Anyone who has listened to any music from the 80s has heard the percussive effects of the infamous TR-808 drum machine. To the modern ear, it sounds like an antique. Being the most popular drum machine of all time means it must have some redeeming qualities, right?
[Moritz Simon Geist] decided he wanted nothing to do with the wimpy computer-based emulations of a TR-808. Instead, he chose a more mechanical version that puts robots inside a gigantic 808 enclosure to play snares, high hats, cowbells, and drums in time with any MIDI drum track.
[Moritz] calls his build the MR-808 and puts a real-life bass drum, snares, hats, toms, claps, and a ride into a 3.3 x 1.7 meter ( 10.8 x 5.5 foot) case. The sound triggers are handled by Max/Msp communicating with a pair of Arduinos to handle the solenoids and light effects. You can read more about the hardware setup in [Moritz]’ behind the scenes look.
After the break you can see the MR-808 in action, both alone and by providing the percussion for [Moritz]’ band. A very cool build that now cries out for an Arduinofied bassist placed into an overgrown TB-303 enclosure.
27 thoughts on “MR-808 Is A Mechanical Version Of The Most Famous Drum Machine”
Really? A mechanical version of a machine? Imagine that.
Yes? The original TR-808 is a solid-state device.
The “TR” in TR-808 stands for Transistor Rhythm.
A nice play on words, the mechanical version being MR-808 for Mechanical Rhythm.
Always wanted to do something like this. Very cool stuff.
I cant seem to get the audio to play past 33 seconds on 2 computers and 3 different browsers , HTML5 or Flash. Anyone else having the same problem?
The video kinda hiccups and then no audio. Bummer.
Yep, getting to about 38 seconds on the first video, then it kind of stutters and the audio stops :(
it´s the same with me.. no audio after a while… :(
i can make it to 37 seconds but then get the same audio death.
Yep, me too, then I think they just deleted it entirely from Vimeo.
Agreed, the audio is screwed. Guess this is what happens when you use a YouTube-clone.
Vimeo is garbage for me altogether. I have never owned a computer with which it works correctly, even across operating systems. On this particular embed it just remains a black square with no markings whatsoever.
Thx for the hint, im just replacing the Video, hope that helps …
Hey there, thanx for the hints, just replaced the video file, it should work now.
For me, the novelty wore off about halfway through the video.
Now that’s a comment worthy of YouTube!
Excellent project and beyond very talented musicians, might be listening to these guys more often.
Both Video’s are extremely excellent!!! I am Floored.
The TR-808 is an analog synthesis drum machine.
It’s an acoustic version of an analog machine, lrn2.
Thx for the comments. I put some more music made with the MR-808 here: http://soundcloud.com/simongeist/sets/mr-808/
Like that! Where are you performing next time?
Great stuff! Very impressive.
This is absolutely awesome!
In the words of the Beastie Boys “nothing sounds quite like an 808.” I was hoping to hear that really naughty slow decay sub-bass kick sound. You can get from a really low-tuned tom.
Now run that kit through some distortion and bitcrushing :D
erm… more cowbell? ;)
I made a midi controlled electromechanical bass rig a few years ago but it didn’t work out.
It was always bumming cigarettes and constantly late for practice, if it showed up at all.
cowbell needs to improve!
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