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User reviews on Drum Machine products

Boss DR660 still useful ! (Boss - DR-660 Dr. Rhythm)

By James Zelazny jr, 04/11/2018
I bought the DR660 when they were first out and the price was right.I wanted something to jam to with my guitar,then found out you needed to be a programming drum nerd and was bummed out.At the time,computers were not a dime a dozen,so the MIDI was useless to me and was only able to use preset beats at best.But then....dug it out of mothballs and bought a Yamaha midi interface,installed Guitar Pro 5,downloaded 1000`s of .GP3 files of some good tunes I like and setup Guitar Pro to play those .GP3 files which are very close to having the actual drummer in my room.At least better than any drummer I ever met that will play anytime I need a drummer.The great part is I can TURN IT OFF anytime I want and takes up much less space than an actual drum set.So this thing after all these years turned out to be quite a useful tool.Setting it up for Guitar Pro to play my drum tracks was almost too easy.So there you have it ! Matter of fact,made a few You Tube tracks for fun as a GUESS the drummer and song.Living proof of how useful the DR660 is -

Full of vintage charm (Roland - CR-78)

By GoneKiwi, 03/06/2018
I bought it on the spur of the moment, only realizing afterward how iconic it was (a good thing for me!). Of course, its sounds felt familiar and though it is mostly a preset machine you always have a good time trying the different possible combinations playing with the nice colored controls. Of course, you can easily get tired of some of the instruments such as the guiro, but the good news is you can reduce or even turn off the volume on some of them. I no longer have it, but as a rule, I used to resort to a given rhythm pattern and playing with the fills, all while recording straight to my computer.

The great thing with this pretty lady is that in spite of its age, it can be programmed. Of course, the better is to own a TS-1 Memory Write Switch or the (very hard to find) WS-1, but there are alternate devices such as the CR-78PGM or the Swynx which I’ve never tried. I’ve tried programming a bit with a Roland pedal, but you’ll need a perfect timing to be successful.

I’ve use dit for almost 3 years but not on a regular basis, so in the end I sold it to make more space in my tiny studio.

I’ve also owned a Roland PB-300 – which is very much simpler – and also a Keio Minipops 7 (aka MP 7), even much simpler yet full of character.

Apart from its awesome look, what I like most in this device is its very typical sound, especially the slapping snare. What I liked least was how difficult it can be to sync it, and also the very tiny memory space. Separate outputs would also be welcome. Well, in the end, let’s not be too picky, all that’s also part of the charm of vintage devices like this.

Digitakt – a limited, yet boundless product (Elektron - Digitakt)

By Kordump, 01/02/2018
For which specific applications or uses have you chosen this product?

I play IDM electronic music, and I chose this device as I was after a small mobile studio without having to sacrifice functionalities, so I don’t use it either to complement a set or as an addition to it. I sold my Circuit and gave up the iPad for this one.

Does it seem sturdy? Are its sequencer and various parameters well-conceived and easy to use?

It’s very sturdy, up to par with Elektron’s reputation. I feel the supply jack will need to be cautious while using it, though. The screen is awesome with a very sexy touch, even if you’re not yet used to the keyboard. Beware though, the keys are noisy: no way to use it without disturbing the neighbours, so go easy while having fun next to a TV set or bedroom. The more you learn, the fastest you go, a real pleasure – unseen as far as I’m concerned.

What do you think of its sound? And of its edition and processing capacities?

The sound is crystal-clean, but can easily be as dirty as you wish. No separate outputs except through the upcoming overbridge. Effects are limited to reverb and delay, but they’re typical Elektron fx so they take time to get used to. The lock parameters allow diving into that Dataline-like typical Elektron sound, and I’d say the 70 param. locks settings easily make you forget about the limits of the effect section. A little compression will still be needed for mixing.

What are the pros and cons of this product?

The Digitakt can easily be turned into whatever you want – whether it be a drum machine, a sampler, an outboard sequencer through the 8 MIDI tracks, so in the end I’ll only judge it on the use that I do make of it, which is a mobile machine that works as a small studio. It has its own workflow with pure Elektron DNA, and considering the price I’ll say it can also be considered as a first step into discovering the brand’s universe.

Pros :

- a trippy machine with a very tactile use
- very compact and rather sturdy
- very clean and Elektron-typical sound (see the Dataline video)
- designed for live, with a workflow which encourages experimenting
- the overbridge feature is very promising
- very good value-for-money considering the brand

Cons :

- mono sound
- requires time to get beyond its apparent simplicity
- the 8 tracks are quick to fill
- a young, buggy OS
- as with the Octa, it easily induces a love-hate relationship with it, I’d say you shouldn’t expect too much from it from the start but rather let yourself go and discover the complexity which can emanate from its apparent simplicity.
- no “song” mode – it was really made with live in mind
- sample adding has to be done blindly

In the end : frankly, I could do everything that it does using Ableton, but it’s awfully sexy and features an amazing workflow. A real trip when in the end a loop comes out of it, you tweak it and have fun, so for the price it’s a real, big crush. A machine to be discovered at length, now as I said it all depends on what you want to do with it. And, shall I add, at last there is an affordable Elektron product, and to me it’s up to par with the expectations you would have from such a brand.

A little loop to conclude :-D

News Drum Machine

This Summer, jam with BeatBuddy Mini for $99

Published on 06/01/16
Singular Sound has announced a special offer on their BeatBuddy Mini personal drum machine.

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