May 25, 2007


by Chris Randall

Adam and I got our MachineDrums today. After spending a couple hours fooling about, here are my initial thoughts:

1. If you have been assembling drums in a DAW for, say, five to seven years now, it's actually kind of difficult to think of ways to use a drum machine that aren't annoying. Like, there's no way I'd have the patience to assemble a song in the MD. No way.

2. I'm not sure what the hell everyone is going on about "it sounds all IDM and shit." Not really. It sounds like a drum machine. It actually sounds like several different drum machines. I was able to get fairly stonking prog house beats out of it in short order, without using any outboard. (MachineDrum right in to Rosetta.) I was also able to get some pretty convincing Flip Mode shit going quite easily. I will happily admit that if one wanted to do IDM type things, this would be pretty good at it.

3. As a drum synth, it is fairly sophisticated. I can't, off the top of my head, think of another drum machine that is as easy to program as this one, at least as far as the synthesis portion goes.

I'll put up a more sophisticated review on Sunday, I suppose. But initial impressions are much the same as they were when I got a run-through at Analogue Haven last year. This is an excellent drum machine if you like that sort of thing; in fact, I think it may be the best drum machine ever made. It does have a little crispy critter edge to it, but just remember: 9 out of 10 hip hop producers have never even seen a real 808. They all use the MPC sample set. So relax.



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May.25.2007 @ 10:26 PM
good for you. :)

i love the song sequencer but i usually use it to rewrite patterns instead of chain patterns together. once you get going w/it the copy/remove pattern commands etc are fast. i love starting w/maybe 4 patterns and turning that into a whole song because you can sequence any part of any pattern and mute parts of the pattern in the song sequencer and change BPM song step. fun.

the monomachine does the same plus transpose.

i agree though it can be a bit weird for "normal" drum arranging.


May.25.2007 @ 11:30 PM
Aenemone Carbuncler
FYI: just got the latest SOS today, there's a new review in there.
..but haven't looked at it yet.

May.26.2007 @ 2:24 AM
Well, the SOS reviews the UW version, and the review is not that exciting... the reviewer says it's his first experience with a MD and at first he was disappointed by factory's sounds and presets, and that you only start appreciating the instrument when you start programming your own thing... the thing he really seem not to like is the UW implementation (only 2mb, the limited slots, the 12bit thing, etc.) compared to its additional cost.

May.26.2007 @ 5:43 AM
Both of you got machine drums, eh? Does this by any chance mean that you guys are going to do some serious Audio Damage research into drum programming/sequencing... hint, hint, or you guys just wanted to bang out some beats hardware style? :D


May.26.2007 @ 7:02 AM
awakened yeti
Like, totally?

May.26.2007 @ 11:43 AM
here here

May.26.2007 @ 12:30 PM
I personally hope it is a drum synth plugin... but like a super-hardcore drum synth plugin, with many osscillators and filters, FM, thousands of waveforms PPG style, etc. There are plenty of 808 style emulations out there, but I would like Reaktor of the drum universe. The be-all end all of drum sound plugins.

May.26.2007 @ 1:47 PM
Actually, I second RexRhino. But unlike the rest, I am not implying that Audio Damage should be the one to produce it (although it would be nice). I also want the be-all end-all Drum Machine plugin. I don't care for samplers and such. There's BFD and Battery for drum samples.

Where is the ultimate Drum Machine plugin? The MachineDrum in sofware, the SofrwareDrum so to speak? Shit, I'd buy one before I could even look at the price. My fingers itch already just at the thought of having my MachineDrum in sofware - with all the added benefits in interface.


May.26.2007 @ 1:49 PM
I got the MD after I got sick and tired of munging beats in Recycle and dropping them into DP. BORING!!!

MD is just fun to mess around with.


May.26.2007 @ 5:23 PM
Adam Schabtach
There was an SoS review of the original MD several years ago that was generally quite positive. I haven't read the new SoS review yet (maybe my issue will arrive in today's mail), but it kills me that a reviewer would express disappointment with the presets. I mean, why would anyone spend $1300 on a beatbox with the most sophisticated set of synthesis algorithms ever put in a drum machine if they didn't intend to go beyond the presets? That's just daft.



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