The MR-808 Is An 808-style Mechanical Robot Drum Machine

Moritz Simon Geist created the MR-808 – described as ‘the first drum robot that reproduces the drum sounds of the 80’s. The installation is a version of the famous Roland TR-808 – but with robots playing the drum sounds!

“I decided to go back to the roots of sound generation – the physical sound generation – but combine it with the electronic music structure,” explains Geist. “I couldn’t stop building my own drum robots, and ended up replacing all the electronic sounds of a whole drum computer, placed in a 3,3 x 1,7m² case.

Here’s a music video, Science Fiction Children’s Rise of the Toys, that features the MR-808:

Technical details below:

  • MR-808 – mechanic sound robot (all drums, miced)
  • A mechanic relay controlled via arduino (bass sound)
  • Gameboy – Arduinoboy hardware (8 bit chiptune sound)
  • Everything was programmed in Ableton, only equing and compression has been applied.

See the Sonic Robot site for more details.

10 thoughts on “The MR-808 Is An 808-style Mechanical Robot Drum Machine

  1. I’m sure having that in the corner of the living room would be an excellent conversation starter!

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    • My wife would start the conversation by saying “Get that giant beat box out of the living room”

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  2. This is crazy – I wish I had this kind of time on my hands / got paid to do stuff like this!

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