Oslo, December 31st 2011
Eccentric engineer and inventor J. Tysseng announced today the completion of his long awaited project, the Machinebeats drum synthesizer.
"I'd almost lost hope that it would ever be finished" the exhausted project manager told, mere hours before the end of the year. "It's already one year late, as the engravings on the bottom says '2010', so it HAD to be completed today".
The drum machine, which is a clone of the classic Roland TR-909 synthesizer, is built on top of the circuit boards adapted by Trevor Page from the original Roland schematics. Putting it all together in such a small box, and designing everything from the control circuitry to the display and input system, as well as doing all the necessary programming, has proven way more time consuming than expected. Indeed, when asked in 2004 when the Machinebeats would be finished, the answer was "maybe next year". This became the standard answer for the next half a decade. "That just makes it even better to publicly announce that it will indeed NOT be next year after all!" says Joakim, before diving back into making cool grooves on his beat machine.
So what is the secret behind success in a project like this? "Dedication, curiosity, fun and most importantly, sticking with the plan" says the proud constructor. "Everything - aluminum panels, display window, the powder coated steel box etc - is based on an initial 3D drawing made way back in 2004. Without that detailed plan, getting everything to match up would have been a nightmare". And indeed, looking at the sketch today, it looks remarkably similar to the end result.
And what about the final cost, you may ask. Will taking this route be cheaper than buying the original, which with its price of more than NOK 10000 is out of reach for many a poor musician? "Unfortunately not", mr. Tysseng says, refusing to tell us the real total, "not even if you exclude the cost of the countless hours it has taken. It is more likely that you could buy at least two of the original for the price of this one. But where's the fun in that?"
As his biggest project so far has finally reached its end, what will the DIY artist do in the future? "Oh, it's not like I will have any problems filling my spare time. I have at least two new projects going on, and an even bigger one in the planning stages" he replies, blinking.
With this in mind we leave the inventor, and will certainly keep our eyes open for cool new stuff from the amazing little lab in the small house on top of the bigger house.