There’s a Roland TR 909 virtual drum machine floating around on the internet, but it can be hard to track down.
Its address is html909.com, a name that doesn’t sound anything like “drum” or “roland.” I found it through @reaktorplayer on Twitter:
On the “HTML-909 Rhythm Composer” you can click on any part of the drum machine you want, selecting bass and snare drum, hi-hat, hand-claps, crashes and rides, for 16 slots. Once you select those, you can pick the tempo and pattern, then save your creation or trash it. I’m still figuring it all out, and my creations are a bunch of gibberish, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun just to mess around with.
The Roland TR 909 drum machine is pretty revered and it’s been used by artists like Aphex Twin, Phil Collins, Moby, 808 State, Chemical Brothers, The Prodigy, RZA and Daft Punk.
Some have gone so far as to create a giant physical machine for really large people.
The virtual drum machine was created by Teemu Kallio, a software developer from Finland who lives in Berlin.
The virtual Roland drum machine was just one of his projects, and he describes it aptly: “The Roland drum machine is a legendary drum machine from the 1980s and one could say it’s a keystone of techno music. I decided to make a replica of it using HTML 5 and audio API.”
His bio shows no indication he’d ever create a kick-ass drum machine, proof that musical inspiration and creativity can be found anywhere:
I’ve graduated from University of Helsinki at 2010 where I studied Computer Science and Mathematics. I’ve been working over 7 years in IT industry and last 4 years I’ve been building web and mobile applications with HTML5 technologies.
Thank you, Teemu, for giving us the power to be our own Phil Collins.
Thanks to @reaktorplayer too.