Roland TR-8 Drum Machine (TR8)
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Proving immensely popular as soon as they were released, Roland's AIRA range in it's distinctive black and green livery ushered in a new chapter for the company by looking directly... read more
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Manufacturer's ID: TR8
What we say:
Proving immensely popular as soon as they were released, Roland's AIRA range in it's distinctive black and green livery ushered in a new chapter for the company by looking directly to their club-friendly 80s past in order to reshape the present and dictate the sounds of the future. The star of the show was undoubtedly the TR-08, Roland's loving update of their massively iconic and genre-defining drum machine, the TR-808.
The sounds of the 808 are simply essential for all producers: such is the impact of these sounds, they have become a touchstone for every echelon of electronic music production. The kick, snare and hat sound is instantly recognisable. Now, thanks to Roland's proprietary ACB (Analogue Circuit Behaviour) technology, you can enjoy these same sounds, modelled perfectly in sound, character and expression, within a unit that, although reminiscent of the original 808, brings it bang up to date with new features and connectivity. It also includes sounds from Roland's other equally legendary drum unit, the TR-909, too!
Each drum part has it's own controls for things like Tune and Decay. Some have a few more and all of the sounds can be subbed out for at least one other variety. For example, there are snare sounds available form the 808, 909 plus a couple of others. Use the simple step sequencer to quickly built beats and then apply effects via the glitchy, low-fi Scatter control to really break into your beats and give them a brutal cyber edge.
There are two assignable analogue outputs and full MIDI over USB for integration into your rig. Try hooking one of these up with Roland's MX-1 performance mixer and some other bits of equipment to really hear some sonic fireworks going off! Incredible. It's a new classic.
Unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in the 1980’s, the TR-808 and TR-909 produce arguably the most influential drum sounds in modern music. Not only have they appeared on thousands of dance tracks over the course of three decades, but they have helped define the sound of entire musical genres. From Rap and House to Techno and Trance – these two drum machines have left an indelible mark on the art and culture of music.
With the TR-8, we have obsessively analysed and faithfully re-created every detail and nuance of the analogue circuitry of these legendary rhythm machines. The boom and snap of the 808. The thud of the 909. The robotic click of an 808 rim shot or a classic 909 snare roll. It’s all here. Not content with mere recreations however, we have enhanced these classic instruments with capabilities far beyond the original units.
Tune and Decay knobs are now present on every instrument and the Bass and Snare drum modules have dedicated “Attack” and “Comp” knobs allowing for a great variety of tones – from subtle ambient percussion to pounding dance grooves. Per-step effects and the massively addictive “Scatter” function take things into entirely new territory.
With the authentic tone and character of the original units and with new sound tweaking capabilities inspired by legions of users, the TR-8 breathes new life into the sounds we all know and love.
Just like the original
- Full reproduction of the original TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines based on original design spec sheets and detailed analogue circuit analysis of various specimens including Roland’s own pristine units
- Newly developed Analogue Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology allows part-by-part analyses and faithful recreation of tonality and behaviour including the smooth variations of tone that occur when you work the controls of each instrument
- Obsessive attention to detail - like reproducing the original TR’s unique variations in tone that occur when multiple instruments are entered in accented steps
- Build dream kits made up of different instruments from the TR-808 and TR-909.
- 16 stunning kits made up of 11 instrument types.
- Control the intensity of the Accent function with a dedicated knob.
- Per-step Gate Reverb and Delay effects with dedicated, real-time knobs.
- Mix sources connected to the external inputs
- Built-in Side Chain function creates rhythmic ducking effects on external Inputs with per-step control.
- Two assignable analogue outputs and full parallel outputs via USB for total mixing flexibility.
Make no mistake - the TR-8 is an instrument, carefully designed from the ground-up, to be played. Every control has a solid, predictable feel with each drum instrument having robust, “playable” faders. Numerous lighted knobs and RGB-lit buttons give real-time performance feedback and a striking appearance on stage.
Pattern creation is creative and intuitive using an evolved version of the TR-REC method which originated in the TR-808 and eventually became the standard for electronic rhythm programing. Based on detailed analysis of the original TR-808, the TR-REC behaviour has been faithfully modeled in the TR-8. But the TR-8 goes well beyond the original, allowing you to seamlessly switch between programming and performance modes and to introduce lots of groovy rhythmic variations – from subtle snare fills to total glitch meltdowns.
Just like the original
- Faithful TR-REC behaviour for pattern creation
- Large tempo control knob and a Fine adjustment knob for total tempo control.
- 16-step sequencer allows you to switch between variations [A] and [B] as well as continuous playback
- Play drum instruments and record to steps in real-time
- Scatter lets you freak and tweak your grooves with real-time control and perfect sync
- 16 per-step pads with bold, full-colour LEDs clearly show the current status
- Real-time pattern creation up to 32 steps
- Change the pattern step count seamlessly and on the fly
- Rec/Play modes have been eliminated enabling seamless pattern making and performance
- Seamless switch between step input and playing pads in real-time to create patterns
- Real-time play of 4 different types of rolls to suit your beat
- Quickly Mute/Unmute individual instruments during performance or production
- Shuffle function from original TR-909 now has a knob for continuous real-time control
- Pattern randomising function induces creativity and brings spontaneity to live performance
- 7 segment, 4 character LED display shows the current tempo and has Tap function
- Pattern copy makes it easy to create pattern variations
Scatter is a unique performance function that gives you detailed real-time control over variations in your patterns and any incoming external input signal. Scatter can reverse, glitch, gate, truncate, stutter and perform all manner of rhythmic variations - from subtle to extreme - and all in perfect sync.
Pick from 10 different types of Scatter and smoothly adjust the intensity or “Scatter Depth” with the large comfortable dial.
Seamlessly switch between Scatter patterns and quickly turn Scatter on and off for cool variations when and where you want them.
A few more things
You can connect the TR-8 to your computer via its USB jack to send and receive Audio and MIDI data.
The TR-8 can receive MIDI clock information to sync with external devices including other AIRA series units.
The TR-8 is designed to work seamlessly and look great with other products in the AIRA series.
- User Drum Kits: 16
- User Patterns: 16
- Steps per 1 measure: 1-16 steps x 2 (Variation A/B)
- Tempo: 40--300
- Instruments & Controls
- BASS DRUM: LEVEL, TUNE, ATTACK, COMP, DECAY, INST SELECT
- SNARE DRUM: LEVEL, TUNE, SNAPPY, COMP, DECAY, INST SELECT
- LOW TOM, MID TOM, HIGH TOM, RIM SHOT, HAND CLAP, CLOSED HIHAT, OPEN HIHAT, CRASH CYMBAL, RIDE CYMBAL: LEVEL, TUNE, DECAY, INST SELECT
- Effects & Controls
- ACCENT: LEVEL, STEP
- REVERB: LEVEL, TIME, GATE, STEP
- DELAY: LEVEL, TIME, FEEDBACK, STEP
- EXTERNAL IN: LEVEL, SIDE CHAIN, STEP
- TR-REC, PATTERN SELECT, INST PLAY, INST REC, DRUM KIT SEL, DRUM INST SEL
- VOLUME knob
- SCATTER knob
- TEMPO knob
- FINE knob
- SHUFFLE knob
- PADS: 16
- MODE buttons: 6
- CLEAR button
- VARIATION buttons: A, B
- SCALE button
- LAST STEP button
- START/STOP button
- SCATTER ON button
- SCATTER DEPTH button
- TAP button
- Power Switch (Rear)
- Display: 7 segments, 4 characters (LED)
- Effects: REVERB, DELAY, SIDE CHAIN
- Presets: 10
- Nominal Input Level: -10 dBu
- Input Impedance: 100 k ohms
- Nominal Output Level: -10/+4 dBu (Selectable)
- Output Impedance
- MIX OUT, ASSIGNABLE OUT: 1 k ohm
- PHONES: 130 ohms
- PHONES jack: 1/4-inch stereo phone type
- MIX OUT (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
- ASSIGNABLE OUT (A, B) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
- EXTERNAL IN (L, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
- USB port: USB type B (Audio, MIDI)
- DC IN jack
- USB: Audio, MIDI
- Power Supply: AC adaptor
- Current Draw: 1000 mA
- 400 (W) x 260 (D) x 65 (H) mm
- 15-3/4 (W) x 10-1/4 (D) x 2-9/16 (H) inches
- 1.9 kg
- 4 lbs 4 oz
- Owner's manual
- Leaflet "USING THE UNIT SAFELY"
- AC adaptor