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Post new topic Drum Machine for recording; which has best sounds?
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Author Topic:  Drum Machine for recording; which has best sounds?
Bev Jewett


From:
New Brunswick, Canada
Post Posted 13 Sep 2018 8:40 am     Reply with quote

I've narrowed it down to two units. The Beat Buddy or Alesis SR-18. In your opinion which is the better of the two for small studio recording. Style is Country and Souther Gospel. The Sonar program I'm using has Session Drummer which has midi based styles. Just need a good unit to reproduce sounds as close to real drums as possible. Any suggestion welcomed.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 13 Sep 2018 9:35 am     Reply with quote

I use both an SR-16 and SR-18 in my home studio with Sonar Platinum/Cakewalk by BandLab and Studio One 3. But for most (traditional) country the SR-16 program 31A is what I use. The only negative is the SR-16 does not have a 3/4 Waltz Program and the SR-18 does.

I did a 10 song CD project for a drummer we used to have in our band. He did a vocal CD project. I used the SR-16 and he was happy with the drum tracks.


The Beat buddy from what I've looked at is primarily aimed at Rock. If you are doing "new" country then it probably would fit in.
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 13 Sep 2018 3:20 pm     Reply with quote

Jack: Do you/have you synced the Alesis SR16/18 to the recorder using the MIDI clock?
If so, have you ever noticed any timing issues with the drum machine?
Anything like the machine "stumbling" or randomly lagging any pre-recorded tracks that have already been done?

Thanks in advance.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 14 Sep 2018 2:05 am     Reply with quote

I just use the analog outputs on the SR16 and 18. I have an 8 channel (8 preamps) recording interface unit (MOTU 896Mk3 Hybrid) and haven't needed to use MIDI. Sometimes I just use the Left/Mono output and sometimes I'll use both Left and Right into separate recording tracks.

The MIDI sounds interesting. I'll have to try it sometime.
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ajm


From:
Los Angeles
Post Posted 14 Sep 2018 7:02 am     Reply with quote

Jack: I'm not sure that we are on the same wavelength with the SR16/18 MIDI thing.
There is no audio going over the MIDI cable.

I have an old Tascam 788 portastudio and have used two different Zoom drum machines.
I connect a MIDI cable from the Tascam to the Zoom.
The MIDI cable carries only a SYNC clock from the Tascam recorder to the Zoom.
Through menus/selections in the Tascam and Zoom, the Tascam is set to MASTER, the Zoom to SLAVE.
When I start the recorder, the Zoom starts playing, in sync, whatever song/pattern you have the Zoom set to.

Why do this?
It lets me go back and change patterns in the drum arrangements for a specific song. I can do them over and over until they are perfect (so to speak). They will be in sync every time with any other already recorded tracks.
Theoretically, anyway.

Problem: The latest Zoom drum machine (RT-223) has a design flaw in the clock circuitry. It is not a problem with the Tascam. I have an older "cheaper" Zoom RT-123 that worked perfect for years. Long story short, I spent a lot of time on this problem, and it is the design of the "newer and improved" RT-223. By the way, Zoom no longer makes any drum/rhythm machines. Quelle surprise.

This flaw shows itself as randomly and intermittently lagging with respect to other pre-recorded tracks. That's the best way that I can describe it. It's almost like the Zoom misses a clock or something.

So.............
I just wondered if you ever tried syncing your Alesis machines to the recorder.
If you use a DAW and one of the drummer software packages, then you really have no need to use the Alesis machines any more for recording.
However, if you ever do this method, and you notice this problem, there may be a super easy fix for it. This fix supposedly works with the Alesis machines, but not the Zooms (I tried it).

Now back to the original topic.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 14 Sep 2018 8:09 am     Reply with quote

To clarify. I know there is no "audio" over MIDI - just digital.

I run from the analog outs on the SR16/18 to my recording interface unit (via a D.I. box). On the SR16 "Main Left" for mono, for two channel I add the "Main Right".

I had an old EZ Drummer package but nothing in the pre programmed was for "traditional country".
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Greg Cutshaw


From:
Corry, PA, USA
Post Posted 14 Sep 2018 10:09 am     Reply with quote

When I used drum machines, I just recorded the drums as the first track using the audio out of the drum machine. No midi involved. Since all subsequent tracks (in Reaper or any other DAW) are added to the drum track, there are no sync issues.

I use EZDrummer now which is much easier to program and totally integrated into Reaper. I can easily edit the drum track later, in midi, even after the other tracks are recorded. To my ears the drum machine sounds are a lot more realistic that the EZDrummer native sounds which require adjustments in reverb, compression and EQ to sound realistic.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 14 Sep 2018 10:13 am     Reply with quote

The SR16/18 drum sounds are supposed to be actual drum sounds, not MIDI generated.
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Joseph Carlson


From:
Grass Valley, California, USA
Post Posted 14 Sep 2018 1:51 pm     Reply with quote

Don't mean to hijack the thread, but I am curious if there are any benefits to using an outboard drum machine rather than EZ Drummer or Addictive Drums?

I downloaded demo versions of EZ Drummer and Addictive Drummer 2, ended up going with AD2 because I liked the drum sounds better, but EZ Drummer has a much simpler and intuitive user interface.

Both are almost infinitely tweak-able as far as I can tell.
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 14 Sep 2018 3:24 pm     Reply with quote

Many people use the software based drum programs. Just for my use the "old" school drum machine works better.
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Greg Lambert


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 17 Sep 2018 1:48 pm     Reply with quote

I use the Dr 880... Great machine does it all easy to program the exact drum genre and sound you want
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Brett Lanier


From:
Vermont
Post Posted 27 Sep 2018 9:03 am     Reply with quote

Smart drummer in Logic pro is pretty amazing for making realistic sounding drum tracks. Pretty sure it's the same program in Garageband too, which is free.
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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 29 Sep 2018 5:06 pm     Reply with quote

I used a Roland R-8 machine for years but found it very limiting for commercial use because I was stuck with the sounds in the box. I've been using this software drum sequencer here https://www.acoustica.com/beatcraft/ for years because I can drop my own .wav sounds in it and make it sound like any drum set on the planet. I even have the drum sounds from the hit making engineers around the world. (check out Steven Slates samples from Blackbird Studio in Nashville for sale on the net. Also Chris Lord Algae's samples) Plus a second computer with a full screen makes editing sequences so much easier than trying to do everything from a tiny LCD screen the size of a razor blade.
The only drawback is it only has two outs so you have to get your drum mix in the software. Usually not a problem but I do wish someone would make a multi-out version of this software. I called Sweetwater audio and as far as they know it doesn't exist. Kinda crazy I think.
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Les Cargill


From:
Oklahoma City, Ok, USA
Post Posted 8 Oct 2018 8:28 am     Reply with quote

FWIW - MT Power Drum Kit is a free VSTi, works well and sounds good. You can MIDI-record the patterns from a standalone drum machine then use the VSTi. Tempo matching and sliding are a problem left to the recordist Smile
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