808, the heart of the beat that changed music. The acclaimed documentary that chronicles the incredible legacy of the TR808 drum machine will be exclusively available on Apple Music December 9th 2016. Discover the iconic records, artists and producers influenced by the 808’s unique beats and find out the secret behind its sudden discontinuation.
Apple Music is a music-streaming service, developed by Apple Inc. Users select music to stream to their device on-demand, or they can listen to existing, curated playlists. The service also includes the Internet radio station Beats 1, that broadcasts live to over 100 countries 24 hours a day, and the blog platform Connect, that allows artists to share their posts, photos, videos, and tracks with subscribers. Apple Music provides music recommendations based on a user’s taste, and the iOS application is integrated with Siri voice commands. The service was announced on June 8, 2015, and launched on June 30, in over 100 countries worldwide. New subscribers get a 3-month free trial, before the service becomes paid-only.
Apple Music faces direct competition from other, similar music streaming services, including Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Google Play Music. Apple Music has managed to distance itself from other services with exclusive content, integration with Siri voice commands, and high-profile advertising.
As of September 2016, Apple Music has 17 million subscribers.
The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer (a.k.a. the “808“) was one of the first programmable drum machines (“TR” standing for TransistorRhythm). Introduced by the Roland Corporation in the early 1980s, it was originally manufactured for use as a tool for studio musicians to create demos. Like earlier Roland drum machines, it does not sound very much like a real drum kit. However, the TR-808 cost US$1,195 upon its release, which was considerably more affordable than digital sampling machines such as the US$5,000 Linn LM-1.
Drum machines became an integral part of hip hop music as a cheap and simple way of producing a drum sound. The Roland TR-808 held specific appeal because of the ability of its bass drum sound to produce extremely low-frequency sounds. It also featured various unique artificial percussion sounds that characterized the TR-808: a deep bass kick drum, “tinny handclap sounds”, “the ticky snare, the tishy hi-hats (open and closed) and the spacey cowbell“. The Roland TR-808 would eventually be used on more hit records than any other drum machine, and has thus attained an iconic status within the music industry. The machine’s successor was the Roland TR-909.