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
April 9, 2010 @ 4:02 pm
@Kryptic Dan: great DM intro, but aren't the hihats from 808? i'm almost certain...
the Drumulator was one of the principal drum machines used for italo disco. just check Mike Rodgers "Just a Story" for example
November 22, 2009 @ 5:59 pm
Front 242 also uses a drumulator.
September 25, 2009 @ 6:14 pm
(This is the "original" Chris).

I stand corrected on the Big Black thing - I've just read that forum, and now it makes sense. I used to own a TR-606 which had separate outs, and I often ran the bass or snare through a distortion pedal to get a Big Black kind of sound. I have owned two Drumulators (so many bits of kit I've owned, sold and regretted it so much I've bought them again), one of which I still have - firing it up I can now clearly hear that hollow "thud" from the kick and snare that I'd always assumed was a distorted TR-606 on Big Black's later tracks!

Stupid thing is, I now mostly use an E-mu SP-12, and the Drumulator was just sitting gathering dust. I think it's time to start using it again!
September 3, 2009 @ 6:40 pm
Actually Steve told me himself on his forum about a month ago everything from Racer-X on up was a Drumulator..
The first couple of records was a TR-606.

http://www.electrical.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=44506&start= 20
January 20, 2009 @ 3:16 pm
I have played and seen this many times. I liked the idea and the sounds are good for vintage additions to production. I like SP-12, Roland and Linn sounds better.
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Rated 3.34 (171 Votes)

  • 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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