The Evolution of Drum Machines In One Infographic


Justin Stedmans is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, whom you may remember for the beautiful wall art he created of classic synths, analogue drum machines and DJ mixers.

His most recent work is an intelligent infographic which details the evolution of the drum machine from the ’80s until the present day. Beginning with the Roland TR-808 and ending with 2016’s Roland TR-09, the infographic takes you on an illustrated and informative journey of the beautiful machines that have been the source of some of dance music’s most celebrated tracks.

Check it out below and head to to get your hands on a print for yourself!

History of Drum Machines

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roland tr-rec logo

Guitar Hero? Nah. Roland’s TR-REC Is Here.


Nowadays, essentially any activity can, and likely already has, been made into a mobile app for iOS, especially in the form of a game.

Roland, producers of the iconic TR-808 drum machine, is nothing short of a household name. In the past several years, they have released updated reissues of many classic synths; even more recently, however, they have plunged deeper into the endless capabilities of digital technology, with over a dozen iOS mobile apps.


We’re beyond ecstatic to announce the newest addition to Roland’s line of apps. Just in time for the holidays, they have released TR-REC, a free game for iOS which presents a TR-style drum machine interface. The game challenges you to create beats with a visual guide within a set period of time. As you progress, the rhythms get increasingly difficult. Essentially, it’s “Guitar Hero” for drum machine. 2009 saw Activision’s DJ Hero follow-up, ultimately a let-down to many DJs and dance music aficionados; however, this game (created by a company that actually understands dance culture) focuses on the production of dance music rather than the DJ stardom that so many up-and-comers long for.

tr-8 for tr-rec

Perfect for the inevitable winter-break couch slump, TR-REC instantly won our hearts, and we bet you’ll love it too; grab the app now from the Apple App Store.

Celebrate the 808 on 8/08


A selection of eight tracks with the iconic 808 sounds ranging from Ricardo Villalobos to A Guy Called Gerald

As far as music technology goes, Roland’s 808 Drum Machine has been one of the most influential of our time. It’s hard to believe that the now coveted drum machine was actually discontinued in 1983.

Since then the 808 has reemerged within the musical community and has made a drastic impact within all areas of music. So much of an impact, in fact, that they honored it at SXSW this year with the debut of 808: The Movie. This iconic drum machine has been spread far and wide throughout the music industry, from hip-hop to house, and has undoubtedly changed the game.

To commemorate the 808 and all its bass-y and percussive goodness, we’ve selected a few fantastic tracks that utilized the legendary drum machine. Enjoy our selections, and make sure to let us know what some of your favorite 808 tracks are too. And for those interested here’s a Beatport Coupon for 20% off on August 8th to celebrate 808 day. Read more

808 The Movie Premiere at SXSW 2015

808 Movie Poster

This Friday, March 13th, 808 The Movie will make it’s much anticipated world premiere at SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. With a run time of 106 minutes, the 808 documentary will feature accounts from an array of artists such as Afrika Bambaataa, Pharrell, Diplo, Richie Hawtin, the Beastie Boys, and many more.

Roland’s TR-808 has found itself in the spotlight of many musical works throughout it’s lifespan, and 808 The Movie aims to do justice to the most influential drum machine of all time. Take a look at the official trailer below for a quick glimpse at what to expect from the documentary.

808 The Movie (Official Trailer) | Official Website

For more information and a comprehensive interview with the executive producer, Alex Noyer, head on over to Billboard

808 The Movie (Official Trailer)

808 movie 334 years ago, Roland changed history with the release of the TR-808, the most iconic drum machine to this day. From its deep kick to its clangy cowbells, the machine has a very distinct sound – if you’ve heard a hip hop or dance music record, you’ve definitely heard an 808. However, the machine wasn’t always embraced as it is now; it was discontinued after several years, and was pushed into obscurity. After falling into the right hands, the 808 spawned dozens of genres, including our much-beloved techno and house.  Today, the 808 is ubiquitous in recorded music, and in early 2015, director Austin Baker will be releasing 808, chronicling the history of the revered machine. The film features interviews with Afrika Bambaataa, Pharrell, Phil Collins, Rick Rubin, Diplo, New Order,  Damon Albarn, Fatboy Slim, and many more.

Check out the official trailer below, and stay tuned for more release info and updates.