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More Cowbell: A Physically-Informed, Circuit-Bendable, Digital Model of the TR-808 Cowbell

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We present an analysis of the cowbell voice circuit from the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer. A digital model based on this analysis accurately emulates the original. Through the use of physical and behavioral models of each sub-circuit, this model supports accurate emulation of circuit-bent extensions to the voice's original behavior (including architecture-level alterations and component substitution). Some of this behavior is very complicated and is inconvenient or impossible to capture accurately through black box modeling or structured sampling. The band pass filter sub-circuit is treated as a case study of how to apply Mason's gain formula to finding the continuous-time transfer function of an analog circuit.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society