Designing a piece of gear, an interface, is a musical exercise much as is sketching a written score. It’s particularly apparent in the simple but descriptive “x0x” grid of the step sequencer on the Roland TR-808. Graphic designer Rob Ricketts has made some beautiful, arresting posters that simply provide those patterns. Apologies if you’ve seen these already, but several people sent them into me and I saw them making the rounds, and they’re worth spotting. Now, next: a monome poster? Or what visualization might next be clearest?

Program Your 808 (4 poster series, 2011)

A series of informative posters detailing how some of the most notable drum sequences were programmed using the Roland TR-808 Drum Machine. Each sequence has been analyzed and represented as to allow users to re-programme each sequence, key for key.

(I’ve given up on anything with corners; it may upset readers, but I’m only playing spheres from now on. Practicing “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” But I’m curious what new designs, new patterns, and new visualizations we may see next.)

  • Øivind Idsø

    Ahh … Voodoo Ray by A Guy Called Gerald. How I loved that, eh, Guy. His Automanikk release is still brilliant.

  • Christoph

    Hi. Thank you for that link. I agree with you that creating software devices is a version of writing sheet music. To me it sometimes resembles to buildung instruments too.
    On what point would you draw the line between craft and art?

  • James Husted

    The next thing should be Tenori-On charts for the bass and other parts (color coded per “layer”)

  • xis

    The Site is down, are there more posters or just these two?