Following on from the success of their high end (and hence expensive) products, Sequential Circuits went after the 'budget' end of the market with a range of new products around 1985. One of these was the Tom digital drum machine.

Styled to accompany its stablemate synth, Max, it featured eight sounds all of which could be tuned over a wide range. At their nominal pitch, the sounds were pretty good especially for the time and for the price but when tuned down, they could sound pretty grungey.

At the time, this was considered a major downside.... now, of course, it's a major part part of this drum machine's appeal!

It had a cartridge port to bring in other sounds and for the first time on a drum machine, the Tom's custom LSI allowed a 'reverse' function. It also had a ROLL function which you could use to repeat sounds at the current quantise value. All were innovations at the time.

However, it was only 4-voice polyphonic so dense patterns were not easily created. It also only had stereo outputs - no individual outs. But it was relatively inexpensive (£600 ??), easy to use and sounded good for the time/price. The sounds are still favoured in certain musical genres today.