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quarta-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2017

Why I'm not a big fan of recent grooveboxes...

Grooveboxes are amazing tools for anyone doing electronic music, so I thought a topic about them would be more well timed now!

My old Roland TR-707. I ended up selling it as the Roland TR-909 end up
being a better machine, but this one is better bang-for-the-buck!
I am not sure if many of you feel like I do about this, but I have to say I'm not really a fan of recent grooveboxes...

To me it isn't a matter of how they sound, but rather how they work.

With an old Roland TR-909 (or a similar machine from that era), you are able to change patterns while keeping the sound you were using.
So if you want to play a pre-programmed pattern and modify your sound as the pattern is playing, you'll have the same sound playing when you change your pattern as the sequence and the sound are not stored together.

I only had these two briefly, and if I hadn't had the need to get cash for
another buy, probably I would have kept them...

With modern grooveboxes, at least the ones I have tried, sequence and sound are stored together, which means that if you change a pattern, you'll change the sound as well.
This is a huge drawback for me, as I really like to edit the sounds while I'm constructing my songs, which means I can't really change patterns if I want my sound to keep being the same...

If any of the recent grooveboxes doesn't work like this, please make me aware of that, as I haven't tried many of the higher end models!
But I know that Korg Electribes, EMU Command Stations, Roland MCs and other machines unfortunately work this way...

The best sequencer I have! The screen can be problematic, but with that
fixed, it's a really amazing machine!
So, the solution I found for my setup was to get a real sequencer to sequence my synths!

I ended up settling with a Sequentix P3, but would really love to upgrade to a Sequentix Cirklon later on.
The extra tracks would be really useful, and the CV/Gate outputs would be really amazing to use with my eurorack modular synth (which is still pretty small, so those extra sources of CV/Gate would be really nice to have).

The classic acid machine!
But I also have available my two Clavia Nord Modular G2Xs, which I used a lot as a sequencer before I got the Sequentix and still use very often, as well as a Doepfer MAQ16/3, which I find great to send CCs and CVs.

Together with my Roland MC-202, Roland TB-303, Roland TR-909 and even Roland SH-101 (with the sequence being triggered with the Roland TR-909 Trigger Out), I have a really nice sequencing setup available for all tasks.

For more polyphonic sequencing, I also end up using Ableton Live 9 (which I can control with my Ableton Push), NI Maschine (with the original controller), or my EMU XL7 Command Station, which is still great as a sequencer!

Sequencing the Akai S6000 with the NI Maschine.
This setup provided a good Roland TR-707 replacement!
In fact, I bet most modern grooveboxes are great to be used as sequencers, the thing is, you can likely get a better sequencer for the price if you are just going to use other gear to make the sounds you need.

Also, most grooveboxes end up being more limited than dedicated synths in terms of sounds, so if you have a nice setup of synths, a sequencer is likely the way to go!
Sure some grooveboxes have a unique sound (like the Roland TB-303, which is really limited machine but sounds really good), but if you aren't looking for a very particular sound, you won't be worse off with this kind of setup (it might just end up taking some more space...).

Remember this guy? It's a great sequencer too!

2 comentários:

  1. Boas Paulo. Tenho um Yamaha Electone D 85. POr acaso não me sabe dizer quanto é que pode valer um piano destes?

  2. Boas, manda-me uma mensagem que possivelmente até me pode interessar! ;)

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