||Groove Boxes, Drum Machines, DJ Samplers
CleverJoe's top picks in drum machines, groove boxes and music production equipment. If you're after used or vintage synths, check out the used listings at eBay or read some older CleverJoe classic reviews.
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Akai MPC2500 Music Production Center
The Akai MPC2500 Music Production Center combines a 64-track MIDI sequencer with a 32-voice, 16-bit stereo digital sampler in one extremely powerful desktop unit.The Akai MPC2500 has 2 internal effects processors that can be used simultaneously. They include a wide range of effects algorithms, such as reverb, delay, bit grunger, chorus, phasers, flying pan, 4-band EQ, compressor, and a phase shifter.Realtime control is provided by 2-note variation sliders and 2 Q-Link knobs that can be separately assigned to allow flexible, realtime performance control of a wide variety of selectable parameters. These parameters include level, pan, filter cut-off and resonance, and tuning. The Akai MPC2500 comes with 16MB of onboard memory which can be expanded up to 128MB of RAM via the optional EXM128 memory card. Optional CD-M25 drive adds CD burning capability.
Roland MC-808 Sampling Groovebox
MC-808 possesses top-of-the-line sampling, sequencing, and synthesizer features yet it comes in at a new, low price point.Flagship Features The MC-808 shares two key attributes with its elder sibling, the flagship MC-909: The same top-of-the-line sampling and sequencing features that made the MC-909 so famous are built into the MC-808, making it a serious tool for sampling, editing, track building, and mixing. Performers are in for an extra treat with the MC-808, however, as it has a remarkable feature that no other groovebox has....Motorized Faders Motorized faders on an affordable groovebox?! You're not dreaming.
CreamWare Prodyssey ASB Synthesizer Emulator
Creamware's Prodyssey ASB Synthesizer Emulator delivers the breakthrough synth sounds of the Odyssey in a digital sound module. The Odyssey vintage synth left an indelible mark on the pages of music history. Open up your
CD collections and go to the section labeled Early Music: 1972-1978 . Now, pay attention: everything that reminds you of chemistry lab, everything that cuts, tapers, buzzes like a particle accelerator and freezes like a bucket of liquid nitrogen - that's the Odyssey. Anything that reminds you of a Moog, anything that scratches,
fattens and hits, but can't possibly come out of a Minimoog because it was, well, just too simplistic - that's very probably also the Odyssey. If it sounds to you like robots or aliens are scratching at your door -
Odyssey. But today you can't get it anymore, so Creamware built a modern software-driven hardware emulation for you and threw in a bunch of cool extras as well. There are 12 Odysseys squeezed into the Prodyssey ASB's gleaming exterior. Each of these has two oscillators with sync, variable pulse width, and envelope control. LFO
with sample and hold generator - of course, this isn't a sampler but a tricked-out sound mangler with that authentic Star Wars touch. Filters with the characteristics that made the Odyssey the synth of choice for every
European soundsmith: slightly cutting but also electric.
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Boss DR-670 Dr. Rhythm Drum Machine
A long time fave with musicians, this is a great little drum machine from Boss. Very compact, the Boss DR670 is a very decent rhythm-creation tool, building on the success of the flagship BOss DR-770. The DR670 adds even more goodies including velocity-sensitive pads and a very handy footswitch control. There are over 250 drum and percussion samples, intelligently grouped into 64 preset and 64 user kits. You can easily program some killer bass lines using some very sweet bass guitars including Finger Bass, Slap Bass, Acoustic Bass, and Pick Bass. There is enough onboard memory with up to 100 songs, 200 preset rhythm patterns, and 200 user patterns. The large LCD is easy to read, especially late at night during creative music sessions. CleverJoe Top Pick!
Boss Dr. Rhythm DR-3
Looking for an affordable drum machine, or maybe you don't need something quite as feature-loaded as the Boss DR670? This a very nice drum machine for a low price. The Boss DR-3 lets you select from 120 drum and percussion sounds and 12 very good bass guitar instruments. The drum pads are velocity-sensitive, and the programmable rhythm progressions include intro, fill and ending variations. A footswitch input is also included for easy live control. Runs on AC or battery power. CleverJoe gives the DR-3 two and a half thumbs up - awesome value for an inexpensive drum machine!
Korg Electribe ES-1 MKII Sampler
The Korg Electribe has been making waves for a long time indeed. The Electribe ES-1 mkII is a powerful drum machine beat box that embraces a sweet old school analog-style. This generation of the Electribe has been stepped up by adding true real-time control, increasing the spontaneous creativity musicians hold dear. Analog drums and sound effects can be tweaked with a flick of a knob. Sound editing is also very easy, and a very cool feature is the external audio input, so you can use the onboard sounds in conjunction with external audio to create "unconventional rhythms never heard before". The Korg Electribe family has been a long time fave of CleverJoe's . All three thumbs are up for this sick puppy.
Alesis SR-16 Stereo Drum Machine
The SR-16 has been around for a long time, and it's still one of the best little drum machines you can get for the money. Great drum samples, easy to use, easy on the budget. Comes with 50 preset rhythm patterns, each with an A and B variation plus A and B fill, for a total of 4 different rhythms in each pattern. 50 user drum kits give you plenty of versatility. Also includes 2 stereo outputs, headphone out, 2 footswitch jacks, 12 velocity-sensitive pads, 16-voice polyphony, 24-bit resolution, and 20-255BPM tempo range. CleverJoe gives it three thumbs up.