Turn it up to 11: tech's contributions to rock and roll

Many of rock's greatest moments hinge on shifts in music technology. Here is a chronology of some of the highlights.

The Roland TR-808 Drum Machine



Drum machines became especially popular in rock music during the 1980s, but they never fully replaced the live session drummer.

Prince and one-hit wonders Men Without Hats used the Linn LM-1; the first drum machine to incorporate digital samples, it cost about $5000.

Roland also produced the analog TR-808, which cost $1000. Though the TR-808 didn't see much action during its initial 1980-1984 run, its price plummeted as newer drum machines came out, making it perfect for budding but budget-minded hip-hop artists like the Beastie Boys in their 1986 debut album "Licensed To Ill". The TR-808's sound lives on today in albums such as Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak.

Photo: Courtesy of Eriq

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