sense of its history from just using it. I honestly feel that while a 909 adds 'that' thump to your tracks, the drums dont stand out anymore, as they are just too played out. The only exception is when they face some excellent processing, not the type that mangles them out of character or anything, but just good quality. But good processing can do that I guess.

I honestly thought when I was younger that a 909 would give me that edge over other tracks. But the over use of it, plus the rise of things like Drumazon (which is very very very accurate, even emulating the snare/clap phasing that occurs on a 909) kind of kills it off.

However, there is a reason I own one, and that is... It actually is the best at what it does, bar none. Jomox, vermona, elektron and so on cannot do 909. They can only do themselves (although they are great machines), thats the big difference, cause if you buy one really hoping for a 909 you will be dissapointed.
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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by princefan3 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:58 am

ive had similar thoughts....just owning a 909 must make you feel great....i get that feeling with my 303
ive found the novation drumstation v2 a knockout for the price....although not as hands on....its simple
on the tin stuff..
i still lust after a 909,but cant justify its price...youll not loose out,as its gonna hold its price anyway...

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by JSRockit » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:21 pm

While cliched...don't let that stop you. 3 chord punk rock is cliched...yet people love it and new stuff comes out daily. I love 2 bar repetitive hip-hop loops... a lot of people find it boring... but that is my 909, my 3 chord punk. The bottom line is that you have to go with the sound you love. Don't be afraid of the 909 just because someone on a forum doesn't care for it. If you love it, get it and use it.
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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by esqoner » Mon Oct 27, 2008 2:45 pm

get 909. delay. filter.

be happy.

everything is cliche anyway.
the little green buttons make the little

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by ipassenger » Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:51 pm

I think the thing that a producer friend of mine says is pretty much true, albeit annoyingly so:

909 Kicks just work and so do the hats, claps and snares (if your doing techno that is). You don't need to take a test press of yr track to club to make sure the kick works the way you planned because if it was a 909 then it almost definitely will.

That's not to say you can't get as good or an even better sound with other drum gear.

Re: The novation drum station.. I think they are a great alternative, true aficionados can tell the difference but no one else will.

So i think you should probably get a 909 or if you have a good non pc based midi sequencer have a look at a drum station.

If you want your 909 sounds to stand out from the crowd a little and have their own flavour then get some analog or digital filters, phasers, EQs and distortions thrown in to the mix.

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by micahjonhughes » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:12 pm

I really enjoy everyone's comments. Keep them coming.

I'll address a few things that have come up.

I make lots of percussion noises with analogs and a TX81z, and then sample them with my Emax. So, I wont depend on any drum machine for all of my percussion and I've got that low bit + analog filter thing going. For a while, I was doing non-dance stuff. Then, I made and sampled or just sampled every drum sound into the Emax after processing. It does give a good chunky sound. I will process any drum machine that I get.

I owned a drumstation and was quite happy with it and considered re-buying it rather than get a 909. The only thing is, no sequencer. I really want a drum machine with a pattern write sequencer for work flow reasons. I've not completely given up the idea of getting one, especially if I get a good deal.

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by TACO » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:10 pm

If the 909 sounds cheesy ... it is purely the users fault. That machine is magic. I suggest perhaps modding the kick and hi-hats just a little.. but in the end. The 909 will only love you back if you give it the right special care.. It really benfits the "nit-picker". An important aspect of the 909 is accent and more importantly the volume of each instrument. When you bring in that clap rrreally quiet. It's magical. Use taste.

The 909 just plays off other sounds and can really create the right mix that I don't get with JoMox or Elektron machines.

JoMoX and other options will sound more "electro" and sounds a bit .. dull ... because electro is just duller music when compared to techno.

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Re: A Tr 909 or something modern?

Post by TACO » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:16 pm

Also - I don't use the sequencer all that much any more. It works great with CuBase actually. Accent doesnt' work because you can decide the volume for every hit.

There's nothing really magical about the sequencer. Jus thought I'd get that out there. Usally with if you fart around with just the sequencer, it will have a better chance of sounding like 1986 instead of 1996. Of course this isn't always true. But clever use of MIDI is always what made the mid 90's techno much harder and smarter IMO of course. Synewave records, Downwards records, Meta records

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