Goldbaby has recorded some more drum machines to tape. The new Vol.3 sample pack is $29. He has some good free packs on his site too. Having a few Ableton Impulse patches created out of these nicely recorded machines is handy.
“Drum Machines used: RZ-1, TR-55, XD-5, MFB-522, DDM-110, DDM-220, DPM-48, RX-21L, R-100, ED-10, PB-300 and the DSM-1. The Tape machines used: Otari MX5050 1/4″, Rolla 77 valve mono 1/4 inch, and the Hitachi Cassette deck. Plus the UBK Fatso was also used!” – goldbaby.co.nz
I once owned a Oberheim DMX drum machine. It’s a large early 80s drum machine based off samples. You can burn sounds using EPROMs (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory). The key to this and many hardware drum machines is the groove/sequencer. Beats just sound super tight. The outputs also add a certain grainy loudness to the samples. They have started to rise on price on eBay and for good reason. Goldbaby, the guy who releases sample packs of drum machines and other gear recorded onto analog tape has released an excellent pack of DMX samples. He even created the video below showing the EPROM burning process. I’ve never seen EPROM burning in action so big thanks to Mr. Gold for the video!
“The DX was a lighter version of the classic DMX drum machine. In fact its look, features and programming method are basically the same as the DMX. The DX has individual tuning knobs for the drum tones and an external trigger input. Its sounds are sampled recordings of actual instruments. The DX only has 18 drum sounds and the DMX has 24. Both drum machines have a number of human like feel effects such as a great swing function, rolls, flams and other weird time signatures and grooves. Best of all it’s easy to operate. There are also 6 individual outputs like the DMX for easing studio use. It has been used by Hip Hop artists since the very beginning of Hip Hop! It has been used by Apollo 440, Daft Punk, and Jimi Tenor.” – www.vintagesynth.com
I honestly believe a person would get more out of a DMX and Prommer than a new Elektron Machinedrum.
Goldbaby Custom DMX is available now for $24: click here
Here’s an easy technique that I use often to add tension to a chorus. I create an instance of the Impulse drum module in Ableton Live and load in a kit. In this example I am using a free kit called “Cassette 808” which is available for download at goldbaby.co.nz. Next, I create a my drum pattern. Inside Impulse I adjust the individual drum volumes, pannings and filters for each of the samples. I then dial back the Time parameter to -38%. The Time parameter affects all the samples inside Impulse at once. Cutting back the overall Time percent makes each drum each shorter and tighter. I like to keep my drums tight like this during the verses of my songs. I then automate the Time parameter to +30% when the chorus hits. This adds a sense of excitement and power to the chorus. You could use this method instead or in addition to adding rides or open hihats to a chorus (which creates a similar feeling). It’s also a good idea to automate the Time parameter further at key points in your arrangement. For example, if you want to focus on the last word of a verse try dialing the Time parameter to -90% for just a few syllables.
“The Time control governs the time-stretching and decay of all samples, allowing you to morph between short and stretched drum sounds.” – Ableton Live User Manual
Don’t stop playing with the Time knob there. Try duplicating your drum channel by hitting COMMAND-D. Now Pan your duplicated channel all the way left or right and turn the Time parameter to +100%. Cut the bass out of your new channel and you have a nice new color poking at your listeners ear. You could keep your new fully Time lengthened channel Panned Center and throw an Autopan plug-in on it. Why not also add a flanger or distortion? It’s great fun duplicating and adding effects to channels.
Here is an audio example:
Are you using time stretching as a songwriting element?