Previous Event

The SP-1200: Drum Machines, User Sampling, and the Birth of a Genre with Dave Rossum

22 June 2022 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Zoom

1987 saw the launch of the E-mu SP-1200 Drum Machine, arguably one of the most influential drum machines of the genre, influencing many artists across the musical spectrum.  In this talk Dave Rossum, designer, engineer, entrepreneur, gives the inside track on the birth of the electronic drum machine, the  path of innovation that led to the development of the SP-1200 together with some of the key technological features that give it its uniquely desirable acoustic pallette, and of the people involved in its creation.

Starting with his co-founding of E-mu Systems, Dave Rossum provided the technological leadership that resulted in what many consider the premier professional modular synthesizer system. The E-mu Modular System combined superlative analog design, innovative use of digital technology, and unparalleled physical construction and reliability.  It became an instrument of choice for numerous recording studios, educational institutions, and artists as diverse as Frank Zappa, Leon Russell, and Hans Zimmer.

In the following years, Dave and E-mu turned their attention to affordable professional digital sampling with the Emulator keyboards and racks. The Emulator II in particular established sampling as the leading music technology of its time, becoming a standard fixture in professional studios worldwide and appearing on innumerable hit records and film soundtracks. It was followed by the Emax samplers, the legendary SP-12 and SP-1200 sampling drum machines, the Proteus sound modules and the Morpheus Z-Plane synthesizer.

In addition, Dave also developed and licensed technology that enabled the creation of many iconic synthesizers, including the Oberheim 4-Voice, the Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 and, via his design of many of the SSM music ICs, instruments from Korg, Kawai, and many more.

Today, Dave has restarted his career and at Rossum Electro-Music is building on his 45 year history to bring a new level of creativity, innovation, and quality to the electronic musicians, producers and sound designers of the 21st century. Dave is also proud to serve as a Technical Fellow at Universal Audio, Inc.

This online lecture is open to all, but registration is required here. A link to the Zoom session will be sent to registered participants prior to the talk.

Dave Rossum, Rossum Electro Music

Copyright © 2022 Audio Engineering Society