Drum Machines

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by count_funkula, May 30, 2001.

  1. I have a Roland R-5 drum machine and I'm experiencing problems getting a "real" drum feel out of it. It's a fairly old unit so I'm wondering if some of the newer models are more capable of reproducing the dynamics of a real drummer.

    Things like snare rolls are very difficult to program. It's great for basic beats but not a lot of dynamics.

    What do you guys use in your recordings and for practice.
    And don't say "a drummer".

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I use a Roland MC303 Microcomposer for practicing - this has 7 synth channels and one channel for drums - so you can programme the rhythm track and chords and leave the bass free or just solo over the track.

    The drum part has several drum kits and "groove quantise" which helps with getting the feel of a real drummer - so you can use groove "templates" that add swing or things like playing behind the beat or pushing it.
  3. oddentity

    oddentity Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2000
    You could try programming the individual dynamics for each note - such as velocity, volume, pressure, etc to create variations. This could be pretty tedious, though.

    Don't over-rely on quantize, it sounds too mechanical. You could quantize the bass drum part, perhaps, and then play the snare and high hat parts in real time to give it more of a human feel.

    I don't know how programmable the R5 is, but I use a Roland R8m (module, no built-in sequencer) and it is pretty deep -- I can assign various MIDI controller numbers from my software sequencer to control sound parameters such as attack and decay of notes. Maybe you can do something similar.
  4. MIDI is something I'm not understanding yet. I have a basic grasp of what it is but I'm not sure how I myself can use it. My drum machine has a MIDI connector on it and so does the breakout box for my audio card.

    If I am not happy with the drum sounds that come with my drum machine, can I record only the MIDI data and then use third party drum sounds? I have Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.0 which may come with some "drum kits".

    I may also be able to do something like you suggested Oddenity.