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The 909 / 808 Drumcomputer - Project
Long time ago, roughly arround 1993 I started making music with my fresh bought AMIGA 600 Computer. It was a great fun to put samples into sequences forming some nice digital sound, but it always was
a bit crappy that it was only possible to use only 4 Tracks at once (later 8 Tracks). The other bad thing was the memory-consumption, because all samples i used where stored in the RAM, making the 2MB
of the A600 full very fast. Later I bought a A1200 with much more RAM (34MB) which was a better thing to work with. So I spent my time creating the interesting sounding 8-Bit samples and composing some
funny tracks. But in the late 90s, when i owned my first x86 PC, I did not so much music anymore, although the PC had a much better performance to do this job...I rather preferred mixing electronic music with
my two turntables, producing somehow better sounding things :-)
But at some time, a friend of mine came to me and asked me about making music with him!
We initially started using some nice M$-Win Software with samples and software-synthesizers and spent hours and hours creating tracks. But the result always sounded digital and not as phat as we
wanted it to, so we began using an XG-MIDI wavetable with some better results. But my XG-MIDI wavetable (Yamaha DB50XG), which was modified for fitting to my AMIGA left us and the friend of mine began
buying some new/old sythesizers. A very expensive thing, even with the use of ebay or maybe because of that? Anyway, I thought about that we have to own a drumcomputer, best an analogue one!!!
Again, the price-thing was arround us...
I googled arround some nights, trying to find sources for cheap drummachines and finally I found some websites with DIY versions of synthesizers of any kind! A flame was lightened up in me, driving me so
crazy to begin my self-made MIDI-controlled analogue drummachine. :-) The baby was, aah not already born, but maybe the egg was fertilized.
Using my (tiny) electronic skills and the tools I build for making electronic circuits, I started building a roland TR-909 clone (without sequencer part), capable to be expanded with TR-808 or other sound modules, controlled by midi-signal
from any sequencer that is able to produce them. The main goal was to build it highly modular, although it comes up with a maybe more space consuming design, but modularization makes it possible to
select only the "instrument modules" that you really need, for example 24 bassdrums or something like this ;-).
I heavily used the original schematics of the roland drummachines and some of a very great TR-909 clone, the TR-9090 Drum-Synthesizer from
Look inside the subsections above, to find out more, what is inside of my drum-machine...