Hello, I'm a beginner, and would like to build a good start drum rack up, with thick, bold melodic sound (techno, dance, and dinner music) at a reasonable start price, are there are some suggestions where to start.

Possibly not with a modular setup? There's some very nice all-in-one-box machines out there right now that might fill the bill at a better cost and with more simplicity. I know that if someone sat down a modular drum setup and a TR-909 side by side in front of me (from experience) that I'd go with the 909 unless the situation required something atypical as far as electronic percussion sounds...and even then, I'd still probably use the 909's trigger-out to fire that particular sound on the modular. Did that a bunch, in fact, and that might be a bit more indicative of what you might consider here as I was always able to come up with solid results.

As far as standalone machines these days, I'm all-in on the DrumBrute, but I should also note that Cyclone Analogic's TT606 and TT78 have my attention because of their sound and feature sets. Going backwards in time, some of the 'less-desirable' Roland boxes come to mind, like the TR-707 and its more collectable sibling, the Latinized TR-727. Even the not-so-classic TR-505 saw some use that tends toward your 'thick, bold' criteria; the Chicago band Big Black (ie: Steve Albini & co) made loads of use of this box on their tracks. You could, in theory, go backwards all the way to 'primitive' beatboxes as long as you had a tight bandpass filter to isolate a single, metric sound and pass that to a click-sync box like Bastl's Klik or Truetone's Time Bandit to lock it up with other devices. Again, that's from experience.

If you do go with a box like the ones above, then a simpler and more capable modular is a pretty easy thing to cook up. Once you get a trigger and/or clock pulse out of a few boxes and have them driving some more 'exotic' synthesized sounds, then things can get nice and complicated, musically, in short order. One you have a pulse of ANY sort, then you can use it for anything one might input a pulse into...sequencer clocks, VCAs, LPGs, filters, what have you. And to me, that's a better use of the modular architecture, to create a more open-ended sound programming environment rather than something that just does a one-trick sort of sonic vocabulary.

Thank you for good info, but I WILL only have modular! :-)
So I will work on it, but thanks again for info and good links.

No prob...a couple of notes there, tho...

The key piece isn't going to be the sound-producing parts. Actually, the real key here is the sequencer. Make sure that, since you're going to vary the groove you want, that this module has an easy to work 'on the fly' interface, and that whatever you wind up with has settings (or some additional modules) that can suitably 'humanize' the results. I know that quite a few producers who made use of the Roland TR-909 really relied on its 'swing' settings to add some 'slippage' to an otherwise-metronomic pattern. Plus, when you locked it to something that didn't have that feature, you'd get some really excellent flam behavior as the two machines would be a tad out of sync on that particular beat. Adding something that can also add a random change-up to one or two channels of triggers (Ladik has an inexpensive 2-channel probabilistic skipper) will do a lot to add some humanization when you keep the probability settings kind of low so that the skips sound a bit like on the fly change-ups.

Sound-wise, while you'll definitely want some of the 'standards' (808 or 909 kicks, 909 or 606 hats, etc etc), keep in mind that a lot (like...all?) of the classic beatbox sounds and such are done with 'ringing filters' to a great extent. Basically, the sounds are produced with fixed-frequency filters that are set to just a touch under resonance, and then triggered with either an envelope that determines the overall duration of the sound (like a triggered decay or an AD envelope with a sharp attack) or a quick pulse of sound that pops the filter into resonance for an instant.

Since in a modular, though, you don't have to deal with fixed-frequency filters, it's possible to not only trigger the filter however you like, you can also send the same triggers to a CV sequencer, then get a 'melody' of sorts as the sequencer changes the cutoff of the filter. Very 'rototom-ish' sort of behavior (think: opening of Pink Floyd's "Time"). Also, mixing on this sort of a device should be pretty simple; look at MFB's Drum-99 mixer, which is a basic stereo mixer which you can chain to another one, etc, and build up a drum bus where you have relatively fixed levels and pans.

Another great, gnarlier (is that even a word?) sound can be done by sending various colored noise bands thru exponential VCAs and controlling their levels with, again, fast, snappy AD or decay envelopes. This is good for cymbals, snares, and the like. Plus, with noise-based sounds you then have this great ability to sum those and then do a little more filter-sweepy stuff, make 'em sound sort of dubby-trippy.

Loads of possibilities...that's just a few.

Thank you very much for your wise words, I will read and work on them. The reason I want to work with drums is probably because they catch me the most, and then I start a place with Modular synch. Thank you again, I am very pleased with your post.

// Henrik

Hello again, I just want to hear what you think of these drums, and what sequencer you would choose for these drums:
Hexinverter Mutant Snare
Hexinverter Mutant bassdrum
Hexinverter Mutant Hihats
Hexinverter Mutant clap

Sequencer choice ?
Tiptop Audio Circadian Rhythms or Trigger Riot

// Henrik

Love the Hexinverter drum modules...they're versatile, they can either behave themselves or not (and when 'not', they get fun). As for the sequencer, can't really say. That's a piece of gear that really has to be 'to taste', and not something that I think anyone can be 100% objective about recommending. You'll need to sort that one out on your own, depending on your final desired result, how comfortable you are with different sequencing environments, etc etc, and there's a LOT of excellent pattern sequencers out there. Also, with Hex's drums, you might also consider a sequencer that not only does gate/trig patterns, but CV as well so you can make use of the CV ins for pitching the drum sounds. Nice how his stuff gives you that option. Come to think of it...why just one sequencer? Consider: if you use something that's purely a trigger sequencer for your pattern (Acidlab's Robokop comes to mind; it programs pretty much like an old-skool TR-606) and then ALSO a couple of separate CV sequencers (EMW's comes to mind here; 8 steps of CV out, skip switching, and cheap) then you could mult the trigger to both fire the drum module AND step the sequencer, so that next 'hit' actually gets pitched differently. And when you get into that sort of complexity, you're starting to talk about an actual instrument to be played, rather than just a modular beatbox!

BTW, have you considered a suitable mixer for these, or some processing? Hex has a great drum sound-specific mixer (Mutant Hot Glue) with some nice dirt capabiities to beef the sound up. You might also consider a stereo compressor module after that and before your stereo outs to punch up the dynamics and get more presence.

Sounds like it's coming right along!