Programmable Drum Machine

This sequencer, called Drumssette, uses audio tape to churn out some beats. [Mike Walters] built this around a Tascam four track cassette recorder. The tape inside has a different drum sound on each of the tracks, with a corresponding row of red buttons. Pushing a button adds the drum sound to the loop on that beat. He’s using a series of digital logic gates to patch through the sounds as well as clocking the device from one of the tape’s tracks. It’s pretty  neat  to see the focus selector used in the video after the break to sync up the beginning of the repeated drum patterns. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen [Mike’s] work. If you missed it last year take some time to review the Melloman.


Hardware  walk through


Audio demonstration

13 thoughts on “Programmable Drum Machine

  1. @ Squintz – Looks like hundreds of hours of WORK.

    A true labor of love which I appreciate as a proponent of analog audio. Very well thought out and executed. A great write-up too!

  2. What is interesting about this build, besides how clever and brilliant it is, is how this is a great product idea about 30 years too late. If someone had built an unit like this in the late 70s/early 80s, it would’ve been in the bedroom of every synth-crazy teenager. And right next to it would have been a stack of a dozen tapes of different drum sounds and styles.

    Although I assume it could’ve been built inexpensively (it’s basically a playback-only 4 track cassette and some logic), which might be too big an assumption.

    Anyways, great hack! Super clever idea and good execution.

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