Tadao Kikumoto

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Tadao Kikumoto is Roland's senior managing director and head of their R&D center.[1] He designed the TB-303 bass synthesizer and the TR-909 drum machine.[2] He was also the chief engineer of the Roland TR-808.[3]

The TR-808's cymbal sound was created when Kikumoto accidentally spilled tea onto the breadboard of an 808 prototype. According to Don Lewis: "He turned it on and got this pssh sound — it took them months to figure out how to reproduce it, but that ended up being the crash cymbal in the 808."[3]

Tadao Kikumoto's invention of the TB-303 in 1981 has been listed by The Guardian in 2011 as one of the 50 key events in the history of dance music, for its key role in the foundation of acid house. The article described it as one of the "first boxes to define the sound of electronic dance music."[4]


  1. ^ Kakehashi, Ikutaro; Robert Olsen (2002). I Believe in Music. Hal Leonard. p. 222. ISBN 0-634-03783-8. 
  2. ^ Hsieh, Christine. "Electronic Musician: Tadao Kikumoto". Retrieved 2010-01-08. 
  3. ^ a b Wolbe, Trent (30 January 2013). "How the 808 drum machine got its cymbal, and other tales from music's geeky underbelly". The Verge. Retrieved 16 January 2017. 
  4. ^ Vine, Richard (July 15, 2011). "Tadao Kikumoto invents the Roland TB-303". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved June 29, 2012.