Transistor Rhythm

808 Drum programming (by Eekkoo) from Eekkoo on Vimeo.

Roland TR-727 from Clocklife on Vimeo.

I start my songwriting with the drums. Touching actual buttons and watching flashing lights go left to right as the sequencer plays is more fun than pushing around a mouse. My iPad is getting a lot of attention these days for the fun factor too but the sound is not exactly the same.

“The famous Roland TR-808 was also launched in 1980. At the time it was received with little fanfare, as it did not have digitally sampled sounds; drum machines using digital samples were much more popular. In time, though, the TR-808, along with its successor, the TR-909 (released in 1984), would become a fixture of the burgeoning underground dance, techno, and hip-hop genres, mainly because of its low cost (relative to that of the Linn machines), and the unique character of its analogue-generated sounds.” – Wikipedia

For more info: wikipedia.org/Drum_machine

photo credit: Ethan Hein

Diabolical Devices Roland TR-707/727


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoaNgWraGOw

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.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iMrx76ey1k

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