BR-1600 Drum Loops vs Drum Machine

Envy The Pea

New member
I'm fairly new to the 1600 but I'm having a great time with it. I find the drum machine a bit cumbersome, but I suppose it's because I'm just getting the hang of it. Can anyone explain the advantage/disadvantage of using the drum loops for a song versus the drum machine?
I guess it's whatever you want to use, no reasons.The drum machine tones are PCM, the drum loops are taken from the Discrete Drum CD that came with your BR-1600. If you ever have to reset your BR-1600 the drum loops will be wiped, you can re-load the drum loops from the Discrete Drum CD.
When I bought my 1600, I was completely new to recording (digital or otherwise) and had no real experience at all. The learning curve was steep, and the drums KILLED me. So I got this bright idea that i needed a drum machine to make it easier, and bought a DR670. Upon reading THAT manual, it finally clicked with me how you are supposed to build drum patterns and sequences, and I quickly learned that I really didn't NEED the drum machine. I still have it, and use it a little, but I think the sounds in the 1600 are the same so it's unnecessary. The thing that will help you MORE than a drum machine, is a midi keyboard, preferably run through midi sequencing software, connected to the 1600 to PLAY the sounds within it. If you don't have the software, you can still use the keyboard to record the patterns on the 1600 rather than using the track buttons, which can be a little bit of a pain. The keyboard also lets you control the velocity (volume) of each 'note' played a little better. By far the biggest 'efficiency' boost for me was getting the keyboard and software. I have a Radium 49 keyboard (about $150) and Magic Studio deluxe ($20 at Guitar center). I only use the software for midi audio. I can now lay down bass and drum patterns easily, and get them right with a mouse on a monitor prior to ever mixing them into a song. If you don't want to do any of that, I honestly think that the capabilities provided in the 1600 are adequate, just not the easiest to use. Add a sound module to the keyboard and you can make LOTS of cool music.

my two cents.
Appreciate your responses. Steve, I don't know anything about midi. I agree that learning the drum stuff is tedious. I've successfully added drums to a couple of song and I guess I have the gist of it, but it still takes away from any spontanious creativity to program the drums. What you describe sounds intriguing. I have a pretty nice Roland RS-50 keyboard that I plug direct into the 1600. What you're suggesting would require me to connect a computer to my setup (and of course learn what midi is all about), is that right?
That's right. If you are creating your patterns with a keyboard, that will work fine. I didn't know squat about midi either, but I am computer savvy. MIDI wasn't too hard to master, and it really opens up a lot more possibilities as the sounds you can produce are nearly endless. Also, it is MUCH easier to edit the patterns on a screen than in the 1600 little window. Of course, if you have a band that can play all that stuff...there is no need midi anyway!

Nope, I'm a one-man-band so this definitely sounds like stuff I should be experimenting with to widen my horizons. Sorry to belabor this, but I'm trying to picture what your process for laying down a track would be as it relates to the 1600, and once you manipulate it on your computer and get it to where you like it, do you move the tracks back onto the 1600? Can you step through the process you use?
Here's what I do. And I'm not suggesting that this is the only or right way. I am learning too. I either use my keyboard or drum machine to record midi data to the pc sequencing software. So, let's say I'm using the keyboard. I set the tempo on the 1600, which is synched with the pc. I hit play (no need to be in record mode yet), which starts the pc sequencer. Then, I strike the appropirate keys on the keyboard, which in turn RECORDS that midi DATA (not audio) on the PC....So...I can either record a little short pattern to then 'loop' or I can play the entire song through...The complexity of the pattern decides this for me. So lets say I hit a few bad notes (drum sounds). No problem. I stop the recorder, use my mouse to move the notes around, change the lengths, volume etc....then play it back. I do this until I get it the way I want it. The audio OUTPUT of either the drum machine or sound module is routed (in my case) to tracks 7 and 8 on the 1600. Put the 1600 in INPUT mode and these sounds will be heard through those tracks as you record/play them into the sequencer. I do the same for bass etc. Now, if you have eq'ing capability from the pc, you could mix all these sounds appropriately there, and NEVER move the audio data to the 1600, saving tracks in the process. However, since I rarely have a need for 16 tracks, and I have limited pc eq/effects capability, I usually RECORD the output of the sound module onto the appropriate track, once I have gotten it to sound the way I ultimately want it. For drums, thats 15/16, bass 11/12 etc. You could put these anywhere...but that is where I put them. Obviously, I define these stereo tracks as normal audio, not bass or drum tracks. When you are in STEREO track INPUT mode, 7/8 are recorded to 15/16 (assuming 15/16 is the selected track for recording). I usually record ALL my MIDI stuff there first, and then MOVE them to the track(s) I really want them on. I put them on different vtracks of 15/16 so as not to overwrite the drums on 15/16 if I've already recorded them there. Doing this keeps me from having to MOVE the audio input jacks (that come FROM the sound module) to different input tracks on the 1600...I just find it easier that way. Now that the audio (from the MIDI data) is recorded onto the 1600, I apply eq and effects to each instrument etc. So I can eq the bass way up on the bass tracks, add bass or trebel or mid range to the drum track, reverb, pan etc. I record guitars and vocal directly into the 1600 (through mic's), mix it the way I want, master it, burn the cd and it's all good. I find this to work well for me, and using the pc, it is easy then to create additional tracks for different instruments, copy other instrument patterns, alter them some to get the sounds you're looking for.

Hope this helps.
Thanks, Steve. I know there isn't usually any one certain way to do things, but I always find it helpful to see how others are getting things done. I really appreciate your responses. I think I'm going to look into getting the sequencing sw and trying that out soon.

Good luck. Once you do, if you have questions, don't hesitate to ask. I can help you get the initial setup going and you'll be on your way.

Hi Steve, I have bought an Alesis SR18 and I would like to bring it into my BR1600. Just looking for some advice. I could put it through an amp and record it through the microphone input, but I thought there might be a more effective way which would produce a better sound.
Cheers Mike
I doubt Steve will respond, since he hasn't visited since 2007.

I don't have a BOSS, but I have done a similar thing with a Yamaha AW16G. I've got the SR18 and you should be able to run the outputs directly to the BR1600 line inputs and record your patterns. Running through an amp and mic won't give you 'better sound". The SR18 sounds are pretty good as they are.

If the BR1600 will send midi outs and you have patterns you like, you should be able to send them to the SR18, then record the audio out of the SR with whatever drum set you choose. Just make sure the midi maps are the same, so that the proper instruments play.
It's covered on page 180-182 of the user manual.
Import them (max 50 at a time) to their respective banks (assuming you want it as per it was from factory).
Refer to the "Patch List" for reference.