What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

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Daniele Spadavecchia
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What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by Daniele Spadavecchia » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:00 am

I am working on a Prog Rock CD that I will be performing live.

I would like some suggestions. I will be playing synthesizers and digital piano. I will need to sequence some keyboard parts and have a very convincing rhythm section that accompanies me. Basically, I have four needs:

-Sequencing
-Realistic 70s Rock Drums
-Realistic 70s Rock Bass
-Already made Prog Rock Drum Patterns and Fills to start and then modify (I like to play finger drums on keys, but Prog Rock needs fuller and more complex and spontaneous parts, and I sound too basic)

At the moment, I have this gear:

Korg Radias
Novation KS4
Casio PX 130
Alesis MMT-8

Korg and Novation can actually play drums, but sound better for EDM, and don't have any convincing electric bass patches.
The MMT-8 is very simple and I don't think it can handle odd meter changes like from 4/4 to 7/8 in the same song.
I want to stay clear from computers, as they are OK to compose and record with, but for live I want real machines.
I wonder if Alesis SR-18 would fit my purpose. I am not fixated on it, so any suggestion will be welcome. Plus, does it work as a sequencer for the mentioned keyboards as well? What about the various korg Electribe?

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by max badwan » Wed Apr 01, 2015 2:59 am

Have you checked out Roland Fantom or Yamaha Motifs?

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by Z » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:03 am

Daniele Spadavecchia wrote: The MMT-8 is very simple and I don't think it can handle odd meter changes like from 4/4 to 7/8 in the same song.
The MMT-8 can handle whatever time signatures you throw at it. One pattern can be 4/4 and another 7/8. So when you go to program the song, you can tell it "x number of 4/4 patterns and y number of 7/8 patterns"

As Max suggested, you might want to look at the Roland Fantom or Yamaha Motif. I have a coupe of Fantom X6s (one at home and one at my furniture shop). In addition to tons of great sounds, it has a built-in drum machine with tons of pre-programmed patterns in a variety of styles (no "prog rock", but plenty of rock and fusion and you can program your own) as well a 16 track MIDI sequencer. I've seen them used lately for around $800, sometimes less.
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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by Ashe37 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:14 am

or a Korg M3...

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:28 pm

Realistic rock drums and bass = samples.

Try the PCM waveforms in your Radias, if that's not good enough then a sample based synth is in your future.

If you are on a budget I would look into Roland JV and XV modules, Korg TR (Trinity rack) and Triton rack, Yamaha CS6r, EX5r and Motif rack.
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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by gcoudert » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:39 pm

max badwan wrote:Have you checked out Roland Fantom or Yamaha Motifs?
I have a Fantom with the Dynamic Drums card (some great heavy-ish drum sets) and Ultimate Keys (which covers lots of different basses for different genres as well a couple of Moog Taurus samples - think Genesis). A second-hand Fantom X6 would set you back about £650 plus about £220 for the cards on the UK market. Not cheap but it is a drum machine, sequencer, etc. that is perfectly suited for live use. Load the song and away you go. You could still use it without the SRX cards but you'd have to stick to more generic sounds. Let me know if you want an audio demo of some of the sounds. The Ultimate Keys card, as the name suggests, also offers lots of electric pianos, clavs and organs.
GC

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by Daniele Spadavecchia » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:46 pm

Thank you very much for your responses! :D
I am on a budget, as I need money to produce the CD.
Maybe in the future, for the next project I will be able to add another keyboard and improve the sound a little farther.

I really like the simplicity of MMT-8. Do you know how many songs I can realistically store in it? 9,000 to 11,000 notes memory doesn't sound like a lot. Can I run a full 1, 1 1/2 hours show? Do I need an external memory? I heard of somebody using an mp3 player to load extra memory through the tape in, but I never tried.

Maybe I could find some good midi drum loops for prog rock and use them to record in Logic and then put them in the sequencer. Any inputs here?

You are right about realistic sound=samples. As we are discussing this I am starting to realize that I am looking for more realistic playing vs. realistic sound, so in the end Radias drums if the parts are rich enough and have variations and fills will satisfy me.
The PCM in Radias are so-so for bass, but maybe I can come up with some original hybrid sound...

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by zoomtheline » Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:33 pm

Backing track opus

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by coastalscrub » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:16 am

Sounds like an ambitious project! =D>

Check out the Alesis Data Disk SQ if you want to use the MMT-8 and run out of space. I don't have one personally so I can't speak to how fast the transfers are.

Good luck!

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by Daniele Spadavecchia » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:42 pm

It is a project that is keeping me up at night, or at least it is the first thought when I wake up!

:geek: Any experience with Alesis Data Disk?
I wonder how fast it can load songs/files. :geek:

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by Daniele Spadavecchia » Sun Apr 05, 2015 11:50 pm

zoomtheline wrote:Backing track opus
=guitarist Karaoke? Am I missing something?

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by coastalscrub » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:28 am

It looks like the SQ can play back MMT-8 sequences directly from the DataDisk. With the regular DataDisk you need to dump it to the MMT-8 first.

There's an SQ on eBay right now that's $100 shipped but with a little patience you can find an Alesis DataDisk on craigslist for $30-50.

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by Daniele Spadavecchia » Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:18 pm

Thanks :D !

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by Daniele Spadavecchia » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:23 pm

I have been messing about with MMT-8 and Datadisk SQ and I was able to save a song from the first to the latter, a sequence on the latter and then play it back directly to my synth. It works like a charm, and it is so easy :D
The only thing I can't do on neither sequencer ist to loop just a section of a song for when I want to solo ad lib.
Any suggestions?

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Re: What Drum and Bass Machine for Prog Rock?

Post by Daniele Spadavecchia » Fri Nov 27, 2015 5:10 pm

Hi guys - Quick update.

After recording the 8 songs I have written with logic using the virtual instruments, I started to experiment with my equipment to prepare for the final recording and live performing using the hardware synths and sequencer. Here are the findings:

Novation KS4:
-Great and warm DRUM & BASS sounds = very "live band" sounding, good mid range punch 8-)
-Very easy to make traditional synth patches

Korg Radias:
-Very digital sound = super clean and defined with deep bass and precise treble
-Drum & Bass are good and realistic, but less exciting
-Good 80's patches Jupiter/Juno like :D
-Good Clavi/EP and Organs :ugeek:

Alesis Datadisk:
It syncs easily with DAW through MIDI: put it into receive mode and press play on computer and it records the whole song on it. Then you press send and all the synths will play tall MIDI tracks in the song as they were on your DAW - ONLY problem: NO LOOPING :?

Alexis MMT-8:
Super easy to use when recording tracks on it, but basic destructive quantizing only and no swing or flam functions. You can loop, but only when in part mode which means you have to select next part while playing every time as opposed to playing full song in song mode.
Syncing with DAW is impossible and it cannot receive single songs or parts from Datadisk, unless it is a full memory backup of what you have already on it. Funnily, you can save on Datadisk whatever you want from MMT-8 just put the former in receive mode and press play!

So in conclusion I solved the drum and bass issue but I am still missing the looping option for my solo parts.

I have looked around and it seems Roland MC 80 could do the trick. Any ideas? :?:

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