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Thread: any Real sounding drum machines ??

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    any Real sounding drum machines ??

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    Hi .probably gonna show my vast ignorance here .... again . I was in a shop maybe a year ago just in case I might end up needing something for these acoustic type tracks I'm trying to put together . In other words looking for some cheap drum machine where the acoustic traditional drum sounds are truly convincing . I was staggered to learn that the alesis Sr16 ? Was still being made with the same less than convincing drum sounds 20 years or so after the fact !! Is there anything in a box which does patterns that sound like relatively real traditional drum sounds/kits(not electronic ) off the bat without those pads (or do some of the pad ones have presets patterns I could use ). Sorry to be ignorant on this

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    There are a few drum software programs out today that sound very real because, well, they are. Superior Drummer, for example, mic's and records actual drums in a treated room, then gives you the recordings to add into your own mix. It really doesn't get any closer to real than that. They will probably (definitely) mic their drums better than any home recordist would, and have renowned consoles and engineers behind it all. Basically, world famous engineers record drums and give them to you... really.

    Lots of us here use drum programming. Superior, Steven Slate, Addictive. To name a few.

    edit: I'll add that any (I believe) of these can be triggered by any drum MIDI hardware, if you're looking to play an actual set but use software sounds, like SD.
    "No healthy person waits in line with a slew of geriatrics on a Sunday morning for pancakes" - RFR https://soundcloud.com/andrushkiwt

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrushkiwt View Post
    Superior Drummer, for example, mic's and records actual drums in a treated room, then gives you the recordings to add into your own mix.
    I mean, that's true of any sample-based synth whether it's in a drum machine or a rack box or a PC. All of the Alesis drum machines back to the HR16 did this.

    The difference is the Massively MultiSampled part. The software synths that you're talking about have a bunch of different recordings of the same drum where the only difference is how hard it was stricken and use a bit of randomness to make sure that you never hear exactly the same recording of exactly the same hit twice in a row. That's what improves the "realism" - that slight variation between hits.

    It was my understanding that the SR16 does have some multisampling on some of the kit pieces. It was one of the first to do so. None of it is as deep as the software we have today mostly because that much storage/RAM absurdly expensive back when we were still floppy discs and writing our first CD-Rs.

    Well, the other big difference i that they generally record every one of those hits on every mic in the room at the same time so that you can have room and overhead mics and cross bleeding where the old drum machines are pretty much just isolated hits usually recorded on one close mic and either completely dry or with some ambience that you can't control and which might not match other kit pieces.

    That said, some drum machines can actually be pretty convincing if you're real careful about every part of the process. Probably more work that it's worth with EZDrummer out there, but on the flip side I've heard people make Superior Drummer sound like horrible robotic shit, too... Heck, I've heard people ruin real drum tracks in such a way the you might swear they were some crappy old hardware machine.

    Edit - in case it's not clear, I AM on the side of the MMS software for this. If it's for live playing, I'd just make the beats using EZD and the DAW of your choice then bounce to audio files and load then on a portable player. Your phone would probably do that part.

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    Yes I figured it might be a software thing that was best. Sadly I'm not computer oriented . I rely on hardware solutions that come ready made in a box.any recommendations for something half decent in that ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post

    The difference is the Massively MultiSampled part. The software synths that you're talking about have a bunch of different recordings of the same drum where the only difference is how hard it was stricken and use a bit of randomness to make sure that you never hear exactly the same recording of exactly the same hit twice in a row. That's what improves the "realism" - that slight variation between hits.


    That said, some drum machines can actually be pretty convincing.
    Back in the day I worked with a drummer who actually played the SR16 in real time to tape. No sequencing, he just did all the hits as if he was playing drums. Then we overdubbed all the cymbals and hats using real cymbals. It sounded like real drums
    To get the room sounds we ran the whole stereo drum track through some PA speakers and miced the room.
    Why did we do that when we could have just recorded a kit??
    For the hell of it. Experimentation is a great thing.
    And the experiment worked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFR View Post
    Back in the day I worked with a drummer who actually played the SR16 in real time to tape. No sequencing, he just did all the hits as if he was playing drums. Then we overdubbed all the cymbals and hats using real cymbals. It sounded like real drums
    To get the room sounds we ran the whole stereo drum track through some PA speakers and miced the room.
    Why did we do that when we could have just recorded a kit??
    For the hell of it. Experimentation is a great thing.
    And the experiment worked.
    I feel like in a mix, cymbals are the most susceptible to the foibles of being programmed. A good drummer is going to have very consistent kick and snare strikes, which will sound pretty similar (dynamics aside), but cymbals are pretty chaotic even if you're really good at controlling them.

    If you're looking to try out software drums - and if you can't get a live drummer, that's definitely your best bet for realism - Audio Assault is probably the cheapest entry point right now. It's $20 a kit right now, which means even if you hate it, you're not out much.

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    A drum machine tends not to be the most realistic option, and they kind of stayed in the market of the 80s/90s or earlier and haven't necessarily been updated, because sampling software and triggers have taken their job, in a way. Having said that, Roland used to have the reputation of 'most accurate', and a quick googling has told me that the R8, which loads rom modules or cards or something, is in the running. I say get a sampler, like a MPC1000, and load up any drum sounds you want, including the R8. I have loads of free drum samples.

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    Hi. Thanks.yes I did get that impression that drum machines got a bit dated soundwise.. Usual rules apply unfortunately and computer and software I'm not equipped for. I'll check out that r8 on you tube or something . I'm guessing the breed of pad type drum machines might be decent and possibly make a sequence of patterns or loops maybe ?

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    As others have said, go for a VST unless you need a standalone drum machine for some reason, or are looking for a retro sound where realistic emulation of acoustic drums wasn't the goal.

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    theres Wikiloops you can download. Real drummers from around the globe and a person I guess could splice and edit?
    its less MIDI-ish

    if it's not happening in the room, it ain't gonna happen on tape.-H.Gerst

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