roland v drums

Pop Tronics Equipment History (2006-2011)

Around 2005 I started playing synthesizer in a band. I started out by using my old MC-303 Groovebox as the synth and controlling it through a old Casio keyboard. This worked for a while, but became less than ideal as I started having problems with the Groovebox. It would make a nasty feedback sound and one of the channels would cut in and out. A few years later I got it fixed and come to find out the board had gotten cracked. Never the less if I was to stay in this band I needed a new keyboard, the Casio on it’s own would not cut it. That’s when I got a Korg MS2000B.

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That baby was a beauty. With 44 keys, a vocoder, 2 oscillators, effects, arpeggiator, and more it could do it all. Perfect for live performance with all the knobs, wheels, and keys right on the front. People asked me top be in their bands just because I owned this instrument. That was it for several years. With the equipment I had accumulated over the years I had everything I needed to create and distribute my music. It wasn’t until 2010 that I started getting an itch to get new equipment. I had always wanted a set of electronic drums. Over the years I had several chances, but I held out to get the set that I wanted. A Roland V Drum set with mesh heads.

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That photo isn’t exactly the set I have. I have 3 mesh head toms and 1 mesh head snare. A bass drum with a mesh head. two cymbals and a pad for a high hat. The brain is an older model, a TD-7. It was originally meant to be used with all pads instead of mesh heads. Being that it’s an older brain the sounds aren’t as great as they could be and it doesn’t react as well as I would like. I am working on getting a new brain for it, but it does the trick for now. Over 2010 into 2011 I had been working on a lot of hip hop and was looking for a new way to make it. My Mac Mini and Pro Tools rig were quite old at this point. I needed a new recording device altogether. That’s when I found the ultimate beat making machine. The Roland MV-8800.

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The MV-8800 is a Sampler, Beat Machine, Digital Recorder, Synthesizer all rolled into one. It comes with pre-loaded sounds, but you can sample anything you want. You can hook it up to a monitor and the recording function acts as it’s own Pro Tools. It’s an all in one machine. This is one of the best musical investments I’ve ever made. It’s a computer that’s strictly for music creation. Now I have everything that I could ever want, right? Wrong. I purchased one last piece of equipment. The Roland MC-505 Groovebox.

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Now I know this may seem a little excessive since the MV-8800 does all the same functions and is a higher end piece of equipment, but I got a good deal on it. I was a huge fan of my old MC-303 and happy to upgrade. The MC-505 has a wider variety of synth sounds and knobs right on the front. It works seamlessly with the MV-8800 through MIDI. It’s nice to have that little extra bit of variety. Last, but certainly not least. I picked up an old set of Stanton turntables and a Gemini mixer. If you know me you know I have a huge collection of vinyl, yet have never DJ’d. Now I have that opportunity.

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Well that’s it for my equipment history. You make ask what’s next? Who knows. I’m interested in maybe getting a Serato SL-3 or 4 for the turntables. I’ve always wanted a Roland MC-909 to complete my Groovebox collection. I’m also interested in a HD Pro Tools rig like a Digi 002. I suppose only time will tell.