Drum machine help

Anything about hardware musical instruments.
51 posts since 18 Jan, 2015 from Romania

Post Sun May 19, 2019 9:10 pm

Hi all,

In short, I would like to go all-hardware in my playing and recording experience and I need a bit of help. My intention is to try to make things work under Linux and since I find the mixing and mastering abilities of Ardour and Reaper satisfactory for my purposes and I have a Focusrite audio interface which is well behaved under Linux, I thought it's worth giving it a try with the rest of the instruments.

Currently, I only have a guitar which I play as a real instrument, in rest I was using AUs and VSTs for drums, bass, keys etc.

Now, for the guitar and bass part, I think it's simple: just get an effects processor, plug it into the audio interface, plug the guitar or bass in the processor and just play and record. This should work fine. Same for a synth/keyboard.

But for the drums... I fear I cannot compete with, say, Toontrack's amazing library, not even if I hire a drummer. :) But I was wondering: since for other instruments it's that easy to get a (electronic) hardware version which does its job reasonably well, are there drum machines would give me good acoustic drum sounds and maybe also allow me to upload my own (layered) samples?

I should add that my genres of interest are rock and metal.

I have zero experience with drum machines, but also getting a drum kit (even an electronic one) or having a friend play the drums is out of the question for me. So I thought I should try this way, at least research the options.

P.S. Please don't turn this discussion into a Linux love/hate topic.

User avatar
15 posts since 5 Feb, 2019

Re: Drum machine help

Post Mon May 20, 2019 2:13 pm

The Alesis SR16 is a pretty cheap (~$150 new) option that has numerous acoustic drum sounds. It's pretty popular and sounds decent, though I don't have any experience with it personally.

You could also consider getting a sampler and loading acoustic drum samples (lots of packs both paid and free out there). Something like the Volca Sample could be a good entry point.

I use a sampler/sequencer for all of my drums and it sounds pretty realistic once you figure out the workflow. Best of luck!

51 posts since 18 Jan, 2015 from Romania

Re: Drum machine help

Post Mon May 20, 2019 11:47 pm

Thanks for the reply! I went deeper in my research and found that a sampler where you can load your own samples is a good option, perhaps even better. However, my main concern is regarding velocity layers and multi-samples. As far as I know, most virtual instruments based on samples use many velocity layers to be responsive to velocity values in the MIDI track, as well as many samples per hit which they randomize in a round-robin fashion.

Given this, do you know of any sampler which allows loading such multi-velocity & multi-samples per hit?

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