Mojodojo Media



Sequencers and drum machines


Music sequencers began being used around the mid 20th century, and Tomita's albums in mid-1970s being later examples. In 1978, Yellow Magic Orchestra were using computer-based technology in conjunction with a synthesiser to produce popular music, making their early use of the microprocessor-based Roland MC-8 Microcomposersequencer.

Drum machines, also known as rhythm machines, also began being used around the late-1950s, with a later example being Osamu Kitajima's progressive rock album Benzaiten (1974), which used a rhythm machine along with electronic drums and a synthesizer. In 1977, Ultravox's "Hiroshima Mon Amour" was one of the first singles to use themetronome-like percussion of a Roland TR-77 drum machine. In 1980, Roland Corporation released the TR-808, one of the first and most popular programmable drum machines. The first band to use it was Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1980, and it would later gain widespread popularity with the release of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" and Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock" in 1982, after which the TR-808 remained in continuous use until at least 2008.