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Why Not Know About the Programmable Drum Set for a Better Understanding

Nov 21, 2007
Drum Machine or drum set is an electronic musical instrument designed to simulate the sound of a percussion instrument like a drum.

The original drum machines were referred to as rhythm machines because they only played preprogrammed rhythms such as mambo, tango and others. Drum sets are typically programmed by specifying which sixteenth notes of a bar a given drum will sound on.

By stringing differently programmed bars together, fills, breaks, rhythmic changes, and longer phrases can be created. Drum machine controls typically include Tempo, Start and Stop, volume control of individual sounds, keys to trigger individual drum sounds, and storage locations for a number of different rhythms. Most drum machines can also be controlled via MIDI.

A brief history of programmable drum machine

For more than a hundred years, mechanical devices have been used to help musicians keep the beat while practicing, but these had never been intended for performances.

In the 1960s, makers of home electronic organs began introducing the first drum machines, intended mainly to liven up home playing or to provide small bands of limited means a substitute for a live drummer. These early drum machines offered a narrow range of pre-set percussion sounds and generally did not sound much like real instruments.

The technology of digital electronic music took a new turn in the late 1970s, when the first programmable drum machines became available. The first stand-alone drum machine, the PAiA Programmable Drum Set, also happened to be the very first programmable drum machine. It was first introduced in 1975 and was sold as a kit with parts and instructions which the buyer would use to build the machine.

In 1978, the Roland CR-78 drum machine was released. It was one of the first programmable drum set, and had four memory locations which allowed users to store their own patterns. The following year, Roland offered the Boss DR-55. It was the first fully programmable drum machine.

Many musicians say that the real breakthrough was engineer Roger Linna LM1 of 1979, manufactured and distributed by his company, Linn Electronics.

Discussion on Programmable Drum set

Drum machines can either be programmed in real time or in step time, where the user specifies the precise moment in time on which a note will sound.

By stringing differently-programmed bars together, fills, breaks, rhythmic changes, and longer phrases can be created. Most drum machines can also be controlled via MIDI. If the drum machine has MIDI connectivity, then one could program the drum machine with a computer or another MIDI device.

By the year 2000, standalone drum machines became much less common, being partly supplanted by general-purpose hardware samplers controlled by built-in or external sequencers, software-based sequencing and sampling and the use of loops, and music workstations with integrated sequencing and drum sounds.

A drum kit consists of 13 pads x 3 banks equalling 39 sounds per kit. Sound sources can be freely selected and assigned to the pads. Fine-tune parameters such as pitch, level, and panning to create original drum kits. A large number of phrase variations including intro, fill-in, and ending patterns are also provided.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for guitars, drums, and synthesizers. You can find the best marketplace for guitars, drums, and synthesizers at these 3 sites: guitars, bass guitar gears , drums, programmable drum sets, and synthesizers, keyboards.
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