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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

We are kicking the idea around of using one on a gig, previously we've had this nice "clean" sound sans drummer which works well for us as it's a bit organic. Some of the "dancier" tunes struggle a bit. Do any of you guys use drum machines? I was also thinking about setting up MIDI etc on a laptop to to intros fills and endings.
Here's what we've got so far

http://www.blackfedora.info/mercymercymercy.mp3

As against our "organic" style

http://www.blackfedora.info/tunes/summertime.mp3

Can drum machines work for uptempo tunes on Jazz gigs? Or is that herecy? If you're using one - what sort is it? Was it easy to get configured/programmed?

Cheers
 

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SOTW Columnist, Distinguished SOTW Member
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Saxpunter, I don't want to sabotage your idea because it might work out very well for you.

Now that I've said that, I hate drum machines with a passion! But that's just me....

Just listened to the clips, and while it's a bit hard to compare because they are very different tunes, I have to say I prefer the 'organic' sound better. But then as I said drum machines don't do it for me. Way too sterile and mechanistic. Hey, why not get a real drummer? I know good drummers are at a premium, but if you can find one that's the way to go, imo.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, seeker of the knowing of t
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Discussion Starter #3
My wife hates them also - reckons its all "tikky tikky"

The last gig people were keen to dance, and its a bit hard to get a groove on sans bass or drums. Hmmm.

We are a 4 piece now, which gets us into "intimate" gigs. My bandmates are a bit averse to making it 5. Good jazz drummers are thin on the ground here.
 

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"Drum Machines" have come a long way. For starters, you can use both multi samples with velocity triggers, and play them without any quantizing. I have done work (lots of it) that will fool any drummer using the AKAI MPC series samplers / sequencers. There is a model that's pretty inexpensive and has a small footprint (I haven't used it but I bet it's great) MPC 500 I believe. In the studio I frequently use both acoustic drums and samples on the same track. I also have been known to sample a drum from a drummers warm up (I record everything) and use it to fix a bad hit. The MPC's are easy to program (Very much like an old tape machine in terms of transport controls) and last for years. I used a beta model MNPC 60 from '86 to '02 with very little problems. (Just several upgrades over the years) They are also great hardware sequencers so you can add bits to your program that otherwise you wouldn't be able to play live. Most people with a severe dislike for the drum machines may not realize how many times they've enjoyed music made with one. Used correctly - they are just another tool in the box. They can easily sound "canned" if you don't spend some time getting it right but they can play "organic" sounding material very easily too...
 

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We used a drum machine successfully for several years to play country club gigs where there was limited space and softer playing was required. When programmed to play a different fill every 8 bars, a good digital drum machine with a good speaker can be an effective substitute. What's more the drummer is always on time to the gig and never rushes or plays too loud. What more could you ask for? ;)

Seriously, at best it is still very mechanical and lacks spontaneity and creativity and a live drummer who listens and plays musically is always a better way to go whenever possible.
 

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Seriously, at best it is still very mechanical and lacks spontaneity and creativity and a live drummer who listens and plays musically is always a better way to go whenever possible.
I agree that (live) a real drummer is best, but before you continue perpetuating the opinion I quoted, please look in-depth at the product I posted about. Check out all the videos and stuff.
 
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