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Re: Drum machine

One of my all-time favorite rhythm tracks is the one on Karma Coma  
(Massive Attack/Tricky). Monotonous, but HUGE and immensely powerful.

That said, I'm wondering if working with samples instead of a drum  
machine may be better for live performances...

On Aug 13, 2010, at 8:56 PM, Rick Walker wrote:

> Matt Davignon wrote:
> "For performances, I usually recommend AGAINST using a drum machine.
> I've yet to see a show with a drum machine playing pre-composed
> rhythms, where I didn't think the show would've been better without
> the drum machine. (No beats is better than canned beats)."
> It's funny Matt, but as a professional drummer, I'm supposed to be  
> the guy who really hates drum machines,  especially,  repeating one  
> or two bar static grooves but, in fact,  I love it when people are  
> really creative about using static drum machine parts.
> For some reason,  I love that this approach is not  
> human..............that it is static and artificial.
> In fact,  I've found that the more minimalistic a drum machine part  
> is and the louder it is in the mix,  the more interesting I find it  
> in the composition.  A drum beat with no variation doesn't have a  
> lot of natural 'energy' so I find that you can actually add some  
> energy by calling attention to the fact that it IS static and  
> unchanging.
> Also,  by having only a single bar length (or possibly two) and by  
> being extremely minimal it actively engages the mind of the listener  
> to 'contribute' rhythm to a piece in much the same way that an  
> incredibly simple but funky bass line can sometimes make people  
> 'hear' other syncopations in a part.   Faced with abject minimalism  
> from a sensory standpoint,  the human brain 'makes up' things.
> Sometimes, in this way,  having only one single 16th note offbeat in  
> a two bar rhythm of otherwise 8th note grooves (any of Parliament/ 
> Funkadelic's drummers) can actually be a much funkier approach than  
> putting in a zillion offbeats (David Garibaldi style).
> Also, the juxtaposition of the different kinds of artificial timbres  
> that are possible with a drum machine (especially analogue and  
> synthetic/found sounds) playing a one bar loop, and the fact that  
> it's feel is so rigid and mechanical with real and expressive and  
> nuanced playing that one could never get from even a cleverly  
> programmed drum machine by a human being makes for a really  
> delicious set of possibilities.
> If it's done cleverly, aesthetically, and extremely minimally I  
> think it lends a kind of energy to a piece that rivals just pure  
> playing.
> But then, again,  statically playing repetitive interlocking grooves  
> is precisely why I love live looping.
> I was telling Mogli (Eric DeArantanha) during a Rhythm Intensive  
> lesson today,  that though I appreciate the use of feedback in many  
> loopers performances that I still haven't run out of ideas using the  
> mere stacking and processing and dubbing of static, feedback-less  
> parts (my brother, Matthias Grob is now rolling in his grave,  and  
> he's still living).
> I guess that what makes art so compelling is that there is a lot of  
> room for all different kinds of passions and approaches to making  
> music.
> I sure love what you do,  my friend.    That's a fact, for sure.
> yours,   Rick Walker