The Roland TR-808 is a legendary drum machine that’s been used on tracks by The Beastie Boys, Kraftwerk, and Marvin Gaye just to name a few. Its musical provenance and distinctive look inspired Moritz Simon Geist to build the MR-808, a giant mechanical doppelganger of the classic device. Percussion instruments (snare, bass drum, hi-hat, carabassa, clave, ride, clap, toms, and cowbell) are housed inside a cabinet that’s modelled to look like the TR-808. Motors and solenoids strike the instruments, are actuated by Arduino, and sequenced through MIDI. When each instrument is played its respective cabinet lights up via a MAX/MSP patch, making the MR-808 a pleasing aural and visual display.
Geist uses the MR-808 in his band, Science Fiction Children. While this drum machine is most impressive, I can’t say I’ll be lining up to be a roadie anytime soon.
[via The Creators Project]