The Drumulator was Emu's first drum machine and much like they did with their Emulator, they brought it out at a cost that was considerably less than the rivals of the day. At $995 dollars, it was a steal.

Of course, to meet that price point, compromises had to be made.

Whereas the rival Linndrum was awash with sliders to mix the individual sounds, the Drumulator used a parameter access system where you first select the sound you want to adjust, then use the single slider to set its level.

Similarly, whilst the Linndrum had pads for each of its sounds, the Drumulator had only four pads and so the drums you wanted to program first had to be assigned to these pads - you would then lay down the basic pattern. Any drums or percussion you wanted to overdub would then need to be assigned to the four pads and the process repeated.

It sounds tedious (and it was) and the Drumulator was a fiddly thing to use but at the time, the Drumulator's low price gave a lot of people access to their first sampled drum machine when it was released in 1983. 10,000 units were sold in its two year lifetime.

It had eight individual outputs and some nice programming features such as timing correct and swing/shuffle. It was strictly real-time pattern programming only though - no step time entry or editing.

It came with twelve 8-bit sounds which at the time sounded crisp and fresh. Now, of course, they are regarded as lo-fi or 'old school' but they still have a place in today's various musical genres and still sound surprisingly good even now.

Samples donated by Terence 'Tramp Baby' Abney.