Diabolical Devices Roland TR-707/727


James Gramling is the technician behind the name Diabolical Devices who circuit bends drum machines and other noise making boxes. I’ve always loved the Roland TR-707. It’s the super tight kick in so many late 80s EBM and New Beat records. The Roland 727 is the 707’s latin cousin and her sounds are all over mountains of Freestyle tunes that still grace NYC radio. I think it’s really interesting that Big City Music, a traditional music retailer is selling James’s bent machines.


Diabolical’s custom modified TR-707/727 drum machines are capable of producing a whole range of new sounds. We add a bending patch-bay and hard-wired toggle switches which activate different ring modulated, filtered, distorted, and delay/doubling type effects. What “makes” these machines is the added multi-stage pitch oscillators…” – circuit-bent.com

If you don’t want to burn yourself silly with solder check out these drum machines at Big City Music: click here

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to: thehorrorist.com

10 thoughts on “Diabolical Devices Roland TR-707/727”

  1. Mad! But I personally think it’s probably more interesting in terms of these machines’ resumés to mention Chicago house and Detroit techno classics over late 80’s EBM and freestyle. Everyone always mentioned 909 when talking about Chicago, but most of the original house tunes are 707 kick. Some Derrick May tracks are like mental 727 demo tunes (funnily enough, including “Freestyle” by Mayday.)

    1. Very true. I have hundreds of Chicago/Detroit records with 707 on them. The drum patterns they used were usually different and interesting considering the technology… it really made “the sound”.

      1. In fact, if you loop the first bit of the 727 video with the silences taken out it sounds like a Mayday intro right away!

  2. yeh haha the start of the demo of the 727 im pretty sure is almost exactly ‘Rhythm Is A Mystery’ by K-Klass :D – I’m also pretty certain its used in that ‘Low Riders’ song, although maybe thats a real Latin band eheh

    I love my 707, I mean I’ll admit when I first got it I just loved the look of it and I still dont really like its kicks that much, although when placed on top of a heavier kick they are useful, but it’s HH/RS and Clap are just perfect I think, – they cut through a mix like nothing else…

    also the sequencer and interface are totally inspirational, whenever I get REALLY stuck on a track (which is VERY often), if I go over to my 707 and just make a few patterns for 10 or 15 minutes, I’m almost instantly reinspired and when I sample the patterns and put them in the track, they always sound good (to me anyway haha).

    I would really like to get that customised 707 someday, although i do think it is pretty fugly o_O, which is a shame as I do honestly (not just cos its the only drum machine I have haha) think the 707 is the most techno looking drum machine ever! :D

  3. what they should do is release an affordable 909 and 808, they’d be stupid not to cash in on the massive prices 808’s and 909’s go for…
    They should hire Jomox to help them :)

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