Making beats for hip hop is a fun experience. There are no rules but some have a preference for what they feel is better. The benefits of a hardware sampler/drum machine is that it’s a self contain machine and you can turn it on and get busy making your next hit. With software you get the benefits of having a larger hard drive to store sounds and the possibility of having plugins to incorporate with your productions. Also, you have the ability to upload your beats once you’re done.
I’m a hardware guy and love to just turn on a machine and punch away on the pads to create my tunes. The limitation of hardware forces me to be more creative unlike software where you have access to more tools. All that access seems overwhelming to me and sometimes I feel uninspired to make something cool. Don’t get me wrong, you can make awesome music with software and the benefits are limitless but I don’t feel at one with a mouse and keyboard.
The writing is on the wall for hardware only machines. The economy forced companies to make more software based instruments. Many won’t fork over 2 grand for a sampler. Those days are gone. I still have some hardware samplers in my Studio and I don’t plan on selling them. I’m confident sometime in the future a resurgence of hardware samplers will make a come back.
My instruments need to be stable and I’m not confident in software on a computer being reliable. If fact while at NAMM I had a short conversation with Dave Smith and he has the same view as I. Software is not fun to create with. He explained that he feels more one with an instrument he can put his hands on and turn knobs. I feel the same way but I think there is one that might shatter that concept. Akai might have brought the goods to smash that concept. My review of the Akai Renaissance is coming soon so stay tuned for that.