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Thursday 20th September. Periods 3 + 4.
Music Technology A2
Drum Machines..
What do you know?
A2 exam written question revision
‘The development of music technology’
Must answer 1 question (choice of 2)
16 marks available (8% of A2)
Include 16 different points
Organise ideas in date order.
After planning, answer can be bullet points or
A2 exam written question revision
‘The development of music technology’
Samplers & Drum machines
Audio effects and audio processing - EQ
Recording media (tape / digital etc). Consumer media (Vinyl & MP3 etc)
Multi-track recording (Digital and Analogue)
Computer based recording – Cubase / Logic etc
Electric Guitars and Amplification Internet
Digital Synthesis / FM / Additive / Wavetable / Sample based
Drum Machines
• ‘A drum machine is an electronic
musical instrument designed to
imitate the sound of drums or other
percussion instruments. They are
used in a variety of musical genres,
not just purely electronic music.’
Drum Machines
• A Drum machine is basically 2 things:
• 1: A Sequencer that triggers…
• 2: Electronically created (analogue or digital)
Drum sounds to make a beat pattern.
Drum Machines
• First machine for
generating electronically
created rhythms was the
Rhythmicon (also known
as the
• Made by Léon Theremin
in 1930.
• Works using a rotating
disk with light passed
through gaps in the disk
triggering musical tones.
Drum Machines
• The first actual ‘drum
machine’ was the
• Built in 1957. It uses
tape loops of
recorded ‘real drums’.
• Same principle as a
Drum Machines
• The first proper Drum
Machine was the
Wurlitzer Sideman.
Designed to
accompany Wurlitzer
Generated sounds for the
individual drums by using
vacumm tubes and sequenced
them via a rotating disk which
triggered the sounds to make
various patterns – like Waltz
and Foxtrot.
Drum Machines
• Analogue (using transistors)Drum
machines arrived in the 1960s. Again these were designed to accompany
organ players.
• 1967 FR-1 Rhythm
• Precursor to the
Roland analogue
drum machines like
the 808.
Drum Machines
• Analogue drum machines use basic
synthesesis (subtractive) to create
sounds – like using white noise for a
snare / hat and sin wave for a bass
• These did not sound like real drums!
But that gave them a unique sound –
this would influence electronic dance
music heavily.
Drum Machines
Late 70’s / early 80’s saw
‘programmable’ drum
You could create the beat
patterns instead of only
having pre-programmed
1980 Roland 808
Drum Machines
Digital Drum
‘Sample’ real
drum sounds.
EMU (created the
Emulator sampler)
SP1200 digital
drum machine
(1985). Used by a
lot of Hip Hop
Drum Machines
Practical task.
Using the SR 202 virtual sampling Drum Machine in Cubase.
Record your own drum sounds / stabs. Must include at least:
Bass Drum
Snare Drum
Closed hat
Musical ‘stab’ short
chord (guitar / piano
etc) sample. 2 stabs
of different chords
that go together is a
good idea.
• Then make a beat pattern in Cubase just using the SR 202 and your own sounds. 8 bars min.
• Homework
Drum Machines
• Find an example of a track from each of these decades that the use of a
drum machine features heavily.
• 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s
• Pick a 4 bar section from each track and show the beat pattern on a grid.
Drum Machines
Drum Machines
Drum Machines