Drummer wanted. Humans need not apply.
December 31, 2013 2:29 PM   Subscribe

Looking for the right solution for a drum machine / software / thingee for casual jam sessions.

I'm looking to create the ideal drummer for our casual jam sessions. I already have an old Alesis SR-16 drum machine, but programming beats and songs has always been a chore - and I'm very bad at it. The stock beats are mostly not useful. I've had more success programming beats visually - on a computer with GarageBand.

I have created backing tracks using GarageBand, which works pretty well, but only if I have created one for the song at hand. I put them on my iPhone and pipe then through the stereo.

I have an assortment of amps and a computer that can be used.

I'm hoping to create an easy solution that enables me to get the right beat going without a lot of fiddling around, and make a great flow for the sessions. Bonus points for something that has great stock beats and can be actuated on the fly with a foot pedal. Any suggestions?
posted by ecorrocio to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've used Garageband on the iPhone for this. It's got a nifty little "Smart Drum" sequencer that lets you randomize beats as well. Just select your time signature and tempo, add a Smart Drums instrument and hit the randomize button a couple of times until you get something you like.

You could then also "record" that beat to save it for later use.

Not sure about footswitches, but this one claims to be user-configurable so it might just do the trick.
posted by monospace at 4:00 PM on December 31, 2013

Propellerhead's Figure is a nifty loop maker.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:15 PM on December 31, 2013

I love DM1 for the iPad for this.
posted by 4ster at 7:36 PM on December 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Maschine is really nice.
posted by empath at 10:38 PM on December 31, 2013

Nanostudio is a great little program that lets you record looped (or not) beats through a drumpad.

There are 8 stock 'kits' that are decent and tweak able, but the sampler is super easy to use too.

There are also additional free kits that are easily imported and linked off the developers website.

Great little daw, the drum machine is only the tip of the iceberg.
posted by BlerpityBloop at 7:59 AM on January 1, 2014

I have a Zoom RT123 that I like. I don't know if it's any better than the Alesis programming-wise, but I find it useful in a pinch.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:04 AM on January 1, 2014

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