Skip to main content

Nothing Sounds Quite Like an 808 - Dr. Kurt James Werner




1:00PM - 2:00PM


Sonic Lab


Free – all are welcome

Dr. Kurt James Werner

The Roland TR-808 kick drum is among the most iconic sounds in all of popular music. Analogue drum machines like the TR-808 produce simulacra of percussive sounds using electrical 'voice circuits’. In this seminar, Dr. Werner will present a close reading of the TR-808 kick drum's voice circuit and a study of its conceptual antecedents, highlighting the contributions of hobbyists and hackers, circuit theorists, and commercial instrument designers.

Dr. Kurt James Werner has been a Lecturer in Audio at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) of Queen's University Belfast since early 2017. His research sits at the intersection of Virtual Analog (especially theoretical aspects of Wave Digital Filters), computer modeling of circuit-bent instruments, and the history of music technology. He received his Ph.D. in Computer-Based Music Theory and Acoustics from Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA).