What is your favorite drum machine -808 and 909?

Yes i like the the Tempest too

Emu XL-7 still a beauty (in my opinion a great design for a drumachine / groovebox)

Quite interesting to see the way these manufacturers set up the effects for their drum machines.

Good to take a look at and try to recreate in renoise.

Real drum recordings ( chopped breakbeat, single hits ) sound so much better than drum machine sounds only in my opinion.

I will admit, breakbeat samples do sound much fatter when layered with synthetic drum sounds. A mix of both is good.

Synthesized snares never sound that good, unless they are layered with samples from a real snare.

Even physical modelling snares dont come close. They are not expressive enough. Too static and mechanical.

Think of all the variables going on inside a real snare ( diameter, depth, skin material, material of body, tuning, hardness/softness of hit, type of mallet, angle of strike, springs in snare etc…). On a real snare every time its hit its a slightly different sound. So much variation ( same with all drums ). Real drums and therefore samples of real drums stilll much better than synthetic drums, maybe always will be ( but synthetic drums layered underneath do add fatness, it has to be said ). Even heavy metal and rock drummers use synthetic drum machine sounds layered with their drums ( with the use of triggers ).

Playing drums or pads of drum machines in real time is more fun to watch too.

A lot of trap music really is annoying with all those synthetic hihats.

Sounds like its designed to be a loud annoying ringtone.

Plus the MC’s are wack these days, not saying anything and cant rhyme.

Its all ‘ten crack commandents’ recycled over and over.

I have to admit I do like the mix of FM hats and real hihats in a tune tho.

I like 808 - however I have only experienced it through samples.

I used to have Korg ER-1 - digital drum-synth.

KVLT Drums

Refreshingly different, at the moment my Fav.


1 Like

My fav is definitely the Roland R-8.

Especially what Autechre did with it…see ‘Flutter,’ among many others they used it on.

They also used it as a controller for playing their synths, etc. The R-8 has velocity-sensitive pads so it can be very expressive.

Doing pitch effects on the core sounds gets you halfway there…

amazing box. also great for industrial music!

2nd fav is definitely the classic 606, again probably because I’m a junkie for 90s IDM.

1 Like

new Fav.

Pulsar 23


1 Like

The roland R8 had soundcards with different sample packs on them…anyone know where I can download the full set of samples from all the cards…

you can get a little selection from here


Seems like the official Roland 808 vsti is slightly fatter or clearer and better than D16 groups Nepheton…although Nepheton may be more tweakable somehow…which is really better?

Seems like you must pay either $109 for nepheton or $20 a month for the entire ‘roland cloud’ suite of vsti - i think this idea seriously sucks personally (same subscription model bullshit with adobe creative suite)…i hate this subscription shit.

But which is really better? I only want it for the kick and the hats really, to use layered under breakbeat samples. makes things more modern sounding, bit better than breakbeat samples alone…damn i hate the subscription idea, but i really want the official roland vst

Subscription model what a joke go pirate them all they are asking for it.

People have a weird way of trying to evaluate the roland subscription model. Wait for the sale or 2-4 life offer (normally, the loyalty program is 1 for life)

If you get to keep 2 plugins, you’ve pretty much paid a valid price for those two alone. Meanwhile, you get access to the rest of them under the subscription. Ergo: the subscription model is just offering the bonus of accessing all their plugins.

Some of the other subscription models, I’m more sceptical about. Slate, eastwest composer cloud… At least with Roland, you don’t have to feel like you’re getting ripped off.

only know the nepheton, sounds good
for renoise, I would prefer goldbaby 808 Samples (dave smith tempest have goldbabys inside)

If you especially are look to the “fattest” bass drum, do not overlook microtonic

IMO most vstis and samples will do the job. The key for a good sound is eqing and compression, unless you use very shitty samples (e.g. heavily processed samples).

1 Like

I only have to tune up, ideally an 808 (or really any big fat basstone kick drum sound) so that I can layer it on the individual hit kickdrums that I have made from cutting up that awesome breaks pack that was here on the forums (best breaks pack online, such a nice gift)…probably mostly just layering the kicks first and like you say EQ and compression is what is going to make it sound good, but maybe somehow improving snares or even hihats too.

Personally Im not really into the idea of subscription models in general because Im quite broke most of the time and also I think if you buy something, you should own it forever.
I guess it will mean every time I use renoise and want to use their 808 I will have to be online.
That is just annoying. To be honest, I even dont like it when VSTi use the program folders…because I know that its not necessary. A lot of VSTi can run just out of their own folder…then if you change computer you can just move your VSTi folder. Maybe its too fussy but I just dont like that. So this subscription thing in my view is just another of this kind of hassle and a rip off too. They do look like nice VSTi though.

Its interesting that you say microtonic, as that is a physical modelling drum synth. I havent really taken time looking into the kickdrum on that one, but I guess it may be quite fat and bassy, tweakable, good for layering…I heard the microtonic a little…I think it would take some tweaking to really make it sound good. It does look interesting, although pretty expensive for what it is.

Sorry for the long posts and rambling on a bit here but personally I think nothing really beats sampled and chopped breaks layered with fat drum machine sounds for a good drum sound. Drum machine only can sound pretty good sometimes,o r all drum machine except for the snare being taken from a break seems like quite a nice way to do things. I think it sounds better when the breaks are chopped into individual hits and further processed from that point, rather than just using the whole break with slice markers and putting drum machine kicks in over the top…but you do lose the ‘flow’ of the breakbeat and the soundn is more ‘disjointed’ …that disjointed drum beat sound is quite cool, unnnatural in a cool way.

A lot of these drum machines have a weak and shitty snare. Take the 808 snare for example. Its actually quite terrible. On the other hand the kickdrum is one of those perfect iconic sounds…

As for the hihats, I wonder which machine is really best for hihats…808 (nepheton), 909 (drumazon) or 606 (nithonhat)? Or something else? You never know, you might even be able to get the nicest synthesized hihat sound ever out of something cheap like adlibtracker-II or PSPSEQ. (FM hihats, or even karplus strong hihats?).

I wonder if its a better choice for me to just buy the kickdrum only VSTi ‘punchbox’…I want them all but theses things are out of my price range. I dont have $400 dollars to spare most of the time. I dont like the way these things go into programs folder…should be just in their own folder. They are well made and good. I do want want them. Its a shame, I just cant be doing the subscription thing for roland.

D16 vs ROLAND vs MICROTONIC (sonic charge)




I think D16 and Microtonic sound better than roland overall…Microtonic is for sure the most versatile. However just for that big bass kick might have to think about nepheton.

1 Like

D16 Group Summer Sale

Ive been looking around and I just want to add that arturia spark vintage drum machines vsti also looks pretty damn nice. You get a wider selection of drum machines and many cool features. Its a mix of samples and synth/analogue emulation. It looks nice.
Sometimes I wonder if the whole ‘808 is best’ thing is actually only a half-truth. Yes it has one of the best kicks ever known but some of the other drum machines from that era are underrated.
Or if you are a cheapskate like me and are willing to put yourself through hours and hours (mayhaps years) of assigning samples to pads and building kits yourself there are vintage drums sample packs still out there somewhere. Someone/some people have meticulously gone through old drum machines and sampled every hit. Its muthf*!%in wholesome. Im a fan of the earlly casio drum sound.