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Programmable Drum Machine

Courtesy/Thanks to: EFM


This is really DBopII. I built the first one after I destroyed my Korg Minipop in 1985. At the time it was the only way I had to get a beat on my 4 track. When it died I was frantic to get a beat somehow and I remembered a series of articles in my collection of 1979 Radio Electronics by James J. Barbarello on the PerSyn percussion synthesizer.

Initial experiments were promising but I hated the sound of his tone generators. A friend had a Radio Shack beat-box that I thought sounded great so after a little reverse engineering I built generators that worked well enough to start construction. The first version had only kick and snare but four programs instead of two. It was a real mistake not to include a hi-hat and now that analog beat boxes are in again I thought it would be cool to do a updated version.

The generators can be compared in sound to the 808. I have always loved the sounds but they fell out of favor when sample based machines became cheap enough to own. Now I use my sampler to cop riffs from this thing. Funny isn't it?

The concept here was a programmable beat-box to create analog riffs with. I wanted it small, battery operated, cheap and easily programmed. There are a lot of drawbacks to the way this was designed formost is probibly eight beat resolution. But is sounds and works really well.

/Tom G


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   Zip file with all the information neede to build the DBOP.
   Picture of the DBOP
   Picture of the DBOP
   Modification of the DBOP to get 16 outs instead.
   Electronic for music
Parts used
HCT 4017
   Johnson decade counter with 10 decoded outputs
HEF 4081
   Quadruple 2-input AND gate
   5-stage Johnson counter
HEF 4049
   Hex Inverting Buffer
   Quadruple 2-input NAND gate
   NPN switching transistor
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