Kraftwerk drums

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Bob-omb
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Kraftwerk drums

Post by Bob-omb » Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:10 pm

I've been listening to Kraftwerk a lot lately, especially the Man Machine and Computer World. Today, me and my friend started to re-create some of the drum sounds from these albums on my Moog. Really love those "zap" sounds! :)
Most of the sounds that they used are AFAIK from synthesizers but the drums on some of the songs such as Europe Endless & the Model really sounds like old rhythmboxes. So, does anyone know if Kraftwerk ever used drummachines instead of synthesizers for drums? The custom made triggerpads probably trigged a drummachine rather than different synthesizers?

...and as a bonus question...

My friend claim that Kraftwerk didn't use sequencers before Computer World. Anyone who knows anything about this?

Thanks!

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Post by wiss » Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:56 pm

"All we used was the explosion and the orchestra hit. The Fairlight was a $100,000 waste of space."

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Post by JSRockit » Sat Jun 09, 2007 4:57 pm

I know early on...Kraftwerk made their own electronic drums that their drummer actually played. I don't think they were just triggers...but a synth as well. I could be wrong though.

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Post by Soundwave » Sat Jun 09, 2007 5:11 pm

Kraftwerk predate a lot of drum machines in fact you could almost say they fundamentally pushed the idea of a drum machine as an artistic tool rather than an auto accompaniment device. If you can’t spot what drum machine it is on the song then its most likely a synth patch or something custom built as Kraftwerk were quite technologically adept which ironically was their undoing as a band in the early 90’s. It was said on their last tour the sounds were made with Native Instruments software and whilst not being too specific I’d guess was most likely something Reaktor based.

I'd say at least some analogue sequencing was done before Computer World, just listen to the Autobahn bassline and percussion.

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Post by RedSky » Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:29 pm

They definitely had a custom Matten and Weichers sequencer on the Man Machine which is one of the reasons why it sounds like disco (they loved disco). It certainly sounds like they used one on Autobahn. Also, the early version of the drum pad was made using the drum sound parts from an old organ. Contrary to general belief, they didn't invent the drum pad. The first drum board was patented in 1969. Very early rhythm boxes were used on Kraftwerk 1+2 and then Radioactivity.

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Post by JSRockit » Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:31 pm

Radioactivity is my favorite album... I love the drums on that.
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Post by RedSky » Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:38 pm

It's great isn't it? I think it's really relaxing. Autobahn and Radioactivity are much more interesting to me than TMM which partially ditched motorik rhythms for a dull disco thud- it's like drip torture.

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Post by JSRockit » Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:42 pm

Ah Redsky...I still love the manmachine...that's my second favorite. Never really cared much about the ones before radioactivity really...they are ok, but ... and the mix from the early 90 is the worst thing ever...hate that.
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Post by severen » Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:14 pm

JSRockit wrote:I know early on...Kraftwerk made their own electronic drums that their drummer actually played. I don't think they were just triggers...but a synth as well. I could be wrong though.

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haha :)

here

http://dory.mncast.com/mncHMovie.swf?mo ... 1110061807

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Post by Roberto » Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:27 pm

i know they used some Mattel Synsonics...

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I hankered after these circa 1981 and eventually got hold of some in 2006 !! ;)

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Re: Kraftwerk drums

Post by Micke » Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:20 pm

Bob-omb wrote:I've been listening to Kraftwerk a lot lately, especially the Man Machine and Computer World. Today, me and my friend started to re-create some of the drum sounds from these albums on my Moog. Really love those "zap" sounds! :)
Most of the sounds that they used are AFAIK from synthesizers but the drums on some of the songs such as Europe Endless & the Model really sounds like old rhythmboxes. So, does anyone know if Kraftwerk ever used drummachines instead of synthesizers for drums? The custom made triggerpads probably trigged a drummachine rather than different synthesizers?

...and as a bonus question...

My friend claim that Kraftwerk didn't use sequencers before Computer World. Anyone who knows anything about this?

Thanks!


Howdy,

Your friend is all wrong. Kraftwerk did use custom-built Synthanorma sequencers on both TEE and MM.

Afaik, the drum sounds on those two albums were mostly done on a Maestro Rhythm-king. They'd modified it with trigger inputs for each of its drum sounds so it could be triggered from either the Synthanorma sequencer (built by Matten & Wiechers, see below) or the custom electronic drum pads.


Image Image
The heavily modified Synthanorma sequencers and the Maestro Rhythm-King drum box.

For 1981's "Computer world"** Wolfgang Flür used a contraption called the "Intervallomat with Triggersumme" in combination with the analog Synthanorma sequencers. This was apparently sort of a a Simmons SDS-6-like trigger generator used to trigger Simmons SDS-V racks and Syndrums.


Image
Kraftwerk live in concert, 1981 with Wolfgang Flür manouvering the Intervallomat/triggersumme (drum-trigger unit). The Syndrum unit can be seen in the rack behind him.


** Kraftwerk might have had this by the time of recording "The Man Machine" back in early 1978 but I'm not sure about that.
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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Post by Bob-omb » Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:16 am

The Man Machine and Computer World are the "Kraftwerk sound" for me. But I do dig Autobahn, Trans Europe Express and to some extent Radio Activity (a little too much of monotonic sonic experiments IMO... but hey some might like just that) too!

Wiss: Thanks for the link! :)

Micke: Thank you for the great info! :D My friend was pretty sure that he was right on this one so it was fun to give him opposite facts (Yep, I'm a mean bastard ;) :twisted: ). Damn, where can I find a Maestro Rhythm-King!? It looks really funky! 8)

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Post by clueless » Sun Jun 10, 2007 3:28 am

I wonder what that telephone below the computer screen is used for?? Do you think it's just for show?

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Post by mr_m0nks » Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:27 am

if wolfgang flurs autobiography is anything to go by its probably the kraftwerk groupie hotline!! :shock:
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Post by Micke » Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:06 pm

Bob-omb wrote:
Micke: Thank you for the great info! :D My friend was pretty sure that he was right on this one so it was fun to give him opposite facts (Yep, I'm a mean bastard ;) :twisted: ). Damn, where can I find a Maestro Rhythm-King!? It looks really funky! 8)

You're welcome :-)

On a side note; Kraftwerk's first rhythm box was apparently the Farfisa Rhythm 10R:

Image
Farfisa Rhythm 10R (1970)

I belive this is what we hear on "Kraftwerk 2" (1972) and "Ralf & Florian"(1973).

Kraftwerk's next two albums --1974's "Autobahn" and 1975's "Radioactivity"--additionally featured a Vox percussion king and Echolette rhythm box:

Image Image
The Vox percussion king* and the Echolette Drummer One

* also used by Devo on their first albums
"The (Yamaha) CS-80 is a step ahead in keyboard control, and a generation behind in digital control" -- Dan Wyman, Jan 1979

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