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Roland TR-08 - The 808 Reissue We've Been Waiting For

by Richard Blenkinsop. Posted on 2017-08-08 09:44:53

To say that the Roland TR-808 drum machine had an effect on music in the 80s would be a monstrous understatement. Though it was met by an underwhelming reaction at first, the 808 slowly became rife within the charts at the time. If you don't know what it sounds like, listen to Sexual Healing by Marvin Gaye. The 808 was also big with a lot of the hip-hop guys too - NWA, Public Enemy and Beastie Boys were just some of the guys using them.

Following on from TB03, VP03 and TR09 reissues, Roland have announced a much anticipated reissue of the TR-808 - the Roland TR-08. They describe it as an 'obsessively detailed and faithful replica' of the legendary drum machine. It's in a more compact and modern casing meaning that the new Roland TR-08 is much easier to carry around with you than the original - it's even got a built-in speaker so you can craft beats on the go.

The 808, whilst didn't really sound like an organic acoustic drum kit, did have a unique sound that people grew to love. The new Roland TR08 has all the same sounds that you would expect. Even the layout and styling is much the same. The original created the sound via hardware; this new version has Roland's unique technology on board - Analogue Circuit Behaviour (ACB) - this models how every single component of the original behaves to create a faithful reissue.

There are a few updates on this reissue - it's got the usual 16 steps but also has an additional 16 sub-steps for detailed drum rolls and hi-hat fills. You can also tap in your drums in real-time without having to change modes, plus it's got MIDI and USB connectivity, and you can use it alongside other instruments like the TB-03, SH-01A, or modular gear.

Whilst there's no shortage of 808 samples built into modern DAWs, there's nothing like the real thing. An original 808 will set you back a few grand - this reissue; a few hundred. The new Roland TR-08 faithfully recreates the legendary boom and sizzle of the most hallowed drum machine of all time. It's portable and it's been updated to make it more practical for modern musicians. You can hear the 808 sound in a lot of current songs so we expect the TR-08 to do really well; a must-have for studios of any size.

Roland TR-08

Reissue of legendary TR-808 drum machine


By Richard Blenkinsop for Reidys. Posted on 2017-08-08 09:44:53