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View Full Version : Need advice on live performance with drum machine


rickellis
02-13-2010, 08:57 AM
Hi everyone. I need some help. I have done some searching and still remain thoroughly confused on direction.

I generally play alone only because I cant seem to find anyone to jam with. So recently I bought a RC-50 loop station. It has been fun playing around with this and really helpful in spurring some creativity. The RC-50 has a built in "guide" or rhythm drum kits. I really like playing with drum backing/kits. It seems a little cumbersome to use this for a drum machine.

So here is the jist of my dilemma......

I want to find a way to be able to perform "live" and use a drum machine of some sorts. Some way that I could develop several songs and easily be able to organize a set and have control of the drum machine (footswitch or whatever). I have ProTools with Ableton Live Lite and I have the RC-50 with the kits.

What are others doing to incorporate drums (maybe bass also) into a setup that is workable and easy to manage on stage? I am really confused about this topic and was wondering if I could get some input on what is working or not working for others.

Any help would really be appreciated.

Rick

SpruceTop
02-13-2010, 09:41 AM
Hi everyone. I need some help. I have done some searching and still remain thoroughly confused on direction.

I generally play alone only because I cant seem to find anyone to jam with. So recently I bought a RC-50 loop station. It has been fun playing around with this and really helpful in spurring some creativity. The RC-50 has a built in "guide" or rhythm drum kits. I really like playing with drum backing/kits. It seems a little cumbersome to use this for a drum machine.

So here is the jist of my dilemma......

I want to find a way to be able to perform "live" and use a drum machine of some sorts. Some way that I could develop several songs and easily be able to organize a set and have control of the drum machine (footswitch or whatever). I have ProTools with Ableton Live Lite and I have the RC-50 with the kits.

What are others doing to incorporate drums (maybe bass also) into a setup that is workable and easy to manage on stage? I am really confused about this topic and was wondering if I could get some input on what is working or not working for others.

Any help would really be appreciated.

Rick

One of the least intrusive ways for a solo act to use a drum machine is to use only simple bass-drum with snare-drum patterns to maintain your rhythm for a song. Just use the the footswitch to turn On/Off the machine. Having a simple drum-machine rhythm pattern going on can help free up your guitar so you can play more melodic things interspersed with your guitar's rhythm. Even if you drop out the guitar's rhythm for a beat or two to play and accentuate a melody or fill, the audience still receives an uninterrupted rhythm pattern from the drum machine and the whole thing melds together to sound good.

Regards,

SpruceTop

bnjp
02-13-2010, 10:30 AM
My only advice is: make sure you can hear! I've had some nightmarish experiences with drum machines when they could hear the drums and I couldn't. It won't change tempo to meet you...so be careful. In ear monitors maybe?

BuleriaChk
02-13-2010, 10:50 AM
I have found that the best drum machines for live performance (if you're needing backing) are the Boss BR-600 or Boss BR-900CD.

The advantage these have is that you can use your own sounds via the tone load function, and you can easily edit the rhythm tracks in the PC editor.

Of course, you also have the advantage of using them as a front end for your amp, incorporating guitar effects, reverb, etc., and mixing in mic and aux in.

Not only that, they are multitrack recorders.......

I own both, and I think they are a couple of the best investments I ever made.....

Losov
02-13-2010, 01:17 PM
When I play with my small group, we use a Boss DR-770 but we don't program it - someone plays it live. You could control such a unit with a midi foot controller, ie tap your foot and get a high hat, something of that nature. Great sound, but as someone pointed out, keep it simple.

I can address bass. I used to mount a GK-2 on one of my guitars and run it to a Roland GR-33. I had it programmed for bass on various lower strings depending upon the patch I chose. As I only finger pick, it was a simple matter to keep it under control.

In the end, I found it more enjoyable and more challenging to come up with interesting arrangements without all the whizzbangetry, particularly as a solo artist.

zombywoof
02-13-2010, 04:34 PM
I guess one advantage is that come about the second set, you would not have to tell the machine to stop hitting those annoying cymbals.

bfloyd6969
02-13-2010, 07:58 PM
Just wanted to add that the Alesis SR 16 is a very nice drum machine as well. It's a pretty old unit, been around for a long time, but still has a good, realistic sound to it. Alesis also has a newer unit (the SR 18) but I never played with that one.