Roland Drum Machines

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About Roland Drum Machines

Roland drum machines build on a long legacy of beatboxes. The original Roland drum machine was the TR-77 Rhythm 77. This was launched in 1972, a simple rhythm player that was designed to accompany organ players.
It wasn't until the launch of the CR-78 CompuRhythm in 1978 that Roland drum machines were being used on popular recordings, most notably by Phil Collins and Hall and Oats. In 1980 the TR-808 was launched. This machine alone formed the backbone of the electro sound. It was vital in the formation of house music, techno and freestyle. You've heard this machine in countless songs and if you've ever heard someone in a pop or hip hop song talk about an "808", this is the machine they're referencing.
More recently, Roland have paid tribute to the TR-808 with the TR-8S and TR-08 machines. These faithfully recreate the vibe and sound of the classic TR-808.

Why Should I Choose a Roland Drum Machine?

  • Timeless, high-quality sounds
  • Premium build quality
  • Easy workflow

Frequently Asked Questions about Roland Drum Machines

Question: What are some popular songs that feature Roland drum machines?
Noteable songs that feature the TR-808 include "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston, "Let The Music Play" by Shannon, and "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child. The TR-909 from 1983 can be heard on "Sussudio" by Phil Collins, "Good Life" by Inner City and "Pump Up The Jam" by Technotronic.
Question: Are Roland drum machines analog or digital?
Modern Roland drum machines are digital, but they use Roland's patented Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology to digitally recreate each circuit in their classic machines. This creates an authentic analog sound that is more consistent and reliable than old machines.
Question: How do I program Roland drum machines?
Roland drum machines can be programmed in real time by playing in a rhythm with your fingers. However, it is more common to use the step sequencer, which allows you to place hits from each sound over 16 beats/steps. This is the same process that the original TR-808 used and it's one of the reasons producers love Roland drum machines.