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Roland TR 626 - worth keeping?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

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KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:00 am Roland TR 626 - worth keeping?

Hi Folks.

Maybe some entertainment in between? :D

There's laying around a TR-626 for long in my "shoebox" arsenal. I bought it as a kind of comfortable metronome decades ago but never used it much for that.

Now I've considered selling it but the TR-626 is not very well respected as a drum machine and so I expect difficulties in making a reasonable deal.

On the other hand I ask myself if it could be useful for anything - so I am not much interested in drumming or drum programming.

Any thoughts? :D
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
User avatar
KVRAF
 
9394 posts since 17 Sep, 2002, from Gothenburg Sweden

Postby jupiter8; Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:12 am

Since it's sample based you could just sample it and sell it. I was going to say i like to program drums on Rolands because they're so immediate and click with the way i think but since you have no interest in that....
If you're not interested in drumming or drum programming i'd say a drum machine is the last thing you need. What else could you possibly use it for? It's not like you could mod it to make tea or clean the kittie box.
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:06 am

Don't worry too much about my statement "not interested in drum programming". It's just the patterns in the machine may be ok for some practising but do not meet actual standards in any way - unless you are into something so robotic. What I would prefer a lot instead is auto accompaniment like drums & bass for jamming to that.

Unless one is into "lofi" sounds - what's the use for 12bit drum samples? The few ratings I've found for this machine is also that the sounds are the least argument to get it... as there is nothing special in them. There are 8 individual outs - if one wants to process with external gear and use a mixer - still I ask myself if this is worth.

Have you any clue about a price point?

I have not found the TR-626 in used gear price lists yet. It's guesswork between TR-505 / TR-606 / TR 707 prices where the TR 626 is feature wise somewhere in between. As I've hardly used it it is as mint as it can be for such an old item - including original box and manual - so probably in collectors condition. I can't even remember what I've payed for it. I just don't want to make a bad deal as it's no real issue putting the box away for another 2 decades... :D

...this is somehow a stupid post, isn't it?... sorry...
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
User avatar
KVRAF
 
4589 posts since 13 Jan, 2003, from Kent, UK
 

Postby GaryG; Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:17 am

I think they're in some demand by circuit benders; the 505 certainly is, think the 626 is also becuase of it's seperate outs, more sounds etc.

May get a little more for it by exploiting that angle. :D
()_()
(O.o)
(")(")
KVRist
 
304 posts since 29 Jun, 2008, from Mid Wales, UK.

Postby Jim Y; Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:59 am

If it's bendable - bend it! What have you got to lose?
I was given a 505 found in a loft, batteries had leaked but I fixed it and bent it - great fun. The simplest thing I did was cut some of the sound rom address lines thru switches so it can go very low-fi and also wire a pot' across the sampling clock oscillator that bends the pitch. The cheezy preset rhythms really become something else with some of these mods.

Jim
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:23 am

Taking into account the mint condition I would prefer giving it to a collector or someone using it as is - someone who still finds it valuable. I know this is crazy when thinking about selling an item, but I don't like this kind of bending idea at all - it's just about giving it a stupid final kick before dumping it. :roll: If that's the only use left - maybe I'll better keep it - or if not I don't want to know... :(
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
User avatar
KVRAF
 
9394 posts since 17 Sep, 2002, from Gothenburg Sweden

Postby jupiter8; Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:38 am

Could be worth something to someone with a modular synth for triggering and whatnots.
KVRAF
 
5440 posts since 28 Apr, 2004, from france
 

Postby sinkmusic; Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:55 am

If you like to trig hardware, the Tr-626 migh be a keeper : with the separate outputs, you can trig a drumsynth (like a Simmons, etc), and the TR-x0x sequencer can be great for live jamming (editing your pattern on the fly).
But indeed, the sounds are quite rrrible ;)
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KVRAF
 
7073 posts since 26 Jun, 2006, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby zerocrossing; Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:13 pm

I say that if you're not thrilled with a piece of gear or emotionally attached to it, chuck it up on ebay or craigslist. Even if you only get a few dollars for it, you'll have less clutter in your life, a little more money and perhaps make someone with little money happy to have something. The last one sold on ebay for $78 and there are several up there now with bids of even more. That's the way I look at it. Hell, you might even get enough for it to buy a Goldbaby sample set and get real used out of that.

I've been really ruthless lately about what stays in my world and what goes. I don't want to be featured on a special musician's edition of "Hoarders." :hihi: Also, there's something that really bothers me about having something that has some useful attributes but isn't getting used by me. Better to give it away then let it rot in a closet. If you ever miss it, I bet you'll find it again on ebay if you really want it.
Zerocrossing Media
http://www.zerocrossing.net
4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:14 am

The TR 505 already lists for up to 150€ in mint condition and the TR 626 can do even more. I think $78 (about 63€) is a deal I would regret. I'm not in a hurry, I think I will try a small add in a local board first.

BTW, I have another oldie of similar taste, a Yamaha REX 50 effects unit... it's like a small SPX90, just the housing is more like control desk.

Getting software for the money? Don't think so.

I am using some PC stuff but it's finally a hassle and I simply don't like it. All the tech procedures consume too much time. I would prefer practising and playing instead. I am fed up hunting for the lowest latency solution, crackles on cpu overload, delicate DPC problems, waiting for samples to load, rumble and cutoff sustain on switching sounds and similar stuff - really.

But even if you have great piano samples - which is no big deal today - the problem is somewhere else, finding a great keyboard controller that makes this finally a piano. I am at a point where I am sure only a real piano is a piano so the question left is how close can you get with master keyboards and how much does this cost?

Sorry for going OT a bit - but I still think "HW" is underrated. Of course software is worth nothing to many people so I am not surprised that they do not care much about HW either. I just think both is wrong.
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
User avatar
KVRAF
 
7073 posts since 26 Jun, 2006, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby zerocrossing; Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:08 am

If you think I'm anti hardware, you're mistaken. I have a decent collection of it, but I have no romantic notion that if it's in it's own box hardware is better, especially with a 100% digital machine like your 626.

No offense, but your post sounded to me like someone who's last experience with using a computer to make music was in 2000. It's almost impossible to not get a DAW set up with good low latency performance and pretty short sample load times with an off the shelf Dell, a USB2 interface and an hour of setting up the OS for best performance. Sure, there's no way that Battery (or your sample software of choice) is going to load a kit as fast as the ROM in your drum machine, but for the quality and detail you get in the multi-samples, I feel it's worth the 5 seconds.

Dedicated hardware is not without it's own troubles either. I've got an analog synth that's out of tune and two emails to the developer have so far been ignored. It's only been a week but no software I have has ever gone out of tune on me unless I set it up that way. So each method of making music comes with it's own set of problems.

But really, it seems like I struck a nerve and you do have an emotional attachment to your 626. So then there's nothing wrong with keeping it. I've got some stuff I keep out of sentimentality. I picked up an SH-32 recently after having sold one a while ago because I missed it. It doesn't do anything that software I have doesn't do as well or better, but there was something that made me just want it. I got it for exactly what I sold if for, so it was just like putting it in a closet for a while.

Be careful where you look for your answers. You came to a software orientated forum and asked if you should get rid of some hardware that's universally considered mediocre, of course someone's going to tell you to get rid of it. If you wanted to be told to keep it, you should have posted this on Gear Slutz.
Zerocrossing Media
http://www.zerocrossing.net
4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:01 pm

Be careful where you look for your answers. You came to a software orientated forum and asked if you should get rid of some hardware that's universally considered mediocre, of course someone's going to tell you to get rid of it. If you wanted to be told to keep it, you should have posted this on Gear Slutz.
Lol, I really didn't expect any type of answer, I am just curious.
To me the HW / SW discussion is finally a bit crazy. A PC and all the stuff around is HW too while most todays dedicated HW can not be seriously editied without a PC editor... In some way you end up with both anyway, it's just where you set your focus.

Dedicated hardware is not without it's own troubles either.
True and not just with vintage, but nothing you can't emulate with a "good" set of VST's too... like glitches when switching sounds with insert effects or even worse just have mixer style efx routing... :P
Even worse with "hybrids" with dedicated HW and embedded PC's - something most likely to be found in modern workstation keyboards.

But really, it seems like I struck a nerve and you do have an emotional attachment to your 626. So then there's nothing wrong with keeping it.
Not at all, you just quoted info from ebay any your experiences, that's what I am after. I just think the suggested price is too low.

No offense, but your post sounded to me like someone who's last experience with using a computer to make music was in 2000
I admit that one can have that impression, but it's not the case. I am just very picky concerning certain aspects of ASIO / VST technology. For short, I think it is studio technology but not good enough yet for worry free live use.

I have not the latest PC, just a Core 2 quad, 4GB ram off the shelf but I think that's enough to have a somehow up to date impression. I am also the main independent supporter of Cantabile life host forum and know some of the dirty tricks to get some of the things I want and what's hard to impossible to get from some other life hosts. Just the point is, it is too much effort to get something that should just work - instant.

Yes HW may be restricted in some other ways but is often much simpler to use and simply works. On the other hand the PC does not provide the freedom that is often suggested - cpu is limited, realtime response capability in a win system even more (DPC issues) and sometimes it's hard to identify the cause for a crackle that occurs just every 10 minutes... and hey, if you've finally found the reason - like a "great" nVidia driver taking too much cpu and spoiling DPC while you already use the drivers latest update - you can't fix anything... With a PC system you'll never know what happens next.

Now some on VSTs.

I'd really like to use Jamstix but that does not work when the gui is open because there are some magical cpu spikes creating crackles. Well, I can close the gui and the problem is gone, but how shall I ooperate the plugin then? I have contacted the devellopers of Jamstix and Cantabile and I know they both have analyzed the issue and where not able to even localize the final reason - not to mention to resolve it. The TR 626 may be lousy vintage machine but it simply works and does what it is meant to do...

No VST is like the next... Cantabile can explicitly suspend plugins to save cpu - pity that some plugins need time to restart... again not instant. Ok you can leave it running which has also some other benefits, but now you may run into cpu hassle. HW does voices stealing instead of crackles - by far what I prefer when resources get low.

Now one of my most beloved topics: changing patches... instant! 5 seconds is far from being instant. To get that perfect you need to run all plugins with all sounds you need in parallel and route midi - quite inefficient. Some Plugins can't take vst patches and need to be fed with vst banks for single sounds or setups. Some VST's do not take that at all so you need to feed program changes there... Some VST's create a big rumble when you change patches on the fly... Samplers are a nightmare in this dynamic scenario unless you preload everything again.

More of the good hassle free ASIO / VST technology for live use? Yes, there are workarounds for most issues including changing operation habits - but it's no increased comfort at all and closer to programmers work than setup.

Probably you get a slight idea now why I am so skeptical... :P

Ok, enough OT chit chat, just because you asked... :hihi:
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...
User avatar
KVRAF
 
7073 posts since 26 Jun, 2006, from San Francisco Bay Area

Postby zerocrossing; Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:51 pm

Well, my experience is different, but I'll freely admit that I don't care about changing patches mid jam. I find one that works and that's that. As for the little glitches, I've managed to set things up so that I never get one, but that means the no things like virus protection or internet access. That's even with a machine that had lesser specs than the one you talked about.

I'm not trying to argue with you. I could care less what you use. In some things I'd rather use hardware, other things I find it cumbersome. To each their own. For me though, a machine that loads up a digital file and sequences it in time had better be pretty special like my Tenori-on or it goes away.

As far at the money, I didn't make that up, I just saw the last one on ebay. It really doesn't matter what you or I think it's worth in an auction. If someone pays what you think it's worth, that's great. I've had it go both ways. I've gotten crazy high amounts for things, and low amounts. What ever the market bares, as they say.
Zerocrossing Media
http://www.zerocrossing.net
4th Law of Robotics: When turning evil, display a red indicator light. ~[ ●_● ]~
KVRAF
 
2308 posts since 13 Apr, 2008, from Germany

Postby TiUser; Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:56 pm

zerocrossing wrote:Well, my experience is different, but I'll freely admit that I don't care about changing patches mid jam. I find one that works and that's that. As for the little glitches, I've managed to set things up so that I never get one, but that means the no things like virus protection or internet access. That's even with a machine that had lesser specs than the one you talked about.


The optimizations better the situation but are not the final point. The fundamental lack of cpu realtime and overload management in windows is one reason why things can not work hassle free in any circumstance.

Imagine a nuclear power reactor that has no overload management and you know there is no other option than it bangs on overload. Now you are told by the operators - well, we do not use it up to this point and can manage. Would you say this is a system you like to trust in?

Practically however a music PC and power reactor can work somehow without this overload management but... I guess you got my point. The system is technically not really proper for the task.

The glitches are again a design flaw. With different resource allocation strategies you could get perfect glitch free operation without the need for any user actions. Needless to say that some VST's are much better than others. A lot of HW suffers from this problem partially too - mostly with insert effects.

Practically I guess you would accept a tune button in your DAW too, well because we had that for long and with pc's we can work around it... (there is a "tune request" midi command) :wink: No, I think let's get rid of the tune button when ever possible.

As long as people don't complain, accept silly workarounds and buy nothing much will change...

zerocrossing wrote:As far at the money, I didn't make that up, I just saw the last one on ebay. It really doesn't matter what you or I think it's worth in an auction. If someone pays what you think it's worth, that's great. I've had it go both ways. I've gotten crazy high amounts for things, and low amounts. What ever the market bares, as they say.

Ok, just I am not forced to sell it for any price. I don't like too much gambling here.

Anyway. I've gathered some ideas now...
Best regards, TiUser
...and keep on jamming...

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