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
January 10, 2011 @ 1:00 pm
I found samples for the drum machine here: http://library.gamemusicstudio.com/Samples/EMU%20Drumulator/
The Astro Kid
November 25, 2010 @ 12:17 am
My First EMU Drummachine :)
October 12, 2010 @ 9:37 am
Actually I still have one of these in storage. Somebody please bring back techno-pop so I can sell it for a small fortune! LOL
October 12, 2010 @ 9:36 am
The EMU Drumulator was also used by Ultravox on many of their albums through the 1980's. They also had a drummer (Warren Cann) so the Drumulator was used as a drummer supplement and compliment, not just a replacement. Ultravox was one of the first bands to record with a Drumulator and use it extensively to define their sound.
August 29, 2010 @ 11:38 pm
Notably used by Cocteau Twins on "Treasure" (fitted with John Bonham's samples). These are also the drums on Tears For Fears' "Shout". If someone has these samples, please be kind and share them with us... :)
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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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