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  • Drum Machine . . . should I upgrade?

    I currently have an Alesis SR-16 drum machine. I like its simplicity, but the sounds are a bit lacking. Is there another drum machine I should check out?

    I play mostly metal, rock, experimental, and a little jazz. So I don't need any dance grooves or anything like that. I'm a guitarist, and I don't have much patients when it comes to electronics. Feel free to recommend drum machines with or without bass patterns. I've never used one with bass patterns, so I don't know how hard it would be to learn.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Nate:

    It sounds like you might be a prime candidate for a Boss DR-880. Follow the link below. It will bring you to a screen that shows the new products Roland/Boss introduced at Summer NAMM. Click on the DR-880 Icon that's in the center top row of pictures.

    http://www.rolandus.com/index_snamm.asp

    As luck would have it, the dude that demos the unit is a guitar player and said something like "Guitar players are the last to jump on the technology wagon". He demos how a guitar player can easily generate beats without having to step program it. It doesn't get any easier than that. The DR-880 started shipping and would be a good one to check out.

    Cheers,


    Mike T.
    Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Mk III, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro, lots of PA gear, Oberheim DMX, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, and more toys.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey Nate,

      I just picked up an SR-16, and though I like the sounds, I cannot seem to get the unit to MiDi sync as a slave. Am I missing something?
      I set the MiDi function to Drum in (on) and Clock In (on), and it still doesn't sync to the beat coming from the master. I checked the signal from the master by connecting to another drum machine, and it worked fine. Is there something in the menu that I am missing here, or is the unit malfunctioning?
      Any ideas?

      BTW, I run my SR-16 through a Behringer effects module, and get some great sounds. The sounds are also endlessly tweakable in the unit. Have you played with the settings at all?

      I had a chance to check out the Boss DR880. It is a sweet unit, if you have the cash. Fully sequnceable and a great sound kit. Personnaly though, I have had better luck programming in fills and change-ups with the SR-16 and controlling them with pedals for real-time drum sounds.

      Of course, having said that, one should bear in mind that my previous drum unit was a Yamaha RX5. Yes, that's right...an RX5. Go ahead and chuckle....I did, every time I heard the sounds....
      So the Alesis was a fantastic improvement.

      Comment


      • #4
        DR-880....sweetness.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tzujan
          Hey Nate,

          I just picked up an SR-16, and though I like the sounds, I cannot seem to get the unit to MiDi sync as a slave. Am I missing something?
          I set the MiDi function to Drum in (on) and Clock In (on), and it still doesn't sync to the beat coming from the master. I checked the signal from the master by connecting to another drum machine, and it worked fine. Is there something in the menu that I am missing here, or is the unit malfunctioning?
          Any ideas?

          BTW, I run my SR-16 through a Behringer effects module, and get some great sounds. The sounds are also endlessly tweakable in the unit. Have you played with the settings at all?

          I had a chance to check out the Boss DR880. It is a sweet unit, if you have the cash. Fully sequnceable and a great sound kit. Personnaly though, I have had better luck programming in fills and change-ups with the SR-16 and controlling them with pedals for real-time drum sounds.

          Of course, having said that, one should bear in mind that my previous drum unit was a Yamaha RX5. Yes, that's right...an RX5. Go ahead and chuckle....I did, every time I heard the sounds....
          So the Alesis was a fantastic improvement.


          I'm not very good with a drum machine, and I have no experience with MIDI syncing. I basically use a drum machine as a practice drummer. I used to play live with a real drummer, and I wanted to continue something like that now that I'm not playing live anymore.

          In regards to the DR 880, I think it looks nice, but it is way out of my price range. It also has way more features than I would ever need. I wish somebody made something like the Alesis SR16 with bass sounds.

          Comment


          • #6
            Nate:

            There's a review on this site now on the DR880. A guitar player bought it and doesn't like it for what he wants to do. The bass lines are pre-programmed for jams, but its not really a bass sequencer too, from what he says.

            The 880 is a bit pricey for you just want it to practice with. It does have a lot of memory storage, as well as great sounds. I'd be curious if you actually could program the bass parts into sequences, maybe the reviewer missed something. It might be worth a call to BOSS to find out.

            By the way, don't let the retail price of the 880 scare you, it can be had for a lot less than the MAP price. Still have to justify the cost though.


            Mike T.
            Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Mk III, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro, lots of PA gear, Oberheim DMX, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, and more toys.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have an Alesis SR16 - use it for duo, solo gigs.

              The thing has fantastic sounds, I don't know what you're talking about, Nate... Maybe it's the amp or sound system you're playing it through?

              I liked mine so much (bought it used for $270 in the early-mid 90's) that I bought a new one last year (for $149.99!!) as a backup - planning to transfer all the custom patterns I've created into the back up one, just haven't had the time.

              BTW -
              The Alesis SR16 has been in production for about 10 yrs. I think - unbelievable, in today's changing technology market. That must mean that people are still buying the damn thing or Alesis would've stopped production long ago...

              "Gigito ergo sum: I Gig, therefore I Am."


              Keys:
              Yamaha MotifXF6 - (bottom tier) & Korg M361 (top)
              Roland RD300GX (88 keys - smaller gigs & when I play left hand bass)

              Mixers, Spkrs.:
              (2) QSC K12's, (2) QSC K10's, (2) QSC K8's
              1 JBL PRX715XLF Subwoofer
              Motion Sound KP200S & KP100S kybd. amps (rarely use any more)
              Allen & Heath MixWiz3, Soundcraft MFXi8, Yamaha MG82cx,
              Mackie ProFX12, Alesis TransActive 50, [Samson PL1602 - For Sale]
              Fender Rumble 100 Bass Amp (for Ibanez SR500 Bass)

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm looking to pick up something to lay down basic ideas for songs with. I'm in a band, but want to work on ideas at home. I have a pretty basic understanding of drums.

                Here's the equipment I have. I have a Boss BR864 recorder. It has a drum machine component built in, but in the little that I've used it it seems kind of painful to use. Anybody used that and have any comparison to a regular drum machine?

                I have a couple high end windows pc's that I could plug something into if need be.

                The DR-880 looks cool, but it looks like a whole lot of extra stuff I'd never use. I do like the idea of something that would come up with drum tracks a little easier. The rest I don't really care about (very high end drum sounds, as opposed to decent drum sounds, bass synth, etc).

                The Alesis SR16 is in a better price range, but I have a feeling there's something out there that will be better for me and what I'm looking for.

                Any thoughts on software packages? Any websites with good basic info on drum machines and programming?

                Thanks in advance.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Dr-880
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                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you want to do just the basics on a drum machine, getting a model that's at the end of its life cycle might be a good option. The Alesis HR-16 is going for dirt cheap. Its a very capable machine and you can't beat it for the price. The entry level machines have basic drum patterns and fills, and a limited amount, if any, programming capability. That gets old fast.

                    The DR880 looks like the next machine I'm going to buy. I like the roland SRX samples and the large amount of storage space for patterns and songs on it. From the NAMM video demo, it appears you can create patterns a lot easier than doing everything with step programming. I don't use any software for recording, I can't help you there.


                    Mike T.
                    Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Mk III, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro, lots of PA gear, Oberheim DMX, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, and more toys.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Miket156
                      If you want to do just the basics on a drum machine, getting a model that's at the end of its life cycle might be a good option. The Alesis HR-16 is going for dirt cheap. Its a very capable machine and you can't beat it for the price.

                      Mike T.


                      Mike -
                      Do you mean the Alesis "SR16" ?? 'Cause that is certainly dirt cheap (150 bucks), even brand new! However, the HR16 is out of production.
                      "Gigito ergo sum: I Gig, therefore I Am."


                      Keys:
                      Yamaha MotifXF6 - (bottom tier) & Korg M361 (top)
                      Roland RD300GX (88 keys - smaller gigs & when I play left hand bass)

                      Mixers, Spkrs.:
                      (2) QSC K12's, (2) QSC K10's, (2) QSC K8's
                      1 JBL PRX715XLF Subwoofer
                      Motion Sound KP200S & KP100S kybd. amps (rarely use any more)
                      Allen & Heath MixWiz3, Soundcraft MFXi8, Yamaha MG82cx,
                      Mackie ProFX12, Alesis TransActive 50, [Samson PL1602 - For Sale]
                      Fender Rumble 100 Bass Amp (for Ibanez SR500 Bass)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GigMan


                        Mike -
                        Do you mean the Alesis "SR16" ?? 'Cause that is certainly dirt cheap (150 bucks), even brand new! However, the HR16 is out of production.


                        I know that the SR16 is being used for actual recordings. Just the sounds right out of the box. The black metal band Anaal Nathrakh uses it on every album they have.

                        Anyway . . . I think you need the SR16. I also had a Zoom recorder/drum machine/effects processor/coffee maker/etc., and I couldn't do anything with the drums. So I got the SR16 on the advice of the programmer/guitarist in Anaal Nathrakh. It is VERY easy to use.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nate the Great


                          I know that the SR16 is being used for actual recordings. Just the sounds right out of the box. The black metal band Anaal Nathrakh uses it on every album they have.

                          Anyway . . . I think you need the SR16. I also had a Zoom recorder/drum machine/effects processor/coffee maker/etc., and I couldn't do anything with the drums. So I got the SR16 on the advice of the programmer/guitarist in Anaal Nathrakh. It is VERY easy to use.


                          Umm... NatetheGreat - Dude, aren't you the one who posted this thread originally, saying you were no longer impressed w/the sounds of your SR16? Now you're recommending it to others as a must-have?

                          I don't get it...
                          "Gigito ergo sum: I Gig, therefore I Am."


                          Keys:
                          Yamaha MotifXF6 - (bottom tier) & Korg M361 (top)
                          Roland RD300GX (88 keys - smaller gigs & when I play left hand bass)

                          Mixers, Spkrs.:
                          (2) QSC K12's, (2) QSC K10's, (2) QSC K8's
                          1 JBL PRX715XLF Subwoofer
                          Motion Sound KP200S & KP100S kybd. amps (rarely use any more)
                          Allen & Heath MixWiz3, Soundcraft MFXi8, Yamaha MG82cx,
                          Mackie ProFX12, Alesis TransActive 50, [Samson PL1602 - For Sale]
                          Fender Rumble 100 Bass Amp (for Ibanez SR500 Bass)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GigMan


                            Umm... NatetheGreat - Dude, aren't you the one who posted this thread originally, saying you were no longer impressed w/the sounds of your SR16? Now you're recommending it to others as a must-have?

                            I don't get it...


                            I was recommending it because of its ease of use. The sounds are fine, but I was only wondering if there was something better. I just think the bass drum and cymbals could use some better samples or something.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nate the Great


                              I was recommending it because of its ease of use. The sounds are fine, but I was only wondering if there was something better. I just think the bass drum and cymbals could use some better samples or something.


                              Oh, gotcha.

                              I think for 150 bucks (price of a new SR16) you really can't do much better.

                              "Gigito ergo sum: I Gig, therefore I Am."


                              Keys:
                              Yamaha MotifXF6 - (bottom tier) & Korg M361 (top)
                              Roland RD300GX (88 keys - smaller gigs & when I play left hand bass)

                              Mixers, Spkrs.:
                              (2) QSC K12's, (2) QSC K10's, (2) QSC K8's
                              1 JBL PRX715XLF Subwoofer
                              Motion Sound KP200S & KP100S kybd. amps (rarely use any more)
                              Allen & Heath MixWiz3, Soundcraft MFXi8, Yamaha MG82cx,
                              Mackie ProFX12, Alesis TransActive 50, [Samson PL1602 - For Sale]
                              Fender Rumble 100 Bass Amp (for Ibanez SR500 Bass)

                              Comment













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