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This drum machine recreates the 808's features in your browser

Engadget Engadget 10/08/2016 Billy Steele
© Provided by Engadget

We've seen drum machines and synthesizers that are playable in a browser before, but now one of the most iconic instruments has a more detailed web version. The HTML-808 and HTML5 Drum Machine made a virtual TR-808 easy to use with the likes of Chrome, Firefox and others. Debuting this week on 808 Day, the io-808 offers a lot more of the design, knobs, controls and functionality that the real drum machine employs. io-808 is the work of software engineer Vincent Jackson using the Web Audio API to mimic the sounds of the physical 808. Sure, sounds aren't direct from samples, but they still sound quite good, especially for messing around in your cubicle at work.

Jackson also laid out some directions for folks who aren't as familiar with how the 808 or other drum machines work. This means that the io-808 can serve as an educational tool as well as a toy for aspiring musicians who are looking for a bit of nostalgia. He also says that more features are on the way, including a play mode and the ability to adjust the time signature from a straight 4/4 beat.

As Fact Magazine points out, there's are also a web-based version of the TR-303 and an HTML-909 from the creator of the HTML-808. If you want to make some noise with some pretty legendary gear, you can do so free of charge with just your computer. However, if you are looking to grab the physical instruments, Roland's AIRA line revived the 808, 909 and 303 back in 2014 with modern interpretations of the drum machines that range from $400 to $600 each.


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