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

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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.

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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.
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