Help with drum machine/sequencer live setup

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Gonzo476, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Gonzo476


    Mar 1, 2009
    Madrid, Spain
    I've recently started a duo with a singer who also plays keys and we would like to use some kind of drum track a la The Kills when playing live.

    I was actually wondering how to do this, since I've checked a couple of digital drum sequencers that don't offer enough flexibility to write a drum track that's long enough for a whole song, even when sequencing different patterns. I must admit I'm pretty lost do The Kills manage to do it?

    EDIT: Basically, I'm looking for something that can do the following:

    Let's say I have a sequencer in which I can automatically queue patterns and I have pattern 1 and pattern 2 like this:


    If I wanted to play pattern 1 twice before moving on to pattern 2, I would have to queue them like this:


    The problem is, if I do that I run out of space to edit a whole song (most sequencers I've seen only have 12 pattern slots), so here's my question: is there a software/hardware that would allow me to play pattern 1 more than once before automatically moving on to pattern 2 using the configuration of the first example? (i.e. 1---->2)
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  2. Corey Y

    Corey Y Guest

    Jun 3, 2010
    Most of the musicians I've known/seen live who use a sequencer for song writing and recording typically just bounce everything down to a stereo track. Then they play it back on a CD player or in some digital format. I've seen some do it with laptops or some as simply as an iPod (though I know they're discontinued now, which I find greatly disappointing). They're typically just plugged into a cable with an appropriate adapter for the stereo input on a PA/Mixer.

    I play for a couple recording projects that use midi sequenced drums for recording (Toontrack's Superior Drummer 2.0 specifically). We've been discussing the practical requirements for playing live without a drummer in the next year and the consensus has been that "iPod to PA" method, though I'm sure there's other brands that would accomplish the same result fine. I've known some bands that did this with soft synth in the past. They ran a DAW on a laptop, with an interface running multiple channels out to the board, with a click track going to the drummer via an in ear monitor to sync things up.
  3. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Most drum machines will let you set up intro/A/B/outro patterns for dozens of songs. Some will loop each section and let you trigger transitions from one to another with fills via a foot pedal. It's a lot of front end work to make it sound good, but the big plus is that you can tap tempo so that you're not locked into a preset BPM like you are with MP3s.

    If you do go with MP3s and don't have to have stereo output to FOH, you can record a count in or click on one side of the stereo track, split the output, send the non-click side to the main PA mix and the click side to the monitors.
  4. Gonzo476


    Mar 1, 2009
    Madrid, Spain
    The mp3 option seems tempting. Isn't there some kind of drum box or software that can automatically change from one section of the song to the next after x numbers of repeats (for example, from verse to chorus and viceversa)? The closest I've come to that is a drum sequencer, but I can't manage to set it to repeat a pattern for a number of times before moving on to the next one.
  5. megafiddle


    May 25, 2011
    Band In A Box (BIAB), will do all that, and includes many styles to work with. It can also output a wave or mp3 audio file.

    The newest version is pretty expensive, but you might find an older version for a very good price. You would just need a software synth, like the Roland VSC, which was included free with many of the versions. Or you could use other synths for better sound quality.

    I use BIAB for backing tracks for practice, and for sequencing. Very quick way to put a complete song together.

  6. Gonzo476


    Mar 1, 2009
    Madrid, Spain
    Thanks for the replies so far! Bump because I edited the first post to explain in more detail what I'm looking for.
  7. The problem with the MP3 solution is that it's MP3. The fidelity is low and less desirable than other formats especially for live performances. Just sayin.