Documentary about Roland’s legendary drum machine now available on Apple Music

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Are you an Apple Music subscriber? If not, you’re missing out on some cool documentaries about music produced exclusively for Apple Music fans. As promised, Apple Music subscribers can now watch DJ Zane Lowe-narrated “808: The Movie”, marking the Cupertino company’s first original documentary.

Created by You Know Films in association with Atlantic Films, “808: The Movie” is all about the legendary programmable drum machine from Roland that’s largely responsible for the recognizable rhythms and sounds of the 1980s and 1990s.

“Discover the iconic records, artists and producers influenced by the 808’s unique beats and find out the secret behind its sudden discontinuation,” teases Apple.

Some of the artists and producers interviewed in the documentary include Afrika Bombaataa, Pharrell Williams, Rick Rubin, Phil Collins, Beastie Boys, Questlove, Lil’ Jon, Diplo, Goldie, David Guetta, Richie Hawtin, Felix Da Housecat and others.

Here’s a blurb from iTunes:

The Roland TR-808 drum machine was intended to give studio musicians a simple tool for making backbeats. Instead, it kickstarted a revolution—one whose story is captured in full by the documentary ‘808’.

Beastie Boys flipped the 808’s icy beats in reverse to make ‘Paul Revere’; Shannon’s freestyle pop breakout “Let the Music Play” is propelled by its gently swung kicks and snares; and Africa Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force’s electro classic ‘Planet Rock’ thrives on its throbbing thuds and crisp hi-hats.

The TR808’s legacy (“TR” stands for “Transistor Rhythm”) cannot be overstated so watch this documentary if you’re subscribed to Apple Music and see why top producers adopted Roland’s machine even though it does not sound like a real drum kit at all.

Watch “808: The Movie” on Apple Music now.

The documentary will be available for download or rent on the iTunes Movie store on December 16. You can pre-order “808: The Movie” from the iTunes Store for $16.99. The official soundtrack can be purchased on iTunes or streamed on Apple Music.

If you’re into music production, you’re wholeheartedly recommended to watch this related video in which rapper Carnage explains how he made his 808 louder.

You may want to check out other music documentaries from Apple.

One of the first programmable drum machines, Roland’s TR-808 Rhythm Composer AKA the “808” was unveiled in the early 1980s. At $1,995, it was significantly more affordable than comparable drum machines at the time, like the $5,000 Linn LM-1.