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Video: The inside of this 1950s drum machine is a sight to behold

The 1959 Wurlitzer Sideman is credited with being the world’s first commercially available, tube-based drum machine and the subject of a sample pack created by Circles Drum Samples.

Creating the pack couldn't have been easy, as the company had to track down and restore the instrument first. Evidently, its unique construction drew them to the product, which was, at that time, rather innovative.

Using tube-based sound generation, at the heart of the Sideman was a spinning disc powered by an electric motor, featuring contact points. Each point triggered a drum sound, while a dial on the front panel could select from 12 different rhythmical patterns.

The 1959 Wurlitzer Sideman sample pack features 200 samples, over 200 loops, 25 presets and recorded in 24-bit at 44.1 kHz. Retailing at $25, the pack is available now on the Circles Drum Samples website.

Simon Arblaster
Simon Arblaster

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.

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