From pop to hip hop and dance music, the drum machine is the backbone of so much of today's music.
Even though many drum patterns are made with digital software now, hardware like Roland's TR-808 and 909—launched in the 1980s—have rightly earned their place in history, inspiring sneakers and documentaries of their own. But the history of the drum machine stretches back further than you might think.
This new 15-minute documentary from Reverb traces that history, starting nearly 100 years ago with the Rhythmicon, AKA the Polyrhythmophone. The film also explores Roland's additions, through to Moog’s DFAM and Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operator today.