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Metasonix D-1000 Vacum Tube Drum Machine

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The first drum machine made with vacuum tubes since the Wurlitzer Sideman of 1959.

Unlike the Sideman, the Metasonix D-1000 is a "modern" primitive device--with plenty of inputs, outputs, and flexibility.

Even though it has only four drum sounds -- two tunable drums, a tunable "snare" drum (harder sounding than the others), and a cymbal -- control voltage inputs give great flexibility.

Each of the tunable drums is made from a vacuum tube ringing bandpass filter, and can be tuned to sound from below 20 Hz to over 2 kHz. They are also tunable with external control voltages, allowing complex patterns to be built up with external CV or pulse sources. Resonance of each filter circuit is set by internal trimpots. The cymbal sound is an extremely primitive circuit, with white noise gated by a pentode tube. The cymbal's attack is knob-variable and CV variable, from a sharp click to a soft "whoosh". The four outputs mix to a single tube preamp that allows for overdriving via the mix-level controls.

In keeping with the primitive nature of the soundmaking section, the pattern sequencer is extremely simple. Unlike early drumboxes, we won't subject you to preset nonsense like "waltz", "foxtrot", "swing" or the like. Instead, there is a single 8-pulse sequence with separate enable switches for each drum sound--set a toggle switch up to get the sound at that point, down for silence. Great for house, hardcore or other simple 4/4 patterns. The internal clock is settable from 60 BPM to over 1000 BPM.

There is also a "roll" clock signal built-in, to generate a faster drumroll on any drum sound by pressing a button (speed is preset with an internal trimpot). If you don't like the internal sequencer, there are separate trigger inputs for each of the four sounds (the trigger pulse must be 0 to +5v, and less than 40 mS long). These trigger inputs operate in parallel with the built-in sequencer, so the D-1000's sounds may be triggered by its internal sequence and external pulses at the same time. As a bonus, the three tunable drums can also be used as tunable bandpass filters, by feeding a line audio signal to each trigger input.

Ample inputs and outputs: mix output (with overdriveable tube preamp), separate outputs for each drum sound, external trigger inputs for each drum sound, and a main clock output (0-5v) for slaving external generators to the internal clock.


4 Drum Sounds: 2 Tunable Drums, 1 Tunable Snare, and a Cymbal
Voltage Controlled Parameters
Pattern Sequencer
Clock ranges from 60 BPM to 1000 BPM
Roll clock signal for drum rolls
Trigger Inputs
Overdriveable Tube Preamp
Mix Output
Individual Drum Outputs
Main Clock Output


Type: Analog
Sound Engine: Subtractive
Pattern Engine
Programming: Real Time
Pattern Notes:
+Pattern Sequencer
+ Single 8-pulse sequence with separate enable switches
+Clock ranges from 60 BPM to 1000 BPM
+Roll clock signal for drum rolls
Sounds Per Pad
Sounds Per Pad: 1
Sources: Synthesizer
Filters: Band Pass, Resonance
Polyphony & Tuning
Polyphony: 4
Timbrality: 4
Tuning: Standard
Modes: Polyphonic
Patterns User: 1
Patterns Preset: 1
Case: Desktop
Controls: Filter Pedal, Knobs, Modulation 1/8" Jacks, Switches
Display Type: LED
MIDI / Sync / Trigger
Audio Outputs: 1/4" Phone Jack, 1/8" Phone Jack, Mono Out
Audio Output Count: 6
CV Ports: CV IN, Trigger In
Power: 12-16 V
Used: $1,500
Released: 2010
Manuals & Documents

Product Sites & Reviews
Company Product Sites:
[+] www.metasonix.com
References & Sources

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