HammerHead, the classic 1997 software drum machine, seems about to get a reboot

The year: 1997. Drum machines as software are still largely unheard of. Developer Bram Bos dives into the water early with a tool called HammerHead. And now, that legendary creation may get a second lease on life.

Bram Bos has been prolific in essentially every age of software instruments, from HammerHead to the smartelectronix plug-in era to today’s Ruismaker instruments for iOS. But HammerHead seems to have a strangely cult following, 24 years later.

Maybe it’s because it was free – and a first taste of software production for a lot of broke 90s music kids. Maybe it’s the unique, simple, flat interface – complete with dedicated distortion controls and faders, right up-front. Maybe it’s history – only Propellerhead’s ReBirth could lay claim to the “first drum machine” crown quite as readily, and my recollection is that Bram beat his Swedish rivals to release just slightly.

Maybe it’s that badass shark logo. (Merch, Bram?)

Whatever the reason, HammerHead seems ready for a comeback, like re-releasing an early Zelda game.

And it seems the shark is … back in the … water you know honestly I feel like if I still worked for Keyboard or something either the editor or I would come up with some stupid shark reference here and frankly I’ve got nothing.

But yeah, on Bram’s Twitter:

For anyone expecting 90s Windows fader widgets, that seems not to be here. Instead, it sounds like we might just get a terrific, playable drum machine for the iPad. And that sounds pretty great.

Here’s a look at the original:

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Excellent. Can’t wait to get my jaws around this o… no, see, that still isn’t it. Something something shark blah shark shark drum machine watch this space for the actual availability announcement and crank up Distortion and Feedback.

Visit the developer:

https://ruismaker.com

Bonus: here is a pretty authentic, totally unofficial recreation of the original software as a free Web app:

http://www.threechords.com/hammerhead/