24 Feb 2010

SIEL MDP40 Very Rare 80s...for sale!

VerY Rare SIEL MDP 40 fully working in great condition runs off 6 aa batteries or 12v PSU included but a euro plug. Has a number of cool presets and all drum sounds can be triggered via midi.

This drum machine was release under a few different names Keytek and Suzuki here is a little write up i found.

Absolutely nothing is known about this very rare and obscure digital drum machine. In fact, all I can do in this situation is quote from Dutch donor, Bert Koorengevel:

"I am a proud owner of this little monster of mediocracy, a Keytek MDP40 drum computer. I bought it used around 1990, without a box or manual.

A Google search on "Keytek MDP40" returns no hits at all - I hope Hollow Sun can save it from oblivion!

As I understand it, Keytek was the company in between when Siel folded and Roland took over the remains.

MDP stands for 'MIDI Digital Percussion' and 40 is the number of pattern presets. It was built in Italy around the mid 80s and features 12 different sounds which take up around 128Kb when sampled in 16bits. The sounds are bass drum, snare, rimshot, tom, closed & open hihat, cymbal, handclap, shaker & cowbell. It's not velocity sensitive but does have low-velocity versions (intended as brush or for variation?) of the bass, snare & closed hihat.

One could play drums manually on the device itself or by MIDI In. The latter is how I do it since the switches for base & snare drum have worn down. The lousy bouncing contacts result in 3 or 5 shots instead of one!

Some will describe it sounding "cheezy" but others just can't get enough of that. Fact is that with General MIDI songs I find it sounds better when drums are played by this device instead of any soundblaster wavetable. I still use the sounds of this this device in my own songs, routed through a diversity of effects of course (compressor, EQ, pitch, reverb, delay, etc.)."

I am extremely grateful for this rare donation - it's not a Linn (that's for sure!) but it does have a certain lo-fi charm and appeal that could find a place in many genres of modern music.

This is a little gem made all the more attractive because of its obscurity and it's unlikely that any other sample library features this rare little beatbox!


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