I can spend countless hours searching on eBay for vintage drum machines. I rarely buy them but I love the photos and stories behind the sale. Many of these organ top beauties used real analog synthesis and have wonderful metallic hihats, rides and crash sounds.
I often sample the preset patterns and cut them up to use them in my own songs. At my old recording studio in Williamsburg Brooklyn I became friends with the popular rock group The Shorebirds. The lead singer Mark Ephraim liked to show off all the goodies they had lying around their studio. One day he let me record his Hammond Auto-Vari 64 drum machine. I used it as the main beat in a song called “Trapped in an Empty Void” off my new album Attack Decay.
Here is an audio sample:
There is amazing website that has over thirty vintage drum machines modeled in flash. You can play with the Tronix Rhythm Box, The ELI Computer Rhythm CR-7030, The CONN Min-O-Matic, Mattel Synsonic Drums and many more. I suggest heading over to the Keyboardmuseum.com’s Virtual Playground page and listening to each one of these gems. Don’t forget to play with all the knobs and buttons as they are usually selectable! Do you own any vintage drum machines?
photo credit: bdu