The Absolute Minimum Viable Creative Setup Thread

mpc live. that’s it. with the latest firmware we have plenty of new creative juice in there. it can even drone now, with the arp odissey (you can crank open the vca there so no need to play notes…), the new (clouds alike) granulator with freeze and tons of new stuff…
i can see me parting ways with my entire studio if forced to, the mpc might be sufficient now to perform live and produce entire albums.


A musical instrument is quite viable.


The thread is under the Drums thread.

I’m also intrigued by the idea of a cajon kit. The Meinl one looks and sounds pretty nice to my ears, but I have minimal experience in this area…

I’ve also got a Remo djembe which could probably be configured to serve as a kick…

I bought an Arabic tablah/darbuka earlier this year. I can’t play for toffee, but it’s pretty great. I never played percussion much, but I can kind of hold a beat, feel like I’m making progress and it’s really fun. And it obviously sounds great in the right hands and it’s extremely varied, tonewise, I find.

But I also got a riqq, a small frame drum with cymbals along the edge, and it’s… just absolutely smashing my self-esteem. It’s too heavy for me to hold, my arm cramps up. I keep rocking it around so the cymbals jangle when they’re not supposed to. If I try to make strokes sound different, they come out the same, if I try to make them sound the same they come out different. It just sounds absolutely horrible when I try to play it, but… I really want to learn.

In more capable hands, it can be this:

(BTW do we or should we have a thread about sucking, and coming to terms therewith)


Riq looks simple, but requires tons of practice and patience. Keep up with it! :heart:

The ”classical” or ”soft” position shown at the start of the video you linked is really hard. The player then switches to the ”cabaret” or ”loud” position and that is what I recommed you learn first. I also think the cabaret position is less demanding on the quality of the riq and its properties. For example I own two Remo riqs that I can play just fine cabaret style, but in soft position they are just too deep and heavy.

For learning I recommed David Kuchermann’s framedrum lessons, if you can find them. Youtube has some of the clips: Riq instruction - YouTube

Enjoy your instrument and remember that you don’t have to be bound by culture, religion and tradition when playing these ancient drums. You can play them the way you want to express you.


there’s a couple good ones :slight_smile: :


I used to be the Meinl rep for the entire Southeastern U.S. Even got to go over to Germany to headquarters. Good company. They make quality stuff. Even their less expensive beginner stuff is solid.


I wouldn’t feel bad about it, that player probably has many years experience and training/apprenticeship in specific traditional technique. If you’re really inspired, you could seek out lessions or very disciplined, maybe some kind of video course. I know I wouldn’t have the discipline to practice anywhere near that level. Alternately, maybe mount the drum and play with a combo of sticks, hands and mallets. Make up your own method.

I didn’t see the reply above before I wrote chlb, you clearly know a lot about the instrument. I remember being in Morocco and trying to play the Qraqeb (a sort of metal castanette), an insanely difficult technique to get your head around!

0-coast on its own can be such a journey.


Loaded MacBook Pro w/ my favorite plugins, loaded iPad Pro, a tactile MIDI controller (maybe a launchpad), then spend the rest of the weight restriction on some portable Genelecs. Feel like that would keep me relatively sane for the rest of my life.

M Night Shyamalan twist: All my cables are HOSA and die within a month.

Honestly tho, probably just a decent 4 piece drum kit w/ good cymbals and some misc. hand percussion.


I have one of these serving as a drum kit in my tiny workspace and honestly, it’s brilliant: … Only problem being, it’s made here in Finland so probably not very economically viable eg. in the US and UK compared to Meinl and other good alternatives.

But you get a (subjectively) nice sounding cajon kick, also very good sounding cajon type snare, and a crappy crasher hat (bought a separate tiny, tiny hihat instead) in a very compact package, it doesn’t annoy the neighbours (or the cat & the dog) too much, and feels as fun to play as a small drum kit.

(My next attempt at a very minimal do-it-all setup: 6-string bass + Loupé)


When I first started making electronic music I had a TR-606 triggering an SH-101 into a DE-200 recording with a Tascam 244, this was just before acid House became a thing, using the step sequencer or changing the key of the arpeggiator of the 101 and playing guitar over the top, much fun.
Anyway I got one of these-

-on sale on Amazon the other day and playing bass over its arpeggiator and lush effects section is a joy, I’ve got some midi leads coming tomorrow and I’m hoping to sync my phone to the NTS-1 using either bandlab, caustic or zen beats, I will post something if it’s a success.


Riqqs/tefs/daires can be a blast! I’m not a great riqq player but have recorded a bunch with it when non-virtuosic parts sufficed. A couple tricks that might help it “feel” better in the hands:

  1. I found it helpful to practice holding it so that it was mostly in balance without requiring any fingers clutching it to stabilize. When I’d clamp it real hard with the left thumb, that’d lead to days of pain.
  2. To get a distinct düm sound some people find it a bit easier to attain if the index finger hitting the skin is bent concave (ie bent backwards a bit) which reduces how much surface area of the finger actually strikes the drum. For my hands, it tends to be not the fingertip but the part of the finger around the first joint that does the actual striking. There’s also a ballistics to the stroke that takes a while to get the hang of, it’s kind of like a “bounce” but without the benefit of gravity.

Hope this helps



and as an alternative answer to @wakyct question of how to record android audio Jams, this guys use of a Korg mini Kaoss Pad 2S is quite a good idea.

I was saving up to buy a Bassstation 2 cos the AFX mode sounds really exiting

but the more I hear the Arturia Microfreak I think I might get one of those instead, a bit put off by the lack of a proper keyboard but it does do Poly aftertouch and velocity, and makes some cool sounds

and lastly I don’t know if you could call this minimal but as Waveformer explains in the description, no midi, just manual sync.


No input mixer with headphones. Spending a few weeks with just this to get away from phone/distractions. I like finding the little sounds/patches hidden in between.


been taking this to work, super fun


A recent convert to no input mixing over hear. Have been using a Soundcraft EPM6 that is particularly useful for its switchable pre/post routing on both aux sends and inserts on each channel. Did a live show with this recently and it seriously made me question my expensive modular system!


I’m trying out a new couch setup: Flight of Harmony’s Infernal Noise Machine INM-E and Sound of Shadows inside a 4MS POD case, powered by a 20V power bank.

Not sure where it will get me musically (well … noise, of course), but it’s fun to play with those two joysticks and move you head through the noise “domains”, as they’re called. I feel like I’ll need to connect a recorder to this thing, to capture the weird sounds that occur along the way. The sweet spots are plenty, but fleeting :smiley:

P.S. Check out my hacked together mono-to-stereo headphone adapter, by the way. A headphone splitter cable connected to an airline adapter :+1:


My answer to this has always been ipad mini2 , iconnect midi dongle and irig audio dongle, tenori-on orange with battery power mod and a “pocket mix” to let me "dj between the two…


getting a few very kind things over Christmas has really changed this for me… I am now rocking a large 20,000mah powerbank that can run norns and grid along with a USB powered mini mixer , ipad mini for input / mic and boattery battery powered speaker for output.

this last few weeks, this has been my natural relaxation environment as it fits SO well on a little tray in front of me… I am thinking of building a small flight case for it all to take awa with me all set up and precabled.


For two months?

I could make do entirely with Norns and a grid. Probably without a grid too.