MUSIC, AMBIENCE AND SOUND ART > Music Gearheads Tech Talk

Tools for rhythm-making

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mgriffin:
There are so many ways to make rhythmic sounds electronically, with drum machines and Reason probably being the two most popular.  I think another common tool is the "sort of a beatbox, sort of a sequencer, sort of a beat-sound synth/sampler" like the Akai MPC series or Korg Electribe series.

I've been starting to work on a couple of projects along these lines and the tools I've been using so far include:

1. Reaktor
Not so much for traditional beats, as for pulsing or surging rhythmic/ambient atmospheres

2. Impulse
This is a simple drum synth built into Ableton Live, which isn't the best rhythm-building tool I've found but I spend so much time in Live anyway, I can't help tinkering with this

3. Ultrabeat
This is the percussion module built into Logic Studio, and it's quite good, really very powerful and probably something I will concentrate on using more

I'm curious what people here are using to create their rhythmic sounds, or rhythmic patterns, or both.

jblock:
I've used mostly hardware drum boxes in the past, including the Elektron Drummachine, Jomox Xbase08, Quasimidi 309 and a Korg Electribe, not so much for the sounds themselves but more for the Roland-like XOX interface for constructing drum lines, which I find a lot of fun. Right now I have no drum box so over the last year I've been trying out the step sequencer in Reason to trigger synthetic percussion sounds. I've also got a copy of Logic Express on the way and it also has the Ultrabeat app Mike mentions so look forward to trying that out.

hdibrell:
I mostly use the Roland HPD-15 Handsonic for creating percussion parts. I will sometimes pull out my old Sequential TOM to lay down a basic rhythm and then lay down percussion parts over that. I don't use the TOM part in the end. I just use it to keep me from trying to fill in everything with my first percussion part. Sort of a reference point. I tend to play to much when I first start laying down percussion.     Harry

LNerell:
My hands, I record myself playing my drums and gamelan instruments and edit out the best parts, then I make Apple loops out of them. Sometimes I will process them first to make them sound more synthetic if that's the sound I am after. Feed them into logic and start working on the rest.

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le):
I probably spend more time making music as a percussionist than anything else, my current set up consists of a selection of Remo drums (Tubanos, Djembe, Dumbek & Klong Ya) as well as tablas, box drums, tamborra, and anything else I can rattles, shake or hit.

On the electronic side, I too use a Roland HPD-15 and a Korg Wavedrum.

For sequenced beats I use Reaktor, Stylus and BFD, but as my set-up moves more and more outside of the computer I am looking for a good drum machine/groove box. I would love a machine drum, but they are $$$ and the new Linn Drum 2 looks promising, but seeing the prototype at NAMM, the thing is freakin huge...last choice, but most probale would be an electribe like everyone else.

Paul

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