#1September 4th, 2006 · 08:06 AM
54 threads / 29 songs
1,552 posts
United Kingdom
Drum machine?
So, it's finally come to me that I should start looking at a reasonably (cheap!) priced drum machine.  The question is - what one!?

There are a host of decent looking bits of equipment out there, but does anyone here have any recommendations?  Mr. Puppet has suggested the Alesis SR16, and this does seem like a very good bit of gear - so unless there are any other suggestions, I'll probably end up going for that one.

The idea is that this equipment will be used mainly for my own recordings. However, I may also use it for some live performance; the drum sequences for specific tracks will need to be stored in the machine (I'll do the sequencing via midi straight to it), which means that it will need to have a reasonable memory.  For both purposes the sounds will need to be pretty damn good, but they'll need to be very good for the live work.

Thoughts anyone?
#2September 4th, 2006 · 11:44 AM
90 threads / 11 songs
877 posts
United States of America
Yeah. Jim, I have a SR16, and I can endorse it as a really good (and very reasonably priced) machine.  The sounds are quite good in quality (sampled in 16-bit), the machine is really easy to program and on top of all that, you can use it in performance, without even sequencing, by using the two (optional) foot switches ( by the way, I recommend you get the foot switches). One foot switch controls the "start/stop" function, the other foot switch has two functions: with the machine stopped, you can tap your foot on the switch to a desired tempo and the machine immediately resets itself to that tempo. The other function of that switch is to activate the fills. We can get the SR16 here in the states for about $149 USD. Mine is an early 90's model. They have been improved since then (they added a better function to make more realistic "drum roll" sounds. This function eliminates the "machine-gun" drum rolls other machines make). Additionally, the machine is very small, lightweight, and durable, (again, I've had mine 15 years with no problems) but really powerful for such a small package. If something happened to mine, I'd definitely buy another!
#3September 5th, 2006 · 07:29 AM
117 threads / 54 songs
3,065 posts
Netherlands
That SR16 is very reliable and super easy to program. I've worked with a range of standalone drummachines but none is quite as easy to work with.

A drum machine cannot replace a real live drummer; they are seperate (different) instruments, and should be treated as such... Just like a synth bass is very different from a bass guitarist: though they can take eachothers position in a band, they cannot - and should not - duplicate each excact parts (IMO).
#4September 10th, 2006 · 05:12 PM
54 threads / 29 songs
1,552 posts
United Kingdom
Thanks guys, I appreciate the replies. 

Puppet, I agree that this can't replace a real drummer - but I am working towards sorting out something for the 6 weeks our drummer will be in India next year.  That's a long time to go without anyone - and we'll need something to tie us over, either for gigging or just for practice!  Getting another drummer for that short time is unrealistic, so I'm going for the drum machine.

The only thing I'm not so sure about is storing a song with changes in tempo (so far two of our set list do that, but it may increase).  I wonder if the foot-switch can be assigned to tempo changes?

No matter - at such a very good price, I see myself ordering this pedal before the end of the month.

#5September 11th, 2006 · 01:55 PM
90 threads / 11 songs
877 posts
United States of America
Jiminuk wrote…
I wonder if the foot-switch can be assigned to tempo changes?

...I don't think so....anyway as far as I know. I've never attempted to use the SR16 in a song that featured a change of tempo. I'm guessing you could sequence this...(when I get a chance, I'll review my manual...)
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