On this page, we feature the fundamental drum machines from the 80s that are crucial for creating Synthwave music.
Explore iconic Drum Machines with distinct 80s sounds that can be paired with synthesizers and various instruments. For crafting exceptional Synthwave Music, we utilize digital audio workstations (featuring plugins and VSTs) to enhance these sounds, making them more captivating.

Drum machines


E-mu Drumulator

Year of release: 1983
Drums: 8 ROM Samples
Memory: 8 user
Songs: 8
Control: MIDI
Sampler: 12-bit, 1.2 seconds

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Users: Depeche Mode, Jean Michel Jarre, Tears for Fears, Ultravox, Valerie Dore


Linn LM-1

Year of release: 1980
Polyphony: 12 sounds
Memory: no
Songs: 8
Control: Tape sync and Clock
Sampler: 28kHz Samples

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Users: The Chemical Brothers, Chromeo, Giorgio Moroder, John Carpenter, Jean Michel Jarre, Kraftwerk, Michael Jackson

Linn 9000

Year of release: 1984
Polyphony: 13 voices
Memory: 13.1 seconds
Sounds: 32 Drum sounds
Control: x2, Foot Controller x1
Sampler: 8-bit, 40kHz

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Users: Babyface, Earth, Wind & Fire, George Michael, Michael Jackson, Queen


Roland TR-808

Year of release: 1981
Polyphony: 12 voices
Effects: Auto fill-in
Songs: 12
Arpeg/Seq: Sequencer

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Users: Afrika Bambaataa, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Daft Punk, David Guetta, New Order, Fatboy Slim

Roland TR-909

Year of release: 1984
Polyphony: 12 voices
Sounds: 9
Songs: 8
Control: Midi In/Out & DIN Sync In
Arpeg/Seq: Sequencer

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Users: Daft Punk, Air, Moby, Fatboy Slim, Orbital, Underworld, The Prodigy, Jeff Mills, Jean-Michel Jarre, The Chemical Brothers

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