What drum machine did Def Leppard use?

Def Leppard, the legendary British rock band, is renowned for their anthemic hits and groundbreaking sound. While their early albums prominently featured a traditional drum kit played by drummer Rick Allen, the band also integrated drum machines into their music during the 1980s. In this article, we’ll delve into the drum machines that played a significant role in shaping Def Leppard’s distinctive sound.

  1. LinnDrum LM-1

The LinnDrum LM-1, introduced in 1982, is one of the most iconic drum machines of its time. Its realistic sampled drum sounds set a new standard for electronic percussion. Def Leppard, like many bands of the era, recognized the potential of the LinnDrum to enhance their sound. It was used notably in their album “Pyromania” (1983) and played a crucial role in defining the album’s polished and radio-friendly sound.

  1. Simmons SDS-V

The Simmons SDS-V was a pioneering electronic drum kit that gained popularity in the 1980s. While not a traditional drum machine, it represented a significant leap in electronic percussion technology. Def Leppard incorporated the Simmons SDS-V into their setup, particularly during the recording of their album “Hysteria” (1987). The distinctive electronic drum sounds, combined with Rick Allen’s acoustic drumming, contributed to the album’s innovative sound.

  1. Oberheim DMX

The Oberheim DMX, released in 1981, was another influential drum machine of the era. Known for its punchy and dynamic drum sounds, it found favor with many musicians, including those in the rock genre. While there is no definitive confirmation of Def Leppard using the Oberheim DMX, it was a prevalent choice among rock bands during the 1980s, and its impact on the overall sound of the era is significant.

  1. Roland TR-808 and TR-909

While not explicitly confirmed for Def Leppard, it’s worth noting that the Roland TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines were widely used in the 1980s and had a substantial influence on the music of that era. Their distinct analog drum sounds were embraced by many bands, and it’s possible that Def Leppard may have incorporated them into their music as well.


Def Leppard’s use of drum machines in their music marked a pivotal shift in their sound during the 1980s. The integration of electronic percussion alongside traditional drums allowed them to explore new sonic territories and contributed to the distinctiveness of their albums from that era. While specific details about the models used may not always be explicitly documented, it’s clear that drum machines played a significant role in shaping Def Leppard’s iconic sound and influencing the landscape of rock music in the 1980s.

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