Sequential Circuits Tom Drum Machine

The Sequential Circuits Tom drum machine is a vintage 4-voice digital drum machine, released in 1985.

Tom includes 8 basic drum kit sounds: kick, snare, 2 toms, open / closed hat, clap and crash. The Sequential Circuits Tom had an interesting feature for an early drum machine; each sound could be dynamically allocated between the voices, so you could even use 4 copies of the same sound simultaneously.

Other features include the ability to play the sounds backwards, MIDI controllable parameters and support for sound cartridges, which lets you add 7 additional samples.

If you’ve used the Sequential Circuits Tom, leave a comment with your thoughts/ratings!


7 thoughts on “Sequential Circuits Tom Drum Machine

  1. I owned one about 7 years ago. I really wanted the unit bad at the time after what I’d read about its unusual features (for the time). I also had the electronic drumset cartridge for it.

    But, like any instrument, you have to fall in love with it in order to make some great music with it. I wanted to love the unit, but I never could get the unit and me to “gel” creatively.

    The unit is (I’m being merely descriptive here, not subjective) harsh – never subtle. Sometimes brittle, chunky and very up-front in a mix – whether you want it to be or not. That would be a great thing for bodyrock or industrial, hard glitch, etc. If you think of the 808 as smooth and deep, a-la “Sexual Healing” then the TOM is the antithesis of this.

    I sold my TOM with a heavy heart, but at times I do miss the unique sound it offered, if only we could have met in the middle for some good tracks. I did sample the unit fully before selling it, but that’s not even close to approaching what the unit and its uniqueness can do – it’s just not the same. Anyway I hope other artists find TOM more useful than I did.

  2. I have one sitting around that I got cheaply, but without a power supply. I’ve been meaning to order a replacement power supply from Wine County, but it keeps getting put off for other things. Not even sure if it works…

    Its features really are sort of cool… the clock out is capable of driving Roland DIN-Sync; there’s a ninth internal “instrument” that controls a separate “trigger” output that puts out a 10V pulse on command (that’s why the cartridges only have 7 sounds on them… “sound” 16 is always hardwired to the trigger out).

    TOM is the little brother of the Studio 440… he’s Sequential Circuits model 420.

  3. how much are you selling it for? does everything on it work? And where are you located? I may be interested in it.

    I've subscribed to this topic so I'll get an email if you reply. THANKS!

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