Robotic 808 drum-machine

Moritz Simon Geist recreated the iconic 808 drum-machine using analog parts and robotic controllers, experimenting with many instruments in order to recreate the 808's repertoire. However, Geist is interested in "error" in music, saying, ". A drum beaten by a mechanic robot arm can never be as predictable as a computer generated sound. Consequently, the mechanic character of the installation MR-808 introduces fallibility into the performance."

For the installation MR-808 eleven sound of the 808 were replaced by mechanical actuators and physical tone-makers. I designed all instruments in reference to the famous sounds of the TR-808. A huge number of experiments were carried out since 2011 and a varity of instruments have been built. The instruments include: Snare, Bass drum, Hi-Hat, Carabassa, Clave, Ride, Clap, Tom (3x) and Cowbell.

Motors and solenoids were used as actuators, which are triggered by a power electronic device and an Arduino Microcontroller. The musical control is realized with MIDI, the latency and the lighting control system are implemented in MAX / MSP. You can read more about the details of the techniques here.

Let’s get mechanical: MR-808 is the first drum robot that reproduces the drum sounds of the 80s – in the real world (via JWZ)