As part of Red Bull Music Academy’s 20th edition, the company has built the world’s largest step sequencer, and placed it outside of iconic Berlin club Tresor for anyone to try out.
Called the RBMA-20, the sequencer was designed and built by the Berlin-based creative studio Neulant van Exel, and took 30 technicians five weeks to assemble. Red Bull says it is the largest drum machine ever built and is fully functional. It’s physically massive, at about 33 feet long, 7.2 feet high, and weighs over 1,300 pounds.
Across the interface are 427 knobs and faders, four analog drum machines, a modular synthesizer, and a sampling unit. Red Bull hasn’t said much more about what powers the RBMA-20, but musician Connor Crowe got a peek at what’s under the hood and posted a few photos to Twitter.
The RBMA-20’s synth is a Doepfer A-100 analog modular synthesizer system, first introduced in 1995. It’s made up of several A-111-2 oscillators, A-118 noise and random voltage generators, A-120 low pass filters, A-140 envelope generators, and much, much more. As for those drum machines — it’s a mix of new and old units including a Jomox Alpha Base from 2017, and a Sequential Circuits DrumTraks from the ‘80s (considered a classic piece of equipment because of its extensive and easy editing capabilities).
Unfortunately, yesterday was the last day the sequencer will be at Tresor. Red Bull Music Academy has not said if there are further plans to station the RBMA-20 elsewhere, but hopefully, it will reappear.