[sdiy] "failed instruments"

Pete Hartman pete.hartman at gmail.com
Tue Aug 13 15:49:29 CEST 2019

Fascinating.  Thanks!


On Tue, Aug 13, 2019 at 8:38 AM Adam Inglis <21pointy at tpg.com.au> wrote:

> I was fascinated to read this engineers account of the development of the
> TR-808, et al, circuits and the philosophy that was “in the air” at that
> time. He later refers to these as “failed instruments”! (when compared to
> the Linn machines of the time).
> https://vector808.jimdofree.com/home/episodes-of-the-mid-o-series/
> "To meet the low target price, I employed oscillation technique of pulse
> wave modulating the simple T-network bandpass filter. By short circuiting
> the resistors in the T-type network for the certain initial duration with
> transistors, it was possible to raise the frequency. This allowed us to
> enforce the attack sound compared with conventional rhythm boxes.
> But the initial reputation of the 808 was nothing but crippled as it was
> compared with the Linn products. Furthermore, the sound had insufficient
> impact or punch at the beginning, which resulted to have pronounced
> fundamental frequency 60 Hz. But then again, it was this prominent
> fundamental which attracted the attention of later time hip-hop and EDM
> artists, and they gave a name to it as “Deep Decay”. This led to the
> rediscovery of Mid-O Series. The long decay sound was made possible by
> decay parameter that I added to show at least as a sign or as an evidence
> of the 808 being a synthesizer. Even inside the company this was regarded
> as going too far, but later it became one of vital identities of the 808.
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