Disquiet Junto Project 0397: Numbers Racket

Hello everyone. I downloaded two TR-808 samples - a kick and a snare - and started experimenting. I had to add a vinyl crackle effect to mask the pops and clicks that were introduced by the microtonal pitch shifts in the drones that weave around the drum beat. The only thing that I didn’t create in Audacity was the terrible Van Halen pun. (I only like their first album, I swear!!)


I used the free VSTs Cassette 808 and RVK-808 and the internal 808 core kit in Ableton Live plus some ambient field recordings to create my hommage to the legendary drum rhythm composer. The second half is more or less my attempt to use the congas as a melodic sequencer.

The TR-808 has an inscription called “computer controlled”, which I think is very funny… :wink:


I used Elliots Garage 808 app for the percussion. The drone comes from the Sub37. Ripplemaker provides the marimba-esque sound, and that’s me on the new Korg minilogue module on melody. The ship is in need of minor repairs, we are far from port and adrift, but survivability seems high:


I opened GarageBand on my MacBook Air, USB-cabled an iRig Keys to it and noodled around with the Boutique 808 drums, chopped and doubled up a couple of patterns I like, and doubled some tracks with bits of light distortion, delay and reverb. Toward the middle, I added a little overlapping Modwheel Sizzle, Silver Synth Saw and Outer Lands Synth.


I began wondering about the mixed reviews the drum machine got on release and how the “unrealistic” sound would become the defining character of the 808.

Thinking about the drum sounds I’ve shaped from various sources led me to look for the spirit of the 808 elsewhere.

You can see I didn’t look very far and revisited my recording of Narrandera’s Big Guitar.

The low rumble of the open string was perfect for the celebrated humming kick.

Then I listened for transients to fill the roles of snare and high-hat, before adding a few harmonics and notes.


I did a cover of Opening from Philip Glass for guitar, synths and 808 drums.


Disquiet 0397

My mother owned a dulcimer. Never played it.

The track starts out with a basic 808 beat. The second section of the track was created by manipulating the 808 output into a processed audio stream. The processed audio is then used as V/Oct input for the eventual synthesis by Mutable Instruments Rings.


  • Roland 808 > Squarp Hermod (clock)
  • Squarp Hermod > Noise Engineering Clep Diaz
  • Noise Engineering Clep Diaz > Make Noise QPAS
  • Roland 808 > Make Noise QPAS
  • Make Noise QPAS > Styrmon Magneto
  • Squarp Hermod > Noise Engineering Bin Seq
  • Noise Engineering Bin Seq > Erica Synths Black Quad VCA
  • Strymon Magneto > Noise Engineering Ataraxic Iteritas
  • Noise Engineering Ataraxic Iteritas > Erica Synths Black Quad VCA
  • Squarp Hermod > Grayscale Permutation
  • Grayscale Permutation > Noise Engineering Ataraxic Iteritas
  • Xaoc Devices Batumi > Noise Engineering Ataraxic Iteritas

Final synthesis

  • preprocess > Mutable Instruments Rings
  • Grayscale Permutation > Mutable Instruments Rings
  • Xaoc Devices Batumi > Mutable Instruments Rings

Wikipedia - “Although the Appalachian dulcimer first appeared in the early 19th century among Scotch-Irish immigrant communities in the Appalachian Mountains, the instrument has no known precedent in Ireland or Scotland. Because of this, and a dearth of written records, the history of the Appalachian dulcimer has been, until fairly recently, largely speculative. Since 1980, more extensive research has traced the instrument’s development through several distinct periods, and likely origins in several similar European instruments: the Swedish hummel, the Norwegian langeleik, the German scheitholt, and the French épinette des Vosges.”


My contribution, an interpretation of James Tenney’s “Having Never Written a Note for Percussion (for John Bergamo)”, performed on a TR-808 Snare drum through Eventide effects.


Norns @Justmat foulplay, built in 808 samples> ableton @andrew max dirge and grain delay. That was fun! :slight_smile:


This started out as an observation that “808” has two lines of symmetry. I recorded the Amen Break using a sampled emulation of the 808. I split the recording into separate left and right channels then reversed them, flipped them vertically and flipped the reverse, giving me eight separate samples to play with.

My original track was well overlong but I’d added some resonators to the final few minutes and really liked the effect. I shortened the track dramatically but kept the resonators.

The track starts with the flipped forward samples and ends with the flipped reverse samples having transitioned through the reversed and forward break on the way.

The frequency flipping was done with Photosounder. All frequencies up to 20kHz were flipped vertically. This is what introduces the “underwater” sound at the start of the track. All the remaining processing was done in Ableton Live.


Wowsers, you took that a totally different direction than I was expecting! A very well made track, especially in such a short time. Love how the vocal goes from Placebo-esque at the start to death metal growl near the end.


I played this one pretty straight but it also gave me a chance to use some samples I had from old timey LSD experiments. Created this afternoon using Rhythm studio and Samplr on IPad. Went in a very 80s direction. https://soundcloud.com/mike-88/i-wish-i-could-talk-in


A tribute to the early 1980’s vintage Roland 808 drum machine for 808 day (August 8) and the Disquiet Junto. The drum track is a polyrhythm of seven 808 samples (if I had been on the ball I would have used eight) and is accompanied by 3 synthesizer parts with a bit of an 80’s vibe.

Drums: 808 sample set in Ableton Live
Synth parts: Cakewalk Z3TA+2 VST


Hearing it in Your Sleep - Disquiet project 0397: (Numbers Racket)
This week’s project coincides with the annual 808 Day, a celebration of the Roland TR-808 drum machine.

Well it’s been a long time now since I last contributed to the Junto, but this seemed like a fitting project to get back involved. I certainly remember the Roland 808 and how I badly wanted that particular sound and feel that came only from assembling your drums pieces together and playing along with whatever instrument you had handy. It could literally go on for hours, because this drummer never got tiered of playing the pattern. I felt I had an unlimited opening to my creativity. I would almost hear it in my sleep due to the hypnotic nature of the patterns and sounds.
For this project I started with a drum pattern that reminds me of the spirit of the 808. The Reactor 5 Aerobic – using the public transportation patch. I have always liked these patterns much more at around 80 BPM, so that is were I started. I let the pattern play while I searched for my first instrument. It seemed natural to start with Outputs Arcade and explore some of the ethereal loops in the “After-Hours” Pack to start.
From this point I started my usual process when working with Arcade. This involves finding the right textural sound and not focusing on the patterns. Once I find the right textures, I will manually modify the loops and positioning in the track to accentuate what I am hoping to explore.
Once I have what I feel is a cool textural background I add in my played instrument parts using, in this case the factory Presonus kits played from my Akai controller
Then I just keep playing with it until I HEAR IT IN MY SLEEP.


Very late entry for me this week because I was travelling to the UK for a friend of mines stag party. Almost didn’t think I’d get a chance to do it, but managed to squeeze something out just in time :slight_smile:

I’m aware of the huge influence that the 808 has had on contemporary music and I do quite like the booming bass, the clap and hats, but I’m not quite as enamoured with it as some others. Perhaps because it was before my time? Or because I’ve never touched one in real life? I usually try to avoid this gear fetishisation.

So, with that in mind I wanted to try something a little different than just using some 808 samples to make a drum beat, so I decided to sample the original commercial Roland put out. The messy and chaotic nature of it is deliberate / due to lack of time / due to lack of knowhow (delete as appropriate). All done inside Ableton with the simpler and a custom drum rack.

The start is from the opening of Stop Making Sense because I read that the boombox David Byrne switches on at the beginning is actually an 808 hooked up to the mixing board.


Had some fun in Ableton playing around with a loop from my TR-08. Hardest part was trying to get a ‘bass’ type sound, ended using the low conga

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Hello, everyone! This is my first time participating, so I hope I’m doing it right. For this project, I sampled a YouTube video of somebody giving an 808 demo and chopped it up, then did the same with a video of a piano and marimba recital. I arranged these into a hip hop beat on my SP-404, then improvised over it with an acoustic guitar fed into an Electro-Harmonix 720 loop pedal. Things got out of hand, and the beat dropped out while things got wilder, hypnotic and kraut-y. I did some overdubs of vocals, synth (Blofeld), shakers, bass, and electric guitar before calling it a day. This is perhaps a bit more psychedelic than I initially intended, but I hope you enjoy nonetheless.


Created in Reaper using Kontakt 6, Battery, Ni’s modular icons, FM 8, TRK01 bass

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I figured a solid retro beat was the way to go. I used an 808 sample set (from Samples from Mars I think?) of an 808 recorded to cassette and got to work.

I tried to use synth sounds that were vintage-y. Klevgrand came through with their synths.

Not much else to say - i just saw a grad school concert that had a lot of funky music combined with a fully notated chamber ensemble, so I tried to include some of those very specific and unexpected transitions between sections. For the chords, I ended up trying to get some Herbie Hancock-esque and voicings

For structure, I decided an ABA form would be unconventional but also familiar.

The mix is a little rushed and rough - I expect to go back and tweak it later.


This is my first contribution to disquiet!

For this, I kept it as simple as a could. Just a simple beat from Kontakt 808 samples, with two effects (chorus and delay). 1 take after playing with the effects for a bit. I just wanted something a little trippy.