The TR-909 was the first drum machine with MIDI and due to the limitations of mid '80s technology it blended analog kick and tom drums with 6-bit digital samples for the hi-hats and cymbals. This hybrid approach meant that, even back in the early '80s, the TR-909 sounded unique. While other drum machines aimed for realism, the 909 found its true calling within the burgeoning techno scene of the late '80s, adopted by the pioneering electronic producers of Detroit and Chicago. Where the TR-808 was all about warmth and width, the 909 was all about precision and power, with clattering, metallic hi-hats, pummeling tom drums and that rib-cracking kick drum that became the beating heart of house and techno, as strong today as it was back then. The 909 is a cornerstone of electronic music, an integral part of the dance floor's DNA. To some, it's just a drum machine—for others, it's the pulse of youth culture; the only sound you hear when the lights go down.