Is the Machinedrum really worth it?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Strauzzie
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Is the Machinedrum really worth it?

Post by Strauzzie » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:14 pm

So I am debating on my next big purchase for the studio. I'm sort of saving for a Lemur but with the advent of Dexter and after hearing some of the complaints of current users, I am starting to think about other uses of that cash - one of them being the Machinedrum UW.

Now, can someone give me the scoop on what makes the MD valuable enough to charge $1600? I know it does a few different types of synthesis, including the TR-series type, but it only has 2 MB of sampling capabilities. I look at that and then look at something as simple as the Korg ES-1 MKII which you can pick up for a steal.

Any advice / opinions are welcome.

- M

Machinate
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Re: Is the Machinedrum really worth it?

Post by Machinate » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:20 pm

Strauzzie wrote:I'm sort of saving for a Lemur but with the advent of Dexter and after hearing some of the complaints of current users, I am starting to think about other uses of that cash
I'm sorry to seem like I am sidetracking you here, but what does the Dexter have to do with the Lemur? And what were the complaints? I'd love to know.

Cheers,
Andy.

iamnotcool
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Post by iamnotcool » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:22 pm

It's an end-all solution for your electronic drums, plus a quasi-sampler, rolled into an awesome sequencer. I was skeptical myself, until I got a chance to try one last week. It's totally worth the money.
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Strauzzie
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Re: Is the Machinedrum really worth it?

Post by Strauzzie » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:24 pm

Machinate wrote:
Strauzzie wrote:I'm sort of saving for a Lemur but with the advent of Dexter and after hearing some of the complaints of current users, I am starting to think about other uses of that cash
I'm sorry to seem like I am sidetracking you here, but what does the Dexter have to do with the Lemur? And what were the complaints? I'd love to know.

Cheers,
Andy.
Well, it just seems like they're going to be more busy supporting and developing for the Dexter now. If it happens that they make some good $$ on it and can add some quality staff then that would be a good thing. I dunno, maybe it's just me being a worrier.

complaints that I've seen - latency, limited memory size, lack of OSC in Live at the moment (obviously thats not a JazzMutant problem).

Strauzzie
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Post by Strauzzie » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:25 pm

iamnotcool wrote:It's an end-all solution for your electronic drums, plus a quasi-sampler, rolled into an awesome sequencer.
The sequencer is one of the parts of the MD that most interests me. I wonder how it compares to the Electribe style sequencer though, what does it do that they can't? Anyone who has used both care to enlighten?

hacktheplanet
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Post by hacktheplanet » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:29 pm

The MD has been the "Next piece of gear I'm going to buy" for about 5 years now.
Someday, someday.
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thelike5
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Post by thelike5 » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:33 pm

I've used both the Korg ESX and a machinedrum and the machinedrum sure, has a smoother (for me) sequencer and I loved it's sounds. It's also a fine looking piece of gear and that alone inspires some people...

The Korg is a lot of fun. It's affordable and I love the pick up and play factor of that box. The ribbon control is truely my favorite feature for creating bass sound arppegiations (sorry, spelling!)

I've heard amazing results done with both. One costs over three times the amount as the other so, there is that to factor in...

What part of 'Thieveland' are you from? I myself am a resident and I (along with four of my friends) run a performance space here. It would be nice to find some people doing interesting things I may not know about...

Lo-Fi Massahkah
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Post by Lo-Fi Massahkah » Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:09 pm

The MD is great. Cool interface. Wide spectrum of sounds.

That said - I sold both MD and Mono to buy the Lemur. All my sounds are software (mostly Live devices, but I'm starting to get into Max/Msp) and the Lemur is my only interface.

Simplicity==productivity.

-M

Beatport
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Post by Beatport » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:02 pm

you can't go wrong with the MD - totally worth the investment.

Lo-Fi, do you have to program the lemur now to interact with all of your software? Is there some sort of Mackie Control/Automap thing going on there or do you spend a lot of time customizing environments etc with the Lemur? Or do you mainly use it as a DAW controller?

steve-o
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Post by steve-o » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:01 am

I had an MD and sold it. I found the sound to be very harsh and metallic at the time. However, if I had a UW, maybe my opinion would change.

As far as the synthesis is concerned, I think that it still has lots of potential. It's sequencer is very deep as well, with lots of non-traditional applications.

Since it was sold, I used uTonic for synthetic drums. For my purposes, uTonic and live was able to duplicate most of the features I was using the MD for. I found the sound to be more aligned with what I was trying to generate. I also started using GURU for most of my drum programming. I am a huge fan of this program.

If I were to make a call between a Lemur and an MD I would go for the Lemur because I do not beleive that the functionality of the lemur can be easily duplicated at a much cheaper cost. For example, with a little work, you can create a rack with all the drum programs you can find, route their outputs to individual tracks, and use clip envelopes to emulate the MD functionality. Note, this does not mean duplicate as I haven't figured out a way to completely duplicate the parameter lock functionality, for example. But you can use clips to automate effect sends, draw in LFO curves to effect different drum parameters, pattern switching, etc.

So, if you absolutely love the sound and sequencer of the MD, then by all means get one. Personally the cost didn't justify the sound or functionality for me. But I wouldn't buy a Ferrari based on the same reasoning, whereas some others would. The MD is like a Ferrari. In the end, I couldn't justify such an excessive expenditure in my case. But your case might be different, and many other's are.

Flame On.

Lo-Fi Massahkah
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Post by Lo-Fi Massahkah » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:06 am

Beatport wrote:Lo-Fi, do you have to program the lemur now to interact with all of your software? Is there some sort of Mackie Control/Automap thing going on there or do you spend a lot of time customizing environments etc with the Lemur? Or do you mainly use it as a DAW controller?
The programming part is what I like. I dig the modularity and the possibility to customize it to every project/song I'm working on. There is a Mackie emulation made for it - that I don't use. I don't really use it as a "mixer" - but it's definitely a DAW controller. :wink:

-M

Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:57 am

Here's a review of the MD I did for ALDJ, sums up some of these points about it's sound and what not:

http://www.abletonlivedj.com/index.php? ... &Itemid=87

Cryptic UK
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Post by Cryptic UK » Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:28 pm

Are you worth it?

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Strauzzie
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Post by Strauzzie » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:14 pm

Thanks for the replies, all. Very helpful.

efexx
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Post by efexx » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:52 pm

16 Tracks + 16 Lfos + Parameter-Locks (diffrent-parameters for each step) +tweaking = grooveheaven!

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