Developed in 1985, the 727 is the latin percussion version of the 707 and is the perfect add-on to any drum machine or sample collection. Like the other TR series, it has defined various genres of dance music with its instantly nostalgic congas, agogos, bongos, timbales, cabasas, whistles & more. But it's really the records that people have made with the 727 that give its kitsch charm meaning to the percussion sounds we've come to love - often appearing alongside the 707, you can find the 727 in everything from Chicago / Acid House, Detroit Techno, 80s Disco / Garage and Balearic and so much more.
The 727 From Mars includes these classic drum machine percussion samples, plus an additional 30 pitches per voice, created by recording each hit onto a 1/4" tape machine, and playing the tape back at perfect semitones. This will give you not only the classic, instantly recognizable 727 samples, but bizarre and unique, tape-tuned drum machine percussion hits.
Like the 707, the 727 is extremely punchy, and to preserve this punch we captured its sounds as cleanly as possible - through an API 512 preamp straight to tape. The tape adds a noticeable analog punch and crunch, so we also captured the raw sounds, straight through our Apogee Symphony converter.
While the original sounds on this machine are pretty perfect, there is only one tuning offered per voice, greatly limiting the unit's flexibility. No matter what you do, you're stuck with "that 727 sound". Don't get me wrong, that sound is amazing, but it's not always what you're looking for. And while you could tune them digitally in your DAW, you'd likely lose the vibe of the hardware along the way.
To remedy this, we recorded each hit to tape at 15 ips along with a C note sine wave. Then, we played the tape back at 30 different speeds (from lower than 7.5 ips to higher than 30 ips), tuning that sine wave with a guitar tuner, to give you 30 perfectly chromatic pitches of every drum. The results mean you can get much more mileage out of these sounds - the following is all 727 From Mars (plus a 707 kick; also included):
The Quijadas, bells and chimes become crazy, elongated, dark percussion hits (add a delay and things get really insane). And the agogos, congas & maracas become less recognizable and more malleable to your own production. You can now harmonically tune any of the percussion without introducing unwanted digital artifacts.
We also created a couple custom hits - cutting into the cabasa to provide an additional, punchier version, and chopping the star chime to create a metallic ride.
With just over 1100 individual hits, this is a massive collection of 727 sounds. To make things a bit easier, we've created (10) 16x hit drum kits. These include: the original 727 sounds, assorted and re-pitched kits, conga / bongo / timbale kits with multiple flam levels, agogo kits, chimes, cabasa kits and more. The step sequencer on the 727 doesn't lend itself well to playing percussion - but these kits are really great for jamming on congas, bells & whistles. Plus they're consistently mapped across all formats.
Like the 808 and 909, the original 727 is a very specific and iconic sound, and while its original drum hits are near perfect, they will always be instantly recognizable. This nostalgia can be really cool surrounded by modern production, but can lack flexibility.
The 30 additional tape pitches of every drum hit in the 727 From Mars is something I've never seen in a sample pack or heard in a record. It allows you to use the 727 in a completely different (your own) context. Surround them with your other drum samples and they really start to shine.
So whether you're after the original, unadulterated classic, or more malleable and unique drum machine percussion, the 727 From Mars is a must have.