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Rock band----drum machine

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by bluemonk, Dec 15, 2004.

  1. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    Let's say you were asked to play a gig at a smaller venue, like a party, reataurant or small bar. They want rock music, just classic cover tunes, but have only a very small stage. One way to deal with this would be to use a drum machine. Would you do it? Would it take a person just to operate the drum machine?
  2. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    absolutely not
    you can program drum machines to do very well for recording, but it takes time to program for each song. I've practiced with drum machines, but i'd never gigged with one. I've seen it done a couple of times, and it ws painfully cheesy - as in real bad.
  3. Im a sock

    Im a sock

    Dec 23, 2002
    Central MA
    I agree.

    There's a local Massachusetts hardcore (or... something-core) band that uses a drum machine. They have it programed to like 100,000 BPM or something rediculous like that. The name of the band is Agorophobic Nosebleed. Haha.... just a funny side note.

    Try to get a drummer up there if you can, the show will be 100% better.
  4. DDXdesign

    DDXdesign formerly 'jammadave' Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2003
    Wash DC metro area
    I've done it in the past with success, except for the wait time mid-set that our singer could simply not fill while we swapped floppies and dumped the data to the drum machine. She could sing, but wasn't much at rapping with the audience.

    But, we were playing the kind of music one expects to hear a drum machine on, so take that into consideration as well.

    I like to say "and this is our drummer, Roland..."
  5. kaboom133


    Oct 19, 2001
    Latrobe PA
    I would try to get a drummer. Maybe use of of those neat little cocktail drum kits?
  6. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    How about getting your drummer to record the parts in advance and then playing along to them? It would be a pain but probably less so than programming the drum machine with all the arrangements.

    Of course, it also depends on how you work - if you do the same thing every time, it might come together.... if the sound of your band depends on the freedom to jam things out then the words "train" and "wreck" come to mind ;)

  7. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I've done it, and it's kinda cheesy. If I had to do it again I think I'd just go the acoustic route and nix the drums altogether. That, or have a rehearsal with our drummer on bongos, or some other percussive instrument. Another alternative would be to use the stage for the drums and everyone else sets up on the floor. Is this a hypothetical question? Or do you need to make a decision?
  8. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    You mean take an unprogrammed drum machine and have a guy "play" the drums on it? No, don't do that. Have someone play bongos at the least.
  9. bluemonk


    Dec 17, 2002
    Thanks for all the responses.

    To clarify: One person would have a drum machine unit and use the preprogrammed patches. There are ususally many, many choices on these units, and he would know which patch went to whichever song we were playing next, dial it in and we'd all start. We wouldn't be programming the machine for each song. They are classic rock cover tunes that have pretty standard drumming in them--nothing tricky, nothing improvised. Ex.: Twist n Shout.

    I had thought it would be cool to also have him play some congas and stuff along with. Or maybe it would be better to have he machine do something very minimal, like a bassdrum n cymbol thing and then have him play congas and percussive stuffs. What you think?

    This is hypothetical at this point, but could allow for some gigs in local small places.