The Drum Machine that Revolutionised Music


Roland’s TR-808 is one of the most iconic pieces of electronic music-making equipment in the world today, and if you’ve ever wondered how it got that way, The Guardian has just the article for you:

It was in production for only three years, and was a commercial disaster. So how did it end up becoming the instrument that still sounds like the future?

The congas ring cheekily, the cowbell plays a corroded chime, the snare is parched and cruel – and the bass drum, a hard bloom of air, is barely music at all. With these core sounds, abetted by a handful of others, a simple drum machine gave house, techno and hip-hop the language it still speaks today.

Head over to The Guardian for the full feature, which traces where, when and how the TR-808 became the world’s most well-known drum machine.

Want to make music using technology? That’s exactly what we teach inside of our lab.

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