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Drum machines etc

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Drum machines etc

Postby DanielBeach » Sun May 10, 2020 3:37 pm

Another slightly naïve questions here from me....

I’ve been wondering lately about all the various drum machines, groove machines etc on the market.

Roland TR-8S, Korg Vulca, Akai MPC range, etc.

These seem to be very popular, with dozens available on the market. Am I missing something, though? Is there anything these machines can do which I can’t do with samples and plugins in Logic? Or using Battery 4?


Am curious/interested as to what the draw is with these boxes. Serious question.

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Re: Drum machines etc

Postby resistorman » Sun May 10, 2020 3:52 pm

I bought an MPC One primarily for live performances since I won’t take a PC on stage. It covers a lot more ground than just drum machine... if it wasn’t for the antique and arcane operating system I’d make it the heart of my whole system. If you work primarily in your DAW, then no, you aren’t missing anything. Its a matter of preferred workflow.
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Re: Drum machines etc

Postby DanielBeach » Sun May 10, 2020 3:58 pm

Thanks for that.

I’m not against them at all - in fact, who knows, maybe I’d be more creative with it?

I’ve just always wondered :-)
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Re: Drum machines etc

Postby desmond » Sun May 10, 2020 4:08 pm

DanielBeach wrote:Am curious/interested as to what the draw is with these boxes. Serious question.

Some people don't want to make music with computers, they like connecting hardware and jamming on them physically using dedicated controls, rather than mousing around.

There's not really anything they can do that you can't with a computer and good software, but the interface and experience is different, and usually that, more than the sounds as such, that people are looking for.
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Re: Drum machines etc

Postby The Korff » Mon May 11, 2020 10:02 am

They look better on stage too! Tweaking knobs and changing sequences on hardware in real time is more 'instrumenty' than fannying about with a laptop. For all the audience knows, the artist could be playing Solitaire.
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Re: Drum machines etc

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon May 11, 2020 10:24 am

Candy Crush while the computer plays the gig.... :D
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Re: Drum machines etc

Postby ScottMG » Sat May 16, 2020 12:33 am

DanielBeach wrote:Am curious/interested as to what the draw is with these boxes. Serious question.

I think it's just a nicely designed, knobby interface that makes them appealing.
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Re: Drum machines etc

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat May 16, 2020 1:02 am

ScottMG wrote:
DanielBeach wrote:Am curious/interested as to what the draw is with these boxes. Serious question.

I think it's just a nicely designed, knobby interface that makes them appealing.

That's a big part of it for some (I'm one of them). Another benefit is the immediacy, portability and stability of a hardware drum machine. I can pick up my DrumBrute, walk into another room with it (or, in better times, take it to a mate's house) plug it in, flick a switch and I'm ready to go in a couple of seconds.

Laptops are portable too but little things like boot-up times, notifications, automatic upgrades, the "Oh, I'll just grab a mouse ..." thing, the lack of physical controls, the need to run the software or host, the audio interface hanging off one side of it (probably), the need to position yourself to view the screen and so on add up pretty quickly in my view. Things become a bit of a faff when you're most sensitive to it in the creative moment.

Another argument for hardware is its relatively limited scope. Whereas a virtual instrument is often frequently updated with new features and may have significantly more functionality than the hardware there is a lot to be said for working within a set of well-designed constraints that hardware enforces. You spend more time on creative thinking as opposed to being distracted by a myriad of on-screen menus, features and options.

Computers are great for running DAWs on a desk, plumbed in to all the right interfaces, hubs, network connections and so on. Also for working in a remote location such as a hotel room to which transporting hardware is impractical, or on a long journey by train, plane etc. Virtual instruments are an essential part of that workflow but when it comes to some things I think you just can't beat dedicated hardware!

It's all subjective of course. The truth is that whatever you're happiest and/or most productive with (depending on your objectives) is right for you :thumbup:
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Re: Drum machines etc

Postby Arpangel » Sat May 16, 2020 8:34 am

You probably know I’m in the market for a good hardware drum box, it wasn’t until I was given a PO32 Tonic that I realised how unfulfilling making beats on the computer actually is, with synths, the differences are there too, but for some reason, drums emphasise that hardware/software difference even more, I think it’s because drums are not only more of a physical thing to start with, but laying down a groove with a controller connected to a computer is just another step removed from physicality.
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