Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

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Ianh
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Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by Ianh » Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:15 am

Hi guys

I am looking for a drum machine. Thus far i have been considering the 808 or the 909; looking for more options as well. I have spent some time with a 909 but not an 808. I was initially leaning towards the 909. I really like the 909 interface and sequencer. I thought i would like shuffle and flam but don't really care for it. I have heard from friends and reading that the 808 has a more flexible sound pallet and is perhaps less predictable and more dynamic. For these reasons i am now leaning towards the 808. My main interest in both units is there natural musical qualities in there sound, sequencing, and interaction. My main concern with both is that they are quite expensive due to there huge popularity(maybe my money could be better spend). I have also considered the 707 but they arn't crazy cheap either. This is what i am looking for in my drum machine:

1. Step sequencer
2. Sync in (midi not necessary)
2. Flexible sounds. both the 909 and 808 are flexible enough for me. Also willing to mod a machine.
3. Trigger outs (before or after mod)
4. Individual outs (before or after mod)

Please only give feed back on machines you have used extensively.

I am not interested in the machine drum.
thanks in advance.

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by Syn303 » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:06 am

Ianh wrote:This is what i am looking for in my drum machine:

1. Step sequencer
2. Sync in (midi not necessary)
2. Flexible sounds. both the 909 and 808 are flexible enough for me. Also willing to mod a machine.
3. Trigger outs (before or after mod)
4. Individual outs (before or after mod)

The Acidlab Miami, a clone of the 808 would be right up your street. Has Sync & Midi in/out, flexible, trigger outs and individual outs plus more pattern storage and is cheaper than a secondhand 808, especially the prices they are now.

http://www.acidlab.de/
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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by pflosi » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:32 am

If you're willing to go into modding, the 606 might also be worth a look. Great little machine.

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by Ianh » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:00 pm

Hey thanks for the responses. I have looked at the 606; i will definitely get one some day but i don't think it has enough umf in the kick section for my only drum machine. I have also looked at the acid lab 808 clone. I would ideally try and wait for an 808 that needs a little tlc for less than they are going for on ebay. And after taxes and shipping the miami would be getting close enough to a beat 808 for me to spring for the 808. But the miami is not totally off my radar.

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by pflosi » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:52 pm

Ianh wrote:Hey thanks for the responses. I have looked at the 606; i will definitely get one some day but i don't think it has enough umf in the kick section for my only drum machine.
There are awesome mods out there to expand the sonic palette of the instruments, not only for individual outs...

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by Explorer » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:40 pm

The Roland TR-808 can also be modded.
Can be done nicely in a break-out box,just need to drill a hole somewhere on the backside of the TR-808 to fit the multicable.

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by Ianh » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:34 pm

Explorer wrote:The Roland TR-808 can also be modded.
Can be done nicely in a break-out box,just need to drill a hole somewhere on the backside of the TR-808 to fit the multicable.
Do you happen to have a link to some of these mods? I understand the concept of the break out cable but am curious what mods people have done.
thanks

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by ninja6485 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:01 am

As much as a love the 909, bought it first, and could still see it as being a desert island drum machine... The 808 just works in more situations. It's the one I'd pick at the moment. The 909's bass drum is actually a lot more powerful to my ears. I almost use the 606 more than the 808, and its bass drum is really nice and punchy. You don't always want a huge, powerful sound in that department. It looks bad on paper, but the 606 is easily one of my favorite pieces of gear. It's very endearing, and mine is unmodded! Honestly, my desert island setup might look more like 606, 101, and maschine, but let's say I'd take the 808 if space and batteries wouldn't be an issue! If I thought my money could be better spent on something other than an 808, I'd sell it and buy whatever I thought that might be. I say get the 808., or test out the Miami if you see one for a good price
This looks like a psychotropic reaction. No wonder it's so popular...

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by Z » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:16 pm

The TR-808 sounds like it will be the machine the best meets your criteria. Of all the drum machines I know of, it has the most trigger outs: 3 (Accent, Clap and Cowbell). The 909 only has one trigger out (Rim Shot), but the 606 has 2 (hi and lo toms).

With the high cost of 808s these days, I wouldn't do any modifications to it except MIDI.

The 606 will be the cheapest route after modding. Analogue Solutions has many mods for the 606 including tonal and individual outs: http://www.analoguesolutions.org.uk/tr606-mods.htm

There should be enough room inside the 808 to add additional tonal mods without needing a breakout box like the 606. I saw a modded out 808 on eBay not too long ago with knobs up and down both right and left side panels. And check out this modded 808 that someone brought to my 2011 Dallas Synth Meet around 4:30 (he has since sold the 808):
[youtube][/youtube]

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by schmidtc » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:09 am

A modded Korg KPR-77 it holds in own amongst 808's and 909's to my ears. The 606 mods I've only heard on the web, but seemingly less so.

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:04 am

the original x0x machines are pretty convenient despite all their limitations, but if you want "flexible sounds" have you considered assembling your own frankenstein so you don't have to choose? I have a small Tip Top 808 set and it sounds great. you can even choose different drum sound clones from different machines and use whatever MIDI or analog sequencer you want to trigger them. very flexible if you're not attached the the original 808 or 909 boxes. the great thing about getting brand new analog is that you don't have to worry about the aging hardware. with eurorack too, you can stretch the functionality because of modularity. you can even build it slowly by getting the kick and snare only first, then add the other parts you need as you go. lots of fun especially when you break out of 16 step sequencing. s**t is sick. I use all sorts of trigger sources, as well as 16 step x0x style sequencers.

a link to the various eurorack drum modules: http://bit.ly/Xc3SKM

also, some examples of drum-hybrid systems from different threads on Muff's:
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http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=79610
http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=70266
http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=75644
http://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=57137

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by c-level » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:04 pm

off topic, but hows the novation drum station stack up? im bout to pick one up for about 100$

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Mar 16, 2013 6:36 am

I'm a bit surprised by the talk of flexibility of sound here, pretty much nothing mentioned so far is very flexible at all. 808s sound like 808s, 909s sound like 909s. The 606 is probably one of the least flexible sounding machines ever made.

For the price of an 808 I would be picking up an Octatrack and a Vermona DRM1 mk3. Octatrack to do the sequencing, syncing and to add samples for more flexibility and the DRM for actually flexible analogue drum sounds.

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by bouzoukijoe1 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:05 am

everyone already knows this, but there is flexibility of sound parts like drum kicks, but there is also flexibility of the kits themselves (different combinations of kick, snare, hihats, claps, from different machines)

the inflexibility of any part that can't be tuned can be a pretty big issue if you need to tune your parts and I wonder if the OP has specific thoughts about this regarding analog. for example, I would take the Cwejman BLD module over a real 808 any day (if I could afford it).

the Machinedrum to me would be the most obvious choice if one wants full control over each sound, but for some reason the OP doesn't want that. not sure why. MD seems like an awesome option.

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Re: Analog drum machine... 909, 808, or....???

Post by shaft9000 » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:40 pm

don't overlook the Jomox 999

it doesn't have the DIN-sync option, but it's sounds the business.
it's not as easy to use as the classics; the manual is funky and it takes a week or more to get cozy with it.... but you will be well-rewarded. you can load your own samples into the thing (any you want in place of the clap, rimshot etc...any of them) and still always have the analog kick (best around), snare and toms. analog VCAs on every part provide lotta grit.
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999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

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shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

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