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The secret becomes a fact when Dave Rossum, the original creator of the E-mu SP-1200, discloses that a reissue is in the works.

SP-1200 Rossum Drum Machine

The prospect of an SP-1200 reissue has been discussed since Rossum Electro-Music issued several refurbished machines earlier this year. According to Dave Rossum, it was during the examination of these antique machines that they concluded they could duplicate the original circuitry using the same components (with a few deviations) to reproduce the sound as faithfully as possible. This is as close to the original as anybody can ever get.

There are a few changes, but Rossum was extremely careful not to modify anything that might impair the machine’s sound. The recording time has been increased from 10 to 20 seconds due to memory expansion. The original was always capable of supporting 20 seconds of sampling, but the cost of memory was too expensive at the time of creation in 1984. An SD card port has taken the place of the 3.5′′ floppy drive. If you have an original SP-1200 and wish to transfer your samples, you’ll find a floppy disk in the package that will update the OS to enable for transfer via MIDI connection from your old SP-1200 to the new one.


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On the rear of the SP-1200, we discover several new filtered and unfiltered channel outputs, as well as a sample input monitoring function. There are the filter settings that we saw added to the refurbished models, which offer you slider control over the cutoff and resonance on channels 1 and 2. Also, the parts for the original SMM2044 filter are no longer accessible, so Dave built the SSI2144 IC, which replicates the analog circuit using modern IC processing and packaging while keeping its distinctive flavor.

The website has only been open for a day, but it is already taking preorders for the third manufacturing run, which Rossum expects to deliver in the spring of 2022. They cost an eye-watering $3999, and the fact that Rossum is only allowing two per client is astonishing.

Links of interest

Rossum Electro-Music
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Author Isaac Elejalde

Born in Maracaibo and based in Berlin, Isaac Elejalde established himself as one of the most prolific producers on the Venezuelan scene today.

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