I hate starting off an article (or headline) with a negative... but we feel it's important to set the record straight. BAM BAM, the awesome mechanical sequencer by Benny Hofer was featured today by Electronic Beats with the leading headline asking if this is the world's first mechanical sequencer. We're simply replying and acknowledging this piece of music hardware is amazing regardless.
But don't take my word for it. Watch the video below which includes an interview with the creator of BAM BAM and watch it in action. You might not be ready to retire your Arturia Beatsep Pro or Korg SQ-1 just yet, but at least you can marvel at the musical mechanical madness here, as well as get a full rundown of its components.
At first glance BAM BAM may remind you of PERC. The later isn't a sequencer in itself, but rather a highly sophisticated and innovative mechanical drummer system that provides a collection of beaters which can play a real, physical drumkit, controlled from MIDI (or analog CV/Gate) triggers. Read our full review of PERC here.
There's other mechanical sequencers in existence too. Casper Electronics (they partnered with Bastl Instruments on the cool bitRanger) began playing and experimenting with mechanical sequencers back in 2002 and has written up his experiences here. Back in September 2016, we featured the Koka Beat Machine 2. A more wonderous, magical looking machine you'll be heard pressed to find!
So, no. BAM BAM isn't the first. But, it didn't claim to be and is an inspiring mechnical sequencer regardless.