Dance music pioneer and drum machine and synth maker Manfred Fricke has died.
Fricke was the founder of Manfred Fricke Berlin (MFB), a Berlin-based manufacturer best known for the creation of the 301 and 501 drum machines, the Tanzbär series, and the Dominion 1 synth. His work pioneered the creation of synthesizers with unique and original design, and it helped lay the foundation for many synth producers to follow.
The trailblazing synth maker also contributed heavily to the success of tech giants like Apple and IBM, building breakthrough framegrabbers in the latter half of the 1980s. His 1995 MFB-902 was the first video mixer to cost less than 1,000DM, and more recently, Andreas Schneider praised Fricke’s Tanzbär drum machines.
“The Tanzbär, in particular, is considered by many to be their favorite drum machine of the last few years, especially in terms of its amazing sound,” said Schneider.
“On June, 17th around 11am Manfred Fricke from Berlin alias MFB sadly passed away after having had a hard time with cancer for a while already,” Schneider wrote for Stromkult. “He left his wife Gloria and his son Jean-Marcel behind. We are all very sad having lost this partner, friend and father.”