The EKO ComputeRhythm – Jean Michel Jarre’s Drum Machine

This is a demo of the very rare EKO ComputeRhythm drum machine.

via kovalmoog:

This is a pretty rare drum machine manufactured by EKO in 1972 in Recanati, Italy.

Model ComputeRhythm, maybe one of 15-20 ever made (curiously SN #0113).

This particular one is owned by a musician living in Madrid, Luis De La Cruz, and It was repaired and slightly modified by me on the past months (

Before giving back to its owner I have the chance to made these demonstration videos to show its features and incredible programing methods.

Due to the price it was mainly used by famous electronic musicians like Jean-Michel Jarre and Manuel Göttsching (founder member of Ashra Tempel). J-M Jarre has used it extensively on his first albums: “Oxygene” and “Equinoxe”.

If you’ve used the EKO ComputeRhythm, leave a comment with your thoughts!

Here’s another demo, via kovalmoog:

Three jacks was applied on this drum machine, Trigger IN, Trigger Out and Start / Stop Out. On this demo, the Trigger IN feature is shown.

When a 1/4″ jack is connected on the Trigger input, the sequence stops, and remain in “waiting” mode for an external trigger.

On this case the trigger is provided from a gate out of a Roland MPU-101 midi converter, then a midi software running on a PC (not shown) controls the tempo of the drum machine, beyond its own internal clock capabilities.

On high speeds the refresh of the webcam can’t permit to see the MPU-101 gate LED flashing synchronized with the EKO sequence, but in very low tempo is easily noticeable.


11 thoughts on “The EKO ComputeRhythm – Jean Michel Jarre’s Drum Machine

    1. Tangerine Dream used one of those from like ’73 & onward deep into the 80’s:..I wanna say it was triggered by the Moog IIIC [gotten from the `Stones BTW¡] by Franke -who manned that beasty alongside the Projekt Electronik, Emu Oddity & the early PPG stuff that was all apart of that {Tonto like} gargantuan mod system they utilized for awhile (until the digital stuff became prevelamt) not tooo mention the EMS kits & the recently acquired minimoogs that were on hand by then; maybe those could of been controlling the thing; not dead positive ’bout that but the EKO cpurtm was a big part of their sound arsenal for years until Bauman {he used IT abit} took a sabbatical in Nepal & never really rejoined the band(fold) as Frosese & Franke would act as virtual duo & recorded ‘Green Desert’ during this period (EdgarF did some tasty Guitarlicks on this album¡}.but it was sackeld until ’86 when it was remixed & reworked as aforementioned with the new modern digital gear of the day, combo’d with those analog CC fired machine’s of yore kid’s¡! thanx dude(s)

  1. amazing to see these units popping up ever so often. in fact, the eko wasn´t really expensive when it came out (prices quoted vary between 2,500 DM and 4,990 DM) but it sure is now! this is probably the coolest piece of electronic musical equipment there is.

    btw, the version pictured here is the third incarnation from about 1977, the prototype model was all-white, the second version — as used by jarre and ashra — was made in around 1973/74. there is no eko on “oxygene”, though, it´s all korg mini pops.


    1. Hi Stephen,
      I recently bought a white EKO Computerhythm in Italy.It is different to all the Computerhythmn units I have seen before. The card reader section projects out from the front of the unit .I have never seen this version before. I think it is very early because it does not have the black side panels etc. I can send you a photo if you send me your email. Any ideas if this is a prototype ?

        1. Hi Stephen,

          please send me your email so I can send you photos of my white EKO computerhythm, the card reader on my example projects right out to the front edge of the unit.

          Many thanks.


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