Monday, 18 May 2015

KORG RockBeat - Keio Rockmate Drum machine 1966

This is one of the earliest of Korg's Drum synthesizer machines. It probably dates from 1966.
They are quite rare. It has 2 VCOs / 4 voices.
As was common in these early days, worldwide distribution meant that the drum was sold under different names in each market.

My drum goes by the title " Lafayette ROCKBEAT" and was produced in Tokyo, Japan.
It was marketed by the  LaFayette Radio Electronics Company.
It's a bit worse for wear, though she still works.
In the US, they were also sold as the "Olsen RockMate Donca Matic" and the Knight "Combo Sideman".

The rock band GORILLAZ made a song in November 2010 called DONCAMATIC
The faceplate layout is different in appearance though internally, they are identical.
There are 6 presets labeled A to F (and a fill). They are Swing Trot, Down Beat, Jazz Rock, Rock Beat, Four Beat & Slow Ballard.
The rhythms are charted out on music staves on the top panel
The doncamatic was one of the first all-electronic solid state drum rhythm machines made.
The Korg company was originally called "KEIO Gijutsu Kenkyujo Limited"

 The Tempo & rhythm (preset) dials.

The case is made out of steel and measures 7.5" x 7.5" and 1-1/4" deep.

 It is powered by a 9-volt battery (included), but also has a 9V AC adapter jack on it.

1/4" output jacks

The "Solo" button kicks in the fill (endless 16th notes on snare & hat) for as long as you hold it down
The drum was used by Morris Day & The Time.

For more info on the history of Korg Drum Machines Click Here

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