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Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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rustman
KVRist
 
201 posts since 29 Sep, 2013

Postby rustman; Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:03 am Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

Where as the amazing DR-110 rates more in line with my expectations, this being the inflated vintage price-
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BOSS-Dr-Rhythm-Graphic-DR-110-Drum-Machine-by-ROLAND-works-great-/161351679446?pt=US_Drums&hash=item25914f3dd6
It's all been done before. Don't let that stop you.
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
 
7097 posts since 26 Jun, 2006, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby zerocrossing; Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:30 am Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

rustman wrote:I came up when techno was underground, and had to search it out in the back of the record stores in the import bins.


I didn't. I came from a background that couldn't be more different. Real drums recorded with mics. I went to drum machines because... well... drummers. Good ones were few and far between and getting the gear to record a kit properly was expensive and took up a lot of space... and was loud.

So, I begrudgingly went to a drum machine. Mattel Synsonics. Yeah baby! I thought it was horrible... yet somehow also kind of cool. It was all I could afford. I was happy to get a Yamaha a few years later... digital samples. It sounded somewhat realistic. I was pretty happy with it.

It took a long time, but after I stopped looking at drum machines/synths as replacements for real drums and took them on their own terms, I saw the beauty in them.

I love the sound of the TR series. I just do. I don't think it could ever be my only available sound, and I certainly wouldn't buy and actual vintage hardware unit of either of them, but I don't think I'll ever get sick of that sound just like we never tire of hearing a Fender Stratocaster or a real Lugwig drum kit or a Stratovarius violin. For whatever reason, Roland nailed it. It's a classic. Some things never go out of fashion. I imagine there's just something about them that tickles our brains in a special way that just works.

I'm happy with samples and simulations though. One thing I don't care for is their sequencers and general interfaces. To me, they're irrelevant in modern times. It's why I think Roland failed with the TR-8. I think they should have just made the best sequencer they could have and totally disregarded the original in this respect, and emulated the classic sounds of those days, but also added extra synthesis engines like FM and physical modeling.
Zerocrossing Media
http://www.zerocrossing.net
4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~
JCJR
KVRian
 
913 posts since 17 Apr, 2005

Postby JCJR; Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:16 pm Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

There is even love for roland dr 55 nowadays. Programmable, but with only four drum sounds. I had one for awhile, only used it for laying "a better click track than sticks or selmer clockwork metronome" on multitrack tape.

Image

Had a rather awful preset rhythm beatbox in early 1970's for dreaded bread and butter hotel bar duo gigs. Yamaha or something, can't recall.

Then later maybe 1980 got a korg kr55 for hotel bar gigs. It used preset beats but had pretty decent drum tones considering it was cheap analog. The ring modulated cymbals and hat were purt decent in fact. I considered most of its tones "more realistic" than such as the 808.

Image

Those days were pre midi. I put a locking multipin socket on the back of the korg. Soldered the multi pins to all the korg's sound generator trigger inputs. Plugged it into the digital expansion port of a commodore 64. Wrote a program to record real time drum parts tapping C64 keys, to use ye olde krog as a programmable drum machine for recording songwriter demos.

Fun when everything was so simple. Only took a few days to do the wiring and then write the program. Because tech was so primitive at the time. Instant gratification.
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werp
KVRian
 
1018 posts since 14 Aug, 2012, from Australia

Postby werp; Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:47 pm Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

The Beatles were waiting for 'The one after 909' and it still hasn't arrived.....
My avatar is fat and lazy, I'm 11 pixels narrower but just as lazy.
rustman
KVRist
 
201 posts since 29 Sep, 2013

Postby rustman; Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:53 pm Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

Ya know, I forgot that I used to have an MC-909. That was kinda fun to play with, as far as groove boxes go. I wonder what my ASR-X Turbo is worth these days. Has a SCSI zip drive and everything. Lol.

I've got an Ensoniq Fizmo that I bet isn't worth the box it came in too.
It's all been done before. Don't let that stop you.
tapper mike
KVRAF
 
3609 posts since 19 Jan, 2008

Postby tapper mike; Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:16 pm Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

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foosnark
KVRAF
 
2606 posts since 9 Jan, 2003, from Saint Louis MO

Postby foosnark; Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:55 am Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

The 808 is what I think of when I think "drum machine." When I'm testing effects, I reach either for an 808 Maschine kit or mda ePiano, or both. It sounds familiar, it works well with distortion and with filters, it's tight enough to hear reverb clearly. I tend to use it a fair amount, though usually with other kits and samples and stuff alongside it.
Vectorman
KVRian
 
1027 posts since 6 May, 2005, from Michigan, USA

Postby Vectorman; Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:42 am Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

rustman wrote:I've got an Ensoniq Fizmo that I bet isn't worth the box it came in too.

I'm assuming you're kidding (unless you really haven't looked into what those have been going for).

I don't think I've ever used a TR-808 sound on anything in my life. I've just never really done the kind of music that calls for it. I tried to drop 808 samples into things a few times, but always found myself needing a tighter, faster-speaking kick for what I was doing.
rustman
KVRist
 
201 posts since 29 Sep, 2013

Postby rustman; Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:57 am Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

Vectorman wrote:
rustman wrote:I've got an Ensoniq Fizmo that I bet isn't worth the box it came in too.

I'm assuming you're kidding (unless you really haven't looked into what those have been going for).

I don't think I've ever used a TR-808 sound on anything in my life. I've just never really done the kind of music that calls for it. I tried to drop 808 samples into things a few times, but always found myself needing a tighter, faster-speaking kick for what I was doing.

I am not kidding. Perhaps I had better take a peek. It's gathering dust, as is the ASR-X, and a couple of Electribes.
It's all been done before. Don't let that stop you.
rustman
KVRist
 
201 posts since 29 Sep, 2013

Postby rustman; Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:08 am Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

Holy CRAP! I just saw a Fizmo with hsc listed for $1300.00. Mine is mint. Wish I still had my old EPS 16+. I've got some rack modules too. I need to take a look around and see what they're worth. I've got a Proteus 2000, a JV1010, and an SC-880, none of those quite vintage yet.
It's all been done before. Don't let that stop you.
Cap'n Spanky
KVRist
 
445 posts since 28 Jan, 2003

Postby Cap'n Spanky; Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:14 am Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

I heard one on a Country song today. That might kill it. :lol:

Don't know whether it was a TR-808, 909, or something similar. But I was flipping through the radio stations and heard it plain as day. Wish I could tell you the name of the song. Some uptempo thing. I didn't listen for long.
Cap'n Spanky
From the Planet Screwball
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
3887 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:50 am Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

rustman wrote:Holy CRAP! I just saw a Fizmo with hsc listed for $1300.00. Mine is mint. Wish I still had my old EPS 16+. I've got some rack modules too. I need to take a look around and see what they're worth. I've got a Proteus 2000, a JV1010, and an SC-880, none of those quite vintage yet.


The fizmo is somewhat unique among old digitals with high value. It has unique features and many died due to, IIRC, a power supply problem. Definitely something to sell if you're not into it.
JCJR
KVRian
 
913 posts since 17 Apr, 2005

Postby JCJR; Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:19 am Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

Fizmo came out when I wasn't doing hardly any playing, too busy programming. Judging by youtube videos, perhaps it is not the ideal axe to tote to a saturday night VFW shindig, though after Iraq maybe VFW's have a different character nowadays.

Maybe some of these old gadgets are like artists unappreciated in their time, only to be cherished in retrospect after the artist is long dead. Maybe even Edsels are better appreciated today than when they were new. :)

I was a real drum chauvinist. Was working in bands with drummers when sampled drum machines initially came out, initially real expensive. Definitely wouldn't have paid good money for an analog electronic drummer which gurgles out bleeps and bloops. The bleeps and bloops didn't sound good in the 60's and 70's, and I was fo sho tired of them by the 80's.

But didn't need a sampled drummer bad enough to get one when they first came out. Finally got a sequential circuits drum machine for solo recording, which seemed at the time more realistic tone than some of the other early sampled drums. Then after awhile alesis released the HR-16 which had vastly improved tone and fidelity and features (if real drums are taken to be the aesthetic against which to judge), purt affordable. Velocity pads.

For a year or two simmons analog drums seemed charming, a much more flexible and sophisticated drum synthesis, but still restricted by such a limited tone palette that the ear quickly became disinterested.

Dunno if I've ever made a tune with 808 bleeps and bloops, but if people like em its fine with me. Roland even put the 808 palette in the first sound canvas how many decades ago. 808 tones always available only a program change away.

Have heard it argued that the quirky user interface of the roland machines is the charm. Which must have something to do with the sustained price support. Either that or mere collectable appeal? You could get a cheap used sound canvas and a canvas computer editor and get more variety out of that sound palette than the original boxes offered. Or just sample the sounds into the puter and do some real damage in mutilating the tones.
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zerocrossing
KVRAF
 
7097 posts since 26 Jun, 2006, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby zerocrossing; Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:16 pm Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

JCJR wrote:You could get a cheap used sound canvas and a canvas computer editor and get more variety out of that sound palette than the original boxes offered. Or just sample the sounds into the puter and do some real damage in mutilating the tones.


That's true, and I'm with you, but I will admit that having a sample and some ways to mess with said sample is not the same as having an actual synthesizer. For those who tweak knobs as the sequence plays, there is no substitute for having an actual analog drum synth.

Also, from what I gather from reading threads about the TR-8, the originals have quirky behavior based on what sounds are sounding at the same time that make the output of a TR-808 playing a sequence different than samples of each drum being triggered.

I actually had a lot of G.A.S. for an analog drum synth. No way I'd pay 808/909 prices, though. I looked at all the modern possibilities and... I went for a M.Brane 1_1. One single analog voice. I love it, it's very unique and interesting... and nothing at all like an x0x voice. I'm not that devoted to the sound, but I must admit I use samples all the time. For everything else it's a mix of samples and Nord Drum 2, which I believe might become a classic. It sounds really fantastic.
Zerocrossing Media
http://www.zerocrossing.net
4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~
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ZenPunkHippy
KVRAF
 
10212 posts since 18 Jun, 2008, from Melbourne, Australia

Postby ZenPunkHippy; Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:23 pm Re: Will the 808 and 909 ever just die?

Watched an interview with progressive trance producer Liquid Soul yesterday, talking to a class of young hopefuls. He's been producing psy trance / progressive trance / prog house for the best part of 20 years, he's at the top of his game if you dig that kinda thing.

In the early days it was all hardware, obviously, since the software side didn't exist. The interesting thing was his comments about the TR-8 and the TB-3 - both of which he thinks are great, capture the classic sounds perfectly well.

He has both, but never uses them for real production - which is ~95% software - the hardware is used for fun jamming, but not serious composition / releases.

Peace,
Andy.
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