Drum machine for 90s metal

Ericjutsu

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Hello. I've been buying retro gear for a 90s black metal/dungeon synth project and I'm looking for a drum machine. Anyone know which drum machines were used back then for metal bands? I know Type O Negative,Blut Aus Nord,Bathory, Summoning, Samael, and Necrophalgist have all used drum machines.
 

bostjan

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Hello. I've been buying retro gear for a 90s black metal/dungeon synth project and I'm looking for a drum machine. Anyone know which drum machines were used back then for metal bands? I know Type O Negative,Blut Aus Nord,Bathory, Summoning, Samael, and Necrophalgist have all used drum machines.
Type O Negative - no one knows. It's a big ol' controversy, actually. Probably was a program on PC and samples from a live kit.
Necrophagist - Also a PC program
Not sure about the others.

Generally speaking, though, I think a lot of artists at the time (late 90's) were using software, which doesn't really have a distinct sound like a TR808 of the 1980's, or even the less distinct sounding SR-16 and R8 of the earlier 90's.

If you want to capture that sound, I think it's less about the specific drum samples used and more about how they are used and how they fit in with everything else around them.
 

cGoEcYk

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I dont know the specifics about what people used back then but if you want to get into it I'd recommend modern gear over old school. Sequencing capabilities and UI are much better these days. You can use a sample based drum machine and put whatever sounds on it... new school, old school, make your own samples (for example from Superior Drummer) and load em up.

Recommend: Octatrack (learning curve), Digitakt
 

Crungy

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I would guess that, and I think Ulrich Wild mentions what Static X used on Wisconsin Death Trip. I'd say it was likely the same or similar to what the aforementioned bands used.
 

LostTheTone

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I agree with everyone else - You can 100% get the sound of an old drum machine without the massive pain that comes from using properly retro gear. You can (with effort anyway) literally get the same noises.

I know that it's a bit of a cheat, but it's important to be realistic. Small stuff like having synced clock between units and midi controlling them all from one single pad controller is just such a big quality of life improvement.

You can still use the old workflow if you want - An SP404 will happily let you do step programming and lo-fi beatmaking, even something cheap like a VolcaSample2 can do that sort of stuff in a more limited way.
 

Accoun

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Not sure about in the studio, but I belive Samael live was just an MPC (Xy still uses a variant to this day). Maybe just triggering a bigger sampler, but possibly by itself. Which only leads to a different, bottomless rabbit hole of "where did they get their samples from".

But yes, I'll third just using modern stuff, or at least old samples in modern software. Maybe play around with a fixed velocity and turning round robin off, using swing option in your sampler/DAW instead of trying to make the playing humane, bitcrushing samples to match older hardware's limitations etc. All depends on the vibe you're going for.
 
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Turd Ferguson

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"Drum machine for 90s metal"



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Grindspine

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Get EZ Drummer, pick a couple of EZX drum libraries (anything from black metal, death metal, and drums of destruction to dream pop for synthy drum sounds), then hook up an Akai MPD 218 drum pad. At least, that's what I do for the same type of stuff you are wanting to do.

I remember wanting a drum machine so badly when I was in high school. At least the Akai MPD gives you that feel but also the flexibility of MIDI linking to massive sound libraries.
 

Ericjutsu

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Thanks guys. I'm aware software solutions are better and I have ez drummer with ezx as well as GGD Invasion and a bunch of samples. I'm just curious what sounds were used back in the day.
 

Scordare

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Alesis was pretty much the go-to back then with the SR16 and DM5. Boss had good drum machines too..the Boss DR5 is a hidden gem.
 

Ericjutsu

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Alesis was pretty much the go-to back then with the SR16 and DM5. Boss had good drum machines too..the Boss DR5 is a hidden gem.
I was looking into a Boss DR-660. The DR5 is on my list as well. Maybe I'll check those out. I'm starting a nostalgic black metal/Dungeon Synth project where I use gear that was around in the early or mid 90s. I still plan on using my DAW though and then have the backline be retro. After I track and mix in cubase I'm going to send the 2 bus out thru my 4 track
 


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