A Drum Machine Obsession
Publication Date: October 2013
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and advertising and wrote piquant essays about the machines' history, original release, and subsequent usage (often totally"off-label"). Starting with Wurlitzer's Side Man, originally released in 1959, Mansfield proceeds to document some of the most prominent andwell known drum machines like the Roland TR-808 alongside lesser known and yet-to-be discovered gems such as the Band Master Powerhouse, ending the lesson with the Sequential Circuits' Studio 440 unit, released in 1987. The incredible design of the machines themselves is thoughtfully augmented by a great layout and interviews with early adopters of the technology Schooly D, Davy DMX, and Marshall Jefferson. For a final punch, the epilogue features a section called "Beat Boxes and their hits."
What began as little more than a glorified metronome has worked its way into bedroom studios and state-of-the-art recording facilities alike. A new book chronicles the history and influence of the drum machine in all its wood- and plastic-paneled glory. More at NPR.org
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