Sequential Circuits TOM

Sequential Circuits TOM Image

In 1985, the TOM was a really advanced drum machine, fully programmable and featuring digitally recorded drum sounds. It is similar to the DrumTraks, but much more advanced. Its sound fidelity is very electronic and it offers just eight of the most basic drum kit sounds. However, each drum sound has a much more flexible tune control than any other drum machine of its time, allowing you to change cymbals into gongs, for example. All sounds can also be layered, allowing for chord-like drum tones, tom rolls and all kinds of wacky sounds. You can also play its sounds in reverse and program the pan position and volume of each sound. Sounds on EPROM cartridges can add up to eight additional drum tones for different sounds. This machine is also MIDI equipped, able to transmit and receive all of its controller information including volume and tuning.

TOM's sequencer allows you to record rhythm patterns in real time or step time. It can store up to 99 patterns and each pattern can be up to 99 measures! As many as 99 patterns can be linked to form Songs. Sequencer memory holds 2,300 notes, but factory updates were available to upgrade that to either 5,000 or 10,000 notes - something to be aware of if looking to buy one of these. The TOM's memory is also retained via internal battery backup when powered down - these batteries had a 5-year lifespan. Program memory could also be saved/loaded to casette tape.

Sequential Circuits TOM Image

The TOM also featured an "Improv Factor" to create drum fills which can add variation to your patterns. TOM's "Human Factor" allowed you to program minor changes in the tuning and volume of your patterns for a 'humanzied' feel - before that term existed in the sequencing lexicon. The TOM also had a "Reframe" function that let you change the location of the down-beat in your pattern at the touch of a button.

In its time, the TOM was very advanced for a drum machine. Its only let-down was the quality of its sounds, which are nowhere near as warm or nostalgic as the Roland TR-X0X machines or the Linn Drums.

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19 Visitor comments
Mikolaj
May 24, 2013 @ 7:30 am
I have this great DM for sale in Poland but I can also ship abroad. Contact me at dygerster @ gmail com
Dan Deming
April 28, 2013 @ 8:46 pm
Since the 80s I have owned 27 different drum machines. This is a keeper. I had exFade make a me a cartridge with 808/909/DMX/Contemporary sounds. This machine is the bomb. Ease of use, great sounds with the storable pitch changes mentioned here. Just a fantastic machine. Awesome.
Anthony
February 24, 2013 @ 5:50 am
I've got a Tom + contemporary cartridge for sale in the UK. Lovely machine and I'll miss it loads but it has to go. Get in touch if you're interested: ynohtna [at] gmail [dot] com
Matt
November 9, 2012 @ 1:26 pm
I have this unit with the user guide for sale...let me know if interested. matt_west@lineone.net
tommertje
September 2, 2012 @ 10:05 pm
I was listening to Air's Talkie Walkie and noticed the hihat on a lot of the songs !
 
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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.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 4 sounds
  • Sounds - 8 - kick, snare, toms 1&2, open / closed hat, clap, crash
  • Sequencer - 99 patterns, 2,300 notes (expandable to 5,000 or 10,000 via factory updates).
  • Keyboard - 8 Buttons
  • Effects - Individual instrument tuning, panning, volume
  • Control - MIDI, Clock in/out
  • Date Produced - 1985
  • Resources & Credits
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    Revised December, 2009

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