Drum Machines and Samples
On this record, we used a mix of real drums (also with triggered sounds) and vintage drum machine samples.
To stay true to the inspiration of the album, I picked a few emulations of cult units from those years, such as the Roland Cr-78, the Tr-77, the Korg Mini-Pops 7, etc.
Kontakt Hub proved very helpful (again!). Compu78 (CR-78), Oxypops (Mini Pops 7), Seventy 7 (Roland TR-77) are three small, quite accurate and meticulously sampled libraries by Forgotten Keys. They are also extremely affordable (like iOS affordable, so to speak), which doesn’t harm. If you’re looking for 1:1 emulations, definitely check these out! The only drawback: at times, the interface doesn’t make for a convenient workflow. Features like pattern export and sync could and should be more user-friendly.
UVI Beatbox Anthology 2
Sometimes I felt I needed something faster to work with, and for this purpose, UVI Beatbox Anthology 2 is hard to beat. It’s a bundle that on paper looks almost overwhelming (you get over 50 years of grooveboxes, beat machines, drum modules, synth drums, and more, from analog to digital), yet turns out to be a real life-saver.
Picture this: You’re in a studio, the clock is ticking and you need to create a ‘believable’ track with some vintage drum machine sounds. At this point, you need a tool with a) great sounding samples and b) a no-nonsense workflow.
In my experience, UVI Beatbox 2 ticks these boxes, and then some. A staggering range of quality sounds (with a great mix of classic, more or less obscure and even modern machines), an intuitive interface, an easy-to-use step sequencer (with lots of ready to drag-and-drop MIDI files!), a useful FX section with delay, reverb and bitcrusher, etc.
I love the fact that with Beatbox Anthology 2 you can quickly whip up some cool beats, and have the chance to fine-tune their sound design thanks to the capable synthesis section (envelopes, filter, etc.)
Beatbox 2 has both stereo and multi-output options as well, so you can choose to mix everything within it or have each drum channel and effects AUXs routed to your DAW’s channels (I find this feature not as intuitive or well explained as it should be).
Don’t get me wrong, I love hardware drum machines and I treasure my sample collection (with Goldbaby tape drum samples being a desert island kind of library), but sometimes I simply don’t have the time to dig through all my wav files or my EXS/Kontakt libraries to find the right sample.
In such cases, UVI Beatbox Anthology 2 is an invaluable resource, a sort of producer’s dream toolkit. BB2 is available here for €149. A no-brainer if you ask me.
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