This week I've mastered the basics of programming one of my drum boxes. I put this off at least a year because I have put all my time into learning music theory and becoming a better guitar, piano, bass, mandolin, violin, lap steel and theremin player. I now have met my first big goal and objective.
This week I spent time writing a song using the Arturia Drumbrute Impact. I'm no stranger to electronic music - I was in (one of several guitar bands) in the 80's, and one that was a duo - my friend was a guitarist, I played keyboards and our drummer and bass player were digital recordings (sequences) that played through a drum box and synthesizer.
During the last year and a half, I used one drum pattern in my Cubase vst software per song and so it was like having a great metronome.
After 40 years, the technology hasn't changed much hardware wise, but the software has improved exponentially. The software is so good, it makes programming a drum box seem slow and klunky. The Drumbrute Impact is easy and intuitive nevertheless. But I will connect my computer up to it and program using the Midi Control software for sure. I know that these electronic toys can be a major time suck, and I'd always choose to spend my time playing not programming. But programming a drum box is addicting for sure.
The sound of the drum box is cool - its like an old Roland series box, so it has a more analog-electronic and even cheesy sound - which is great fun.
HOWEVER, as I suspected, I guess "live by the machine / die by the machine applies". Its really easy to make your music sound more computer-ish and less human-ish. Where you spend time and energy matters, so the judge is out as far as what I think about drum box and electronic music instrument wise. Some artists used tech to fantastic advantage - Kraftwerk, Wendy Carlos, Devo, Gary Numan, etc. Many newer electronic artists have done some great stuff - my wife plays some electronic channels that are quite good. I appreciate pretty much any music where its obvious someone has put their heart and soul into it. Even Opera - which at one time I couldn't stand.
This is one of those "lets wait and see how this unfolds type of thing".