Recommend a drum machine for writing

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by tommygunn1986, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. tommygunn1986

    tommygunn1986 Member

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    When working on guitar pieces, I have been using a Boss RC-2 to get down ideas but its drumbeat function is just a fancy metronome, it can't change the beat mid song. I will often write a riff to the beat and not know what to write next.

    Looking for a drum machine that is affordable, easy to use (never used one before), and has the basics. I wouldn't be using this for high quality recordings. Just to make demos, ideas, backing tracks, etc.
     
  2. Christopher Winkels

    Christopher Winkels Member

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    If you're just looking for a sketchpad I'd be tempted to recommend you try software (i.e. an iPad app).
     
  3. ljholland

    ljholland Silver Supporting Member

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    +1 on the app approach.

    Garageband is perfect. With a guitar interface like iRig, you can even record with those beats. Garageband and DrumJam have a nice "roll the dice" feature that generates different drum rhythms on the fly which can be inspirations for songs.

    If you're looking for super simple beats to play with that are real drum samples, check out Drum Beats+.
     
  4. e???

    e??? Member

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    "Nothing sounds quite like an 8--0--8!"

    -the Beastie Boys
     
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  5. Astronaut FX

    Astronaut FX Member

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    If you want hardware, and you want drum sounds that sound like actual drums, the Boss DR880 is best in class IMO. It also adds baselines if you want them.

    Alesia SR18 and SR16 are both more affordable than the Boss, but both compromise in features and sound.

    If you aren't necessarily looking for realistic, acoustic drum sounds, and aren't opposed to more electronic sounding drums, I can offer recommendations in that vein as well.
     
  6. tonefinger

    tonefinger Member

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    I use ez drummer, real live drums. It's an indispensable piece of equipment for me.
     
  7. monty

    monty Member

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    Try the Digi Trio out. Bonus is bass if you want it.
     
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  8. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

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    This. My favorite musicians to listen too besides guitarists and singers are drummers. And I'm darn picky about the drummers I play with. But for many home/small studio users, with Easy Drummer or superior drummer, there's no need for a live drummer. The beats, the sounds the possibilities... it's crazy.

    Then there's the many apps like garage band and AmpliTude. A drum machine would be a waste of time in my opinion.
     
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  9. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Love my Trio. Don't like loopers, so I once I create the rhythm parts (up to three) I plug into a different amp and throw a mic on each. I always enjoyed creating rhythm tracks with some fills, multi-track for fun. Some turn out not bad. I've got a slew of them posted on Soundclick. Am originally a singer/songwriter and it fills my old age with creative gratification, even though I can't sing anymore. Far more versatile than those boring drum machines. I thought of starting a thread just for Trio tracks; still may.

    I don't enjoy building tracks on most DAWs, but the Trio makes it so easy. You just have to play/teach it as though it is a 10 year old, and then play around with genres and styles to get the sound you want. Some drum parts sound a little stiff and mechanical, but most can sound very real time and live.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
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  10. Anu Custom Guitars

    Anu Custom Guitars Member

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    +1 for Ez drummer. Sounds amazing and easy to work with.
     
  11. jdogric12

    jdogric12 Supporting Member

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    I'm old school with drum machines. Apps are probably best. I wouldn't know. My Boss DR-880 is a far superior machine, but my Zoom RT-123 served me very well for 10 years. A big part of that is that it was all I could afford in the early naughties (2000's) and I had little choice but to bond with it, and got very familiar with it, and got to where I could operate it quickly, even coming up with custom beats and arrangements quickly. If I had been forced to do the same with a DR-880 it would have been more difficult, so a simple cheap machine might be a way to go for you.
     
  12. sbpark

    sbpark Member

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    If you have an iPhone or iPad I'd give Apple Music Memos a try. It's very basic, but it's free and you can export the ideas into GarageBand or Logic via AirDrop.

    Another really easy option that will give you instant results and you won't have to spend time programming is picking up a Digitech Trio or Trio+ pedal as seen here:

     
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  13. Mikhael

    Mikhael Member

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    A guy named Mike.
     
  14. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Before the Trio I used a Rhythm 123 too. Still have it stuffed somewhere in a drawer. As corny as they may seem, for someone who for one reason or another isn't playing in a solid band (with a solid drummer!), it really tightens up your timing. I couldn't believe how off my sense of timing was until I started using these things. I couldn't blame the drummer for slowing or speeding up. It a good practice tool as well as can be a great writing tool. A bonus is that they never show up for rehearsal late or drunk, and don't have chick problems so no distracting stinking moods.
     
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  15. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Love some of the features on this new model, such as given more choices of 3 bass parts and genres (like Latin). I'd have no use for the looper function however since I prefer playing through separate amps and often switching guitars. Still, 5 parts over 3 and other features could come in very handy.
     
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  16. kwaping

    kwaping Guitar payer

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    Something you might like about the Trio+, you can run drum+bass out to a different amp from the guitar sound. That won't help you with switching guitars though. :)
     
  17. Capador

    Capador Member

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    +1 on software. They are so much easier and user friendly than any hardware I've ever used. Plus there are so many free DAW demos and drum sample packs/ software you wouldn't really need to buy anything if you know how to use a DAW.
     
  18. woof*

    woof* Member

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  19. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    That's very cool, if you mean immediately on the playback. As it is, I do that on the original after I create the parts, but would be cooler to do it while creating the parts too, though that feature by itself wouldn't motivate me to spend coin for the new one. I mainly like the additional genres and the choice between 3 different bass parts on each style. That's REALLY nice. Sometimes I want something rhythmic and fundamental, other times something more improv and creative.

    A nice thought, but if you're old and ill, and/or live in an isolated area with an extremely small and poor talent pool, that's not always a choice we're given. Also, for creating or writing sometimes working alone provides more freedom.

    Software works for some, who like building tracks theoretically. I prefer a jam scenario. I'm not going for master quality, just the spontaneous creating of musical ideas and whimsy. The Trio is a perfect tool for me. It's more than a boring loop; it changes, throws in some very synchronistic fills and shifts that approach being downright spooky, and you can shift parts on the fly using the footswitch. While a few tracks can sound a bit mechanical, most are very human, recorded by humans. Some sag behind the beat in a soulful way. I often forget entirely that it's a device and the feel of a band is really there. A great piece of technology in a pedal. I still miss playing out or in the studio with others, but it's better than with an old style drum loop.
     
  20. chrisroeguitar

    chrisroeguitar Member

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