In My Mind's Zen Garden
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why i hate drum machines…

About a month or two ago I was with my wife at the local farmer’s market, and I saw a couple of musicians whom I’ve worked with before. Wondering why they hadn’t called me in eons for a gig, I quickly noticed that they were using a drum machine, rather than a regular drummer!

Maybe I’m biased because they didn’t use me, but I hate to say it but their music sounded really “cheesy” without a real drummer.

Sorry, folks. Musicians need to use real drummers. It just makes the band’s sound more authentic!



About the author:
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Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

15 COMMENTS
  1. jasonphoon

    There is no replacement for real drums. The drum machine probably sounded very ‘mechanical’

  2. jasonphoon

    There is no replacement for real drums. The drum machine probably sounded very ‘mechanical’

  3. randomguru

    jasonphoon: yes. the drum machine had a very mechanical, dull sound with no real life to it. thanks for chimin’ in…

  4. randomguru

    jasonphoon: yes. the drum machine had a very mechanical, dull sound with no real life to it. thanks for chimin’ in…

  5. pat

    I’m biased too, I love live music from drums to singers, it’s gotta be live!

  6. pat

    I’m biased too, I love live music from drums to singers, it’s gotta be live!

  7. KC

    I am not sure if I’ve ever come across a mechanical drum machine…Hmmm! I just saw one drum set in my last live, that looked like a set of rubber drums, which i took a picture of and blogged about. Would that qualify? I suppose i don’t know much about music, but it sounded okay, but then again, I hate the vocals on that band, though the person himself is very nice, so! :-)) But yes, anyday, a live drummer please! Espeically if it’s you, Carlos! I’m sure no machine could do your playing justice! :-))

  8. KC

    I am not sure if I’ve ever come across a mechanical drum machine…Hmmm! I just saw one drum set in my last live, that looked like a set of rubber drums, which i took a picture of and blogged about. Would that qualify? I suppose i don’t know much about music, but it sounded okay, but then again, I hate the vocals on that band, though the person himself is very nice, so! :-)) But yes, anyday, a live drummer please! Espeically if it’s you, Carlos! I’m sure no machine could do your playing justice! :-))

  9. Erwin

    I hate drum machine too,it is too repetitive and sound dull. Real drum sounds much much better .

  10. Erwin

    I hate drum machine too,it is too repetitive and sound dull. Real drum sounds much much better .

  11. jc

    i would agree with the sound of it being artificial especially if you’re in a band that requires the “rawness” of beats. But in different approaches like techno-inspired music the drum machine comes in handy and conventional.i think what lacks is the ambiance of real live drums but it may work either way as even professional drummers try to achieve the clarity and constant meters.Like for instance the smashing pumpkins,they started with a drum machine..went back to drum machine,and MAY go back to drum machine now.but i dont think it damaged their music-making.the difference is the intent.

    1. Wes.

      live drums. live vocals. live guitar. live bass. live everything is better. every time. as long as the talent is there.

  12. jc

    i would agree with the sound of it being artificial especially if you’re in a band that requires the “rawness” of beats. But in different approaches like techno-inspired music the drum machine comes in handy and conventional.i think what lacks is the ambiance of real live drums but it may work either way as even professional drummers try to achieve the clarity and constant meters.Like for instance the smashing pumpkins,they started with a drum machine..went back to drum machine,and MAY go back to drum machine now.but i dont think it damaged their music-making.the difference is the intent.

  13. Wes.

    Agreed! I hate drum machines, and so many of these exciting new bands coming out have great albums, but then I go to see them live and it’s just not exciting with all these digital beats. Just get a real drummer!!! WTF?!?!?! Two examples of recent shows I’ve seen that could have benefited from using a real drummer are: Millionyoung: they had a small drum setup, but only used it sporadically throughout the show. Mount Kimbie: I know their style probably is better for a drum machine, but I found it boring, dull, and repetitive in their live setting. I still love their albums though! I also saw a band called Small Black expecting them to have digital drums as well, and was pleasantly suprised that they had a live drummer, who was very very good. This is one of the better shows I’ve seen lately, and I feel the live drums really contributed to this. They have a kind of electronic sound as well, but it worked with the live drums! More of these buzzy electronicish bands need to follow suit!!! Bring back the drums! We want instruments!!!!!!!

  14. Bob W.

    I hate drum machines also.They not only sound like shit and too unnaturally accurate,but they also lack the creative and dynamic nuances that only a real drummer can provide.

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