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Newbie Drum Machine and Sequencing Question

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Newbie Drum Machine and Sequencing Question

Postby forumuser653351 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:38 pm

Hello, I’m looking to get a drum machine to play around with and jam to and I have some specific requirements.

1) Odd Time signatures - not just 4/4. I would like to be able to create drum beats in different time signatures, such as 3/4, 7/4, 9/4. I guess this is related to the global sequence length in drum machine terms.

2) Polyrhythm / cross rhythm e.g. in 4/4, where one track plays 4 straight quarter notes (crotchets) to the bar and another track plays 3 quarter note triplets to the bar. Would this be related to quantisation?

3) Polymeter - having more than one time signature at once, e.g one track playing in 4/4 and another in 5/8 (from what I understand the Arturia Drumbrute does this but they call it polyrhythm)

(There seems to be a fair bit of disagreement on the use of terminology regarding polyrhythm, cross rhythm and polymeter. I don’t really want to get in a debate here, so I’ve just used a definition that seems reasonable and hopefully I’ve explained well enough what I want to achieve.)

Basically, I don’t want to be restricted to 4/4 time signature with only eighth and sixteenth notes (quavers and semiquavers). I want to be able to have triplets, different length sequences on different tracks and odd time signatures.

I’ve done a fair amount of research but it’s been a bit confusing and I haven’t really got the straight answers I’m looking for. It does seem that the Drumbrute can do some of what I’m asking for but it’s not clear if it can do triplets against quarter notes. The Electron Octatrack and MFB Tanzbar seem to do it all but I’m not 100% certain, they also look very complicated!

Coming from a classical and jazz music background and as a newbie to drum machines and sequencing I’m not sure of the correct terminology so I hope that I have made myself clear.

Any help and suggestions would be very much appreciated :)
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Re: Newbie Drum Machine and Sequencing Question

Postby Richie Royale » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:12 pm

You might get what you want with a JJOS equipped MPC 2500 (and possibly other MPCs)

Dave Smith's Tempest seems to offer polymeter.
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Re: Newbie Drum Machine and Sequencing Question

Postby forumuser653351 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:36 pm

Richie Royale wrote:You might get what you want with a JJOS equipped MPC 2500 (and possibly other MPCs)

Dave Smith's Tempest seems to offer polymeter.

Thanks, I shall look into those suggestions :)
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Re: Newbie Drum Machine and Sequencing Question

Postby Ben Asaro » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:03 am

Is there a reason you don’t want to use software?
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Re: Newbie Drum Machine and Sequencing Question

Postby The Elf » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:13 am

What you're wanting is certainly possible with the Roland TR-8S. - one of its best features IMHO.
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Re: Newbie Drum Machine and Sequencing Question

Postby forumuser653351 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:57 am

Ben Asaro wrote:Is there a reason you don’t want to use software?
No reason for not to use software, however it’s nice to be able to have the option to make music without turning the computer on.
Sotfware, iPad and hardwear options would be nice.
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Re: Newbie Drum Machine and Sequencing Question

Postby forumuser653351 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:01 pm

The Elf wrote:What you're wanting is certainly possible with the Roland TR-8S. - one of its best features IMHO.
Thanks Elf. A quick look and the Roland looks ideal, I’ll do a bit more research but it does do all I want and it can load samples too which is useful. Cheers. Ian
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