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Alternatives to Handsonic for World/Ethnic Sounds

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  • Alternatives to Handsonic for World/Ethnic Sounds

    I've messed around some with the Handsonic at a couple of stores. I have to agree with some of the criticisms on the 'Got the Handsonic' thread, and I must say that I agree that it doesn't pass the muster as a hand-drum substitute. However, I have fallen for many of the sounds, mostly those of the Eastern and African persuasion. These are the kinds of instruments I wish the TD-10 and its expansion card included rather than the damn car horns and bounces and such. The Handsonic would be nice to use as a sound source. But at a thousand bucks....

    Then I'm thinking that there must be sequencers, samplers, or some such instruments available that can do the same thing; I've heard that there are keyboards which have ethnic cards available, or sequencers with these kinds of instruments already included. Something like this might be a more useful alternative to the Handsonic.

    My experience with electronics is pretty much limited to drums, so my knowledge is pretty sketchy. I know some of you regulars here get into the keyboard side of things, and maybe can steer me in the right direction. Anything out there sound like what I'm looking for?


    Gracias in advance,

    Doug J.

  • #2
    For anyone seriously considering the Handsonic, I'd recommend comparing it to the SPD-20 which is full of the same type sounds I've seen described in conjunction with the Handsonic. Infact, knowing Roland I'd bet that most all the sounds came from the same source as the SPD-20 with only slight variation.

    The SPD-20 has 8 on-board pads with inputs for 4 additional out-board pads (including bass and hat pedals) so you'd only be down "3" from the "15" the Handsonic offers... plus, from what I've seen about the Handsonic, the pads are bigger on the SPD-20 and thus easier to target with sticks when played with your regular kit, if that's what you're shooting for. Also, the SPD-20 is considerably less expensive than the Handsonic... I paid $629 for mine.

    Just a suggestion, if the ethnic/world sounds are mainly what you're interested in and plan to use sticks from your kit rather than hands from your lap.

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    • #3
      On the Handsonic, 10 of the 15 triggers are about 1" square each, lined up along the upper perimeter of the round playing surface. These are much too small to play with sticks anyway! Just FYI...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by drmoze:
        On the Handsonic, 10 of the 15 triggers are about 1" square each, lined up along the upper perimeter of the round playing surface. These are much too small to play with sticks anyway! Just FYI...
        Agreed. My thoughts for this device is that it could evolve into it's own genre. In the hands of an innovator it does have potential.

        Kind of makes me wonder what the reactions were long ago when, after so many years of the pleasures of the piano and pipe organ, the 1st accordion was presented to the public. Personally, I don't care for it, but that ol'squeeze-box is still kickin'. Ha! I can barely remember when taking accordion lessons was the "in-thing". Man, was I lucky to have started hitting things at a very early age. I hated that contraption.

        -Marc.

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        • #5
          Wish I'd inherited a Korg Wave Drum from some rich uncle. By all accounts that was the real deal as far as e-drumming by hand is concerned.

          Re world sounds with sticks, why not just get a used Akai or Emu sampler? MIDI it to your v's, or find a cheap Drumkat on e-bay. A modern sampler, with built-in effects and plenty memory, has a thousand uses. (Re getting sounds, world percussion CDs in Akai or Emu format are pretty common, and are reviewed every so often in KEYBOARD maazine.)

          [This message has been edited by percussion boy (edited August 16, 2000).]

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          • #6
            The best ethnic sounds I own and have heard of are on the Ensoniq EXP1 "Real World" expander for Ensoniq MR series synths. VERY cool.. there are some good ethnic instruments, but the ethnic percussion really shines. It's well worth the money.. I've seen the MR Rack come up used in the $500 range.

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            • #7
              Hi all. just noticed this thred, so I thought I'd respond. I have recently purchased a Handsonic and I also have a Korg Wavedrum that I've had for several years. I find that the Korg unit which uses Physical Modeling is a fantastic percussion unit. It uses no samples other than a hi hat sound, all others are generated by synthesis, and therefore responds differently to what your hitting it with and how you are doing it. The handsonic, however, is sample based, and therefore more limited to how one can change the sound at any given point in time. They both have strengths and weeknesses, I find them both usefull for what I am using them for. I am also a Vdrum user....... Take care all...

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              • #8
                One thing to keep in mind about the Handsonic is that the internal sounds are microtunable. The gamelan sounds can be tuned to authentic Indonesian scales for example. There aren't too many MIDI modules that support microtuning.

                Paolo

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                • #9
                  On the subject of JV expansion cards, many of them are available as standalone units. I have a Roland MBD-1 which is the bass & drums expansion card in a 1U rackmount.

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                  • #10
                    there's also a few cheap ones available on ebay - this one is currently at $50:
                    http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI...tem=1466082955

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                    • #11
                      I'll say it again,

                      the Handsonic is an amazing piece of equipment which nobody in the stores knows anything about.

                      "Messin' around" with one in the store is not going to reveal the capabilities or nuance of this rig.

                      The fact that bona fide hand drummers, including full-time pros, are buying this unit shows that, indeed, it can do the things and make the sounds you would want.

                      Unfortunately, there is never anybody who can show you how to use the thing correctly.

                      I heard Mike Snyder of Roland do a clinic with the Handsonic - it blew every one away.

                      And it will pass muster as a hand drum substitute. You can get a ton of different sounds for each instrument depending on where, how you hit the pads.

                      Too bad there is no video (?) or DVD to show prospective buyers the true potential of this instrument, as so many have experiences similar to DJourg.
                      Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance

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                      • #12
                        Check out Emu Planet Earth:
                        http://www.emu.com/products/planetea...anetearth.html
                        to v or not to v?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gingerbaker:
                          I'll say it again,

                          the Handsonic is an amazing piece of equipment which nobody in the stores knows anything about.

                          "Messin' around" with one in the store is not going to reveal the capabilities or nuance of this rig.

                          The fact that bona fide hand drummers, including full-time pros, are buying this unit shows that, indeed, it can do the things and make the sounds you would want.

                          Unfortunately, there is never anybody who can show you how to use the thing correctly.

                          I heard Mike Snyder of Roland do a clinic with the Handsonic - it blew every one away.

                          And it will pass muster as a hand drum substitute. You can get a ton of different sounds for each instrument depending on where, how you hit the pads.

                          Too bad there is no video (?) or DVD to show prospective buyers the true potential of this instrument, as so many have experiences similar to DJourg.
                          I agree. I own a Handsonic, I bought it after messing around with it in a store, thinking it was great then. Then I sat down with it and explored the instrument. Let me just state here that besides the good old Korg Wavedrum there is NO alternative to a Handsonic other than an acoustic drum. The ability to microtune each sound improves the flexibility of especially the melodic sounds, the playability is fantastic, and the sensitivity is equal to that of a real hand drum.
                          I read through every single piece of criticism about the Handsonic before I bought it, and I am yet to encounter anything that would deter me from using it other than my lack of proper hand drumming technique, but I'm learning.
                          Samplers can come close to imitating the sounds, but they can't reproduce the nuances of playing the Handsonic or an acoustic drum without a LOT of work. A Handsonic is the better deal, IMO.

                          The reason why most people don't seem impressed is mainly because no one in the store kows anythig about it. My local Sam Ash has it set up in the keyboard department, and when asked the sales guy started telling me about how cool it was hooked up to a sequencer. I'm not interested in that, it's a drum, I wanna play it! How does it play? "Ummm, dunno, ask in the drum department..." Similar scenario in the drum department: How does it play? "Uhhh, dunno, ask in the keyboard department..."... I digress.
                          It's nice, go try one, ask them to mount it horizontally instead of their almost vertical display position, and try this out: Select the Tabla patch (Asian 01), place the ball of your left hand on pad 1, the large pad nearest to you, and play the middle pad with your fingers, while pressingthe ball of your hand down and releasing it again. Presto: pitchbend. Play the two large pads on the right at the same time and you'll have simple Table runs in no time. That's what sold me on the Handsonic.

                          Roland has a demo video available on their site, I don't know how it is, though.


                          Stu
                          "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"

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                          • #14
                            I had a handsonic for about 2 weeks. I love the concept. I am a hand percussionist and I really wanted the handsonic. After playing with it for the two weeks I didn't like the size of the playing surface. I guess my hands are big. To big to fit comfortably for me. So I sent it back and bought some more hand percussion stuff. I don't think Roland will change the product to suit me, but maybe someone else will come out with something a little bigger. Damn I really wanted that thing!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tom Berry:
                              I had a handsonic for about 2 weeks. I love the concept. I am a hand percussionist and I really wanted the handsonic. After playing with it for the two weeks I didn't like the size of the playing surface. I guess my hands are big. To big to fit comfortably for me. So I sent it back and bought some more hand percussion stuff. I don't think Roland will change the product to suit me, but maybe someone else will come out with something a little bigger. Damn I really wanted that thing!
                              Ah, the benefits of small hands...

                              Stu
                              "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"

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