E-mu Drumulator

E-mu Drumulator Image

Created in the wake of the Emulator sampler-synths, E-mu unleashed the Drumulator sample-based drum-machines. The Drumulator was E-mu's attempt at creating a rhythm machine like the Linn LM-1 that was better and cheaper. What they made wound up becoming a huge hit for E-mu. The Drumulator had eight drum sounds on a ROM microchip which were gritty, lo-fi 12-bit samples of basic drum sounds...but they were some classic sounds! The Drumulator II added sampling so you could bring in your own sounds. Samples could be truncated, looped, etc.

E-mu Drumulator Image

The Drumulator was primarily a drum machine, however, and offered sequencing that could be accomplished in real-time for a live feel. Or it could be meticulously programmed via step entry and edit modes. Up to 36 sequenced patterns can be stored, chained and mixed to create up to 8 songs. Your sequences and sample data can be stored to floppy diskettes. The Drumulator can be connected to an old computer (like an Apple II) for better visual sequencing and editing too. The Drumulator II went on to become the even better SP-12 drum machine. Drumulators have been used by various musicians, from Howard Jones to Hardfloor.

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23 Visitor comments
Kryptic Dan
December 8, 2008 @ 5:08 pm
This is the sound of Depeche Mode 1983-'84. The opening break of 'Everything Counts' says it all...
Andrew Beddoes
November 15, 2008 @ 9:20 pm
Imagine a drum machine including claps, cowbell, and clave (wha..?) but no crash cymbal- whoops! Programmers would artfully assign an open high hat instead. Then there was drops in volume if you played loud and soft jazzy 16th notes on the ride cymbal. It did, however, put more than a few drummers out of work.
September 25, 2008 @ 12:25 pm
Cheap. Old. Huge. One thing I wasn't completely aware of when I ordered it was the HUGE footprint this thing has. It may have been my own ignorance or whatever. This thing is a beast! The 12 bit samples are as gritty as ever. You have half of the 1980's in this blue-gray box! This thing even comes with the notorious 12-bit hand clap. Weather this is a good or bad thing, I'll leave it up to you. The big slider and the bright LED display look cool and friends look at it and go "That's a drum machine?" Outside of aesthetics, it's a really neat sounding machine. Definitely worth the $60-$100 pocket change.
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Demos & Media
  • Audio Clip 1 - A short demo loop made using samples of the Drumulator followed by the individual sounds used. The Kick drum was de-tuned and used to create a pseudo-bassline and reverb was added.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Sampler - Drumulator II only: 12-bit sampling, 1.2 seconds (expandable to 5 seconds)
  • Drums - 8 ROM Samples
  • Patterns - 36
  • Songs - 8
  • Keyboard - 4 Touch Pads
  • Memory - 8 user
  • Control - MIDI (on later models)
  • Date Produced - 1983

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