The Iconic '80s Drum Machine You've Never Seen, but Heard Everywhere

All Hail the Beat is a three-minute celebration of the Roland TR-808, which has inspired musicians from Kanye West to Daft Punk.

All Hail the Beat, directed by Nelson George, is a three-minute celebration of the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, which has inspired countless musicians since it was discontinued in 1984. From Kanye West to Daft Punk, the artificial beats have shaped hip hop, techno, and more. How many famous tracks can you pick out from the three-minute soundtrack alone? The short film is a part of Focus Forward Films, a documentary series about innovation sponsored by GE

The 808 was one of the earliest programmable drum machines and was relatively affordable for its time -- it cost $1,195 when it was released in 1980 and got cheaper when it was replaced by "better" machines. Now, of course, musicians don't need one to produce its characteristic sounds, but its legacy is everywhere.

For more from Focus Forward Films, visit http://focusforwardfilms.com/.

Via Vimeo Staff Picks.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Video

Just In