MATRIXSYNTH: Analog Mafia RC-808 “Drum Rap” Contest

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Analog Mafia RC-808 “Drum Rap” Contest

The following is in via Analog Mafia. You can find details on the contest here.

"RC-808 is a drum synth that can do the rap all by itself. In another words, we will go back to the days of the talking drums. It would be great if you could have a listen to the files.

Giving articulation ability to drum sequencers was actually a part of the Roland history ever since Don Lewis connected an expression pedal to add volume level accent to give variation to a primitive preset patterned rhythm box. This lead Mr Kakehashi to implement "Accent" as a parameter of rhythm machines.

When Mr Kikumoto designed programmable drum sequencers and MIDI protocols, he wondered why the sequencers onboard drum machines don't have any pitch nor duration parameters. Because they are non-tuned percussion? But then synths can provide frequency and envelope curves to match your needs and tastes. Isn't this lack of these parameters result of prejudices or stereo types that still confines the drum sound expressions to a certain notion only?

This is the reason why the RC-808 Standalone edition has a small piano roll style sequencer. With full fledged general purpose 8 partial synth engines per instruments, you can create both tuned and sustained sounds that can be used for percussive purposes. For instance, this offers "open and close" sound variation to not just hi-hats but to any other instrument you can imagine, like "open and close bass drum" you hear on the demo files here.

Recently, as Kikumoto san was reviewing HipHop and Rap music, he found rappers' rhyme and flow concept somewhat resembling his RC-808 concept of providing further expression to drum sounds.

Inspired with the rhyme and flow concept, he is thinking of expanding this scheme to shed new light to drum sound expression, not just to hiphop and rap, but to all kinds of music genre, with a concept of Drum Rap like MC talking drum so to say."

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