The Wurlitzer Sideman

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    Description
    The Rudolph Wurlitzer Company (Wurlitzer) released the first commercially produced drum machine called the Sideman in 1959. It was an "electro-mechanical" drum machine that offered a choice of 12 electronically generated predefined rhythm patterns with variable tempos. "The sound source was a series of vacuum tubes which created 10 preset electronic drum sounds.

    The drum sounds were 'sequenced' by a rotating disc with metal contacts across its face, spaced in a certain pattern to generate parts of a particular rhythm. Combinations of these different sets of rhythms and drum sounds created popular rhythmic patterns of the day, e.g. waltzes, fox trots etc. These combinations were selected by a rotary knob on the top of the Sideman box. The tempo of the patterns was controlled by a slider that increased the speed of rotation of the disc.

    The Sideman had a panel of 10 buttons for manually triggering drum sounds, and a remote player to control the machine while playing from an organ keyboard. The Sideman was housed in a wooden cabinet that contained the sound generating circuitry, amplifier and speaker.
    Images
    Architecture
    Type: Analog
    Pattern Engine
    Programming: Presets
    Sounds Per Pad
    Sounds Per Pad: 1
    Sources: Synthesizer
    Polyphony & Tuning
    Polyphony: 10
    Timbrality: 10
    Tuning: Standard
    Modes: Polyphonic
    Storage
    Patterns User: 1
    Patterns Preset: 12
    Case
    Case: Console (stand alone)
    Controls: Buttons, Knobs, Sliders
    MIDI / Sync / Trigger
    Audio Outputs: Mono Out
    Audio Output Notes: Has a built in amp and speaker
    Used: $100
    Production
    Released: 1959
    Manuals & Documents

    Shopping
    YouTube Videos
    References & Sources


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