The Hardware Megathread


#505

This tweet killed me, watch the video, with audio


#506

This thread is bad for my marriage.

So I have been hankering for a groovebox/drummachine for some time now, and have really come to lust after the TR8-S. I want to have the hands-on experience, I like having the faders instead of just knobs to turn, and you can load your own sounds in stereo, so it seems not as limited with samples/resamping as the digitakt…

I would appreciate any input from those with a TR8S (@how-many-re-likcs?)about how suitable you find it for groove creation in a home studio environment. No stage work, no sitting on the couch really, just having the hardware so I do not have to stare at my PC the entire damn day. I have a shedload of drum samples (Samples from Mars complete collection) so I will never lack for new kits. Any real downsides to this thing based on real-world experience? I heard it auto-quantizes, and this cannot be turned off, is that true? Also, fwiw, I am interested in making techno, tech-house, synthwave, downtempo, and just plain crazy rhythmic shit.

Thanks in advance hardware warriors.


#507

If you only want it because you like the TR/X0X workflow and want those sounds I can say you won’t spend your money better somewhere else. The recreation of the analog voices of the 909 and 808 are fab (IMO). The sampled kits from the other TR machines are great as well. I think many of the other sounds are a bit shit (expect for the generic “Perc” libraries, some cool shit there).

Just as one example, I was telling RFJ earlier today, that the more I listen to the music I that I mix as a DJ and try to produce its that same fucking 909 hi hat every damn time–and the TR8S lets me mimic that old school workflow and sound.

There is basically no point in taking up space with stereo samples IMO–I re-print all my samples as 16 bit 44.1 khz mono samples in Audacity before they go on an SD bound for the TR8S. Depending on how you work, don’t get caught up in the whole “the Digitakt is mono” thing. For the way it sounds like you are working, who fucking cares? Everything can end up stereo later, and especially if you are using it as 90% as a drum machine…stereo samples are meaningless. All my drum tracks get forced to mono before mixing and are usually mono samples to start. The whole Digitakt is mono complaint is (mostly) a bunch of production nerds with more money than brains that can’t make music so they spend their time bitching about how their ten thousand dollar studio is too limiting.

For techno and tech-house (I lean more tech-house and house myself) it is honestly an inspiration (to me). I even load up bass sounds, vocals, stabs, other FXs and get the “hook” going on the TR8S completely before finishing in my DAW. I think it works really well as a 4/4 dance floor sketch pad. If you print synth patches in C3 or C4 you can melodically sequence them with per step automation. (You can do it whatever note something is in, its just easier for my no-theory having ass if it is in C).

Yes, it quantizes to the 16th or 32nd depending on settings (Not 100% on the 32nd note part). It is meant to be a recreation of the original X0X drum machines and so it is in that regard.

Real world down sides–basically don’t expect it to handle loops in any very use-able way. So for me, Downtempo (like…Trip Hop) would be tricky using strictly the TR8S. For me it has been finicky as an audio interface and recording individual tracks over USB, but I’m not super patient with getting shit like that sorted. I think if someone took the time and got all their settings tweaked it would work great, lots of people in the TR8S groups I’m in on FB have it working 100%. I’ve reverted to just recording via the mix out into an audio interface and have it synced via traditional MIDI–I switch between using it in a live jam situation and as a studio machine and it is just easier that way for me.

Other thoughts–while a hassle to some, the way it handles samples via SD card is easy as pie to me. And additionally I store multiple, machine wide back ups on different cards. So all my 100% studio projects live on one SD card and all my “live” stuff on another and it is very easy and quick to switch back and forth from one back up to another.

Saving kits and patterns is a little weird for some people, but if you are used to Elektron it makes sense.

Since you bring up the faders I’ll note that it is really nice that you can gain stage each instrument from the instrument edit menu and then use the faders for live. So like you can set your kick at -15db or w/e and the top of the fader is -15 and the bottom is silent.

The shuffle sounds SO good. I love the shuffle. I has a great groove.

I didn’t think I’d care about the Ext Input and the Side Chain pumping affect, but is actually is VERY adjustable and is easier to make subtle than Daft Punk pumping. I love it for live use to keep the mix clean.

The Digitakt is like evolution of the Octatrack and easier to use. The TR8S is like all the X0X machines shoved into one box with one shot sampling and a lot of cool extras. And with 8 variations per pattern, 8 banks and 16 patterns per bank (plus two custom “Fills” per pattern) there is a lot of room to explore. Frankly I bought a six pack of 16 gig SD cards for like $25 dollars on Amazon when I got mine.

Oh, and customizing the fader LED color per kit is quite nice actually, I use it to organize sit on the regular.

The TR8S FX are usable, but nothing to write home about. Surprisingly I think the compression and compression + drive are the best parts. And you can do some cool stuff with the one LFO. It is a work horse drum machine that basically does what is say it does on the tin.

Happy to answer any specifics I missed.


#508

http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2019/04/16/behringer-k-20-synthesizer-a-flexible-little-monster-korg-ms-20-clone/

Touche’ Behringer color me intrigued…


#509

^Seems right up your alley. You loved your MS I remember.

After Behringer gets their fill of the vintage synth revival it’d be awesome if they moved to the small format groovebox side of things. Wishful thinking…


#510

Yea. I would really love a MS20 mini back…


#511

Holy crap that is a thorough answer @how-many-re-likcs, thank you! That is exactly the kind of things I was thinking about: the SD cards, audio out, are the FX any good etc. I do not have tons of free cash, the wife and kids see to that, but dammit I deserve something nice every once in a while. I appreciate you shining a light in a few of the darker corners of usability. Those are some points you will not find mentioned in a youtube video. My hat is off to you, sir.


#512

Seriously look at the Digitakt too. Ive not owned one, but my experience w Elektron tells me the tr8s is more immediate. But clearly the Elektron has waaay more under the hood.

Btw, if you are in the US. Zzounds has great no interest no credit check payment plans.

If you want I can PM you some jam videos Ive done on the TR8S.


#513

Hey, that would be cool, I would love to see the vids. I live in Germany now, so zZounds is out, but I generally do not buy on credit anyway, great way for me to get into trouble. I have the cash, just not the permission to spend it. :stuck_out_tongue: yet.

I have seriously considered the Digitakt as well, I like several factors of it. I want to end up producing in my studio away from the PC a bit…at least noodling with stuff to get a foundation. I have a monologue and a few small things, and would love to get a polysynth too to work with…The idea would be to turn on the record on my PC and jam, and sort it out later. Digitakt could certainly do that too, but it may be too deep for “just a drum machine” for me. I am not so interested in programming leads and stuff this way. I will check some more vids though at work, should be a slow day. Thanks again for your thoughts on this.


#514

I would go for a Digitakt over the TR8S, as it combines 2 things I love, direct on the hardware sampling and a small footprint.
Plus it can also double up as a hands-on midi sequencer for anything you have in the software world.
Which you can then resample and resequence.


#515

Good points there…I had forgotten about the midi sequencing, which would be awesome for example for my Meeblip Triode…That feature, plus the direct sampling do sort of make it more of a music design box than the TR8s. The TR wins hands down for performance, but I personally do not plan to perform tbh…more things to consider.


#516

I have an MPC Live, which is pretty much great, but being very deep it loses some of the immediacy of a “simpler” drum machine, it is closer to Maschine in that way, plenty of possibilities and less focus, not sure I’m making sense.


#517

Definitely watch some videos on the ones you’re eyeing.

I got the Digitakt. Super fun and like you said,
it is somethingg I can work with away from the computer. It can be simple, just building some beats and such or you can attempt to sketch out more complete deas for jamming into your DAW.

You can even resample your tracks down into single tracks with the internal resampling. Which I’m sort of just now starting to do. But it can open up your project for more layers.

And lastly towards the stereo/mono sampling. I haven’t really found it an issue. I’ve been trying to keep it in mind when bringing stuff in. I don’t sum the LR channels to mono but only pick one or the other. The box has a nice reverb, delay to get some width back.

It’s a very cool box. It’s easy to get into. There is a simple to use mixer and it even has a compressor that’s pretty neat.


#518

As for the digitakt don’t forget Overbridge functionality. It’s definitely more of a sound sculpting device than the TR8s. Although I’m mainly using it as a beatbox for drum loops, found sounds, and midi sequencing.

Spec wise I think it has the TR8s beat but they’re 2 different devices, with different intentions, and different price points.

I have some videos using DT in this way, let me know if you want to check em out.


#519

I agree 100% about the mono/ stereo thing.
Even in a daw I would bounce to mono each individual drum hit.
Even mic’ing drums you would mix the mics in hardware and print in mono.
Or guitar cabs, multi mic down to mono. At least imo.


#520

I have been spending most of the day at work listening to synth vids on youtube. I now lean more towards the digitakt…I could really use the Midi channels for lots of things…and you can make it into a monster monosynth, it can do polyrhythms better…

But now I also want a Mono/Poly, a DX7(always did, to be fair) a Geode, Organelle, and a Toblerone (gotta keep some reachable goals in life)

I am honestly looking at my budget worksheet and trying to decide how long I can stand to be poor, and then I might click now to buy on the Digitakt…we shall see


#521

I recently got a Volca FM, as much as I’d like a DX7, I just haven’t got the space for another keyboard, and as you can load DX7 patches into it, it’s a lot of synth for a very small footprint. It’s probably easier to program too. I can sequence all my synths and sampler from my QY700 at the same time if I want. The only time I use the com for music is for pulling samples from the net, reading instruction manuals, and uploading.


#522

Being spoiled for choice can be a real bitch. If you have other gear you can sequence with the Digitakt, that seems a no brainer to me. I’m sure you can make it a simple drum machine for when you want that.


#524

Still not sure why everyone hasn’t bought a Pro 2 but glad in that when I roll my face along it I get sounds I don’t hear everywhere else.

Cuz you know, everywhere else is what you want out of a synth :stuck_out_tongue:


#525

I just bought a launchkey mini so I can condense my hardware space from my 66key workstation to it and my synths. Hoping to get a mixer or new audio interface. I need like 5 to 7 inputs for audio. Just counting my stereo/mono outs on my gear. Any recommendations?

I don’t want to go over $200 but fear I might not have a choice.

Pro for the mixer I can level and color with effects and EQ. Pro for audio interface, I can record individual audio more easily, I’m guessing. I do have a rack spot available if I go AI but I also have a patchbay already to go with my multi-fx and compressor.

No experience buying a mixer and haven’t had to worry about an AI in like 7 or so years.