The Chamberlin Rhythmate was the world’s first drum machine, by a mile. About 10 years in fact. Early prototypes were developed as far back as 1949 and the DNA of the tape replay technology it used would eventually find its way into the Chamberlin keyboard and Mellotron. Now, Rhythmic Robot has created a plugin version of the Rhythmate, so you can access very vintage drum loops from the comfort of your DAW.
What will it be, Foxtrot or Tango? Rhythmic Robot has recreated the original Chamberlin Rhythmate, also known as the world’s first drum machine.
The original Rhythmate started life in California when Harry Chamberlin had the novel idea to record rhythmic performances on tape to create his own replay instrument. He used a Neumann U47 to record real jazz kits onto 14 different tape loops with sliding playback heads. These heads could move over different sections of the loop and blend between them different tapes. The unit also included pitch/speed control, as well as a separate amplifier which included its own input and controls. It was the perfect piece of gear for playing along to your favourite foxtrot or tango or waltz.
Original Rhyhmate units are incredibly hard to come by and often sell for northwards of $12,000, so Rhythmic Robot’s new plugin is very welcome. The digital version recreates all of the features of the original, however, adds modern bells and whistles such slicing, and the ability to tweak, edit and treat individual drum shots.
For more information head over to Rhythmic Robot’s website.