(December 12, 2014) 7X7-TR8 Drum Machine Expansion announced.
(July 25, 2014) TR-8 System Program Ver. 1.10 Now Available!
The TR-8 is a performance rhythm machine that melds the legendary sound and vibe of the TR-808 and TR-909 with features and functions for the modern age.
Genre-defining sounds and classic effects. Unprecedented live pattern manipulation. Solid, intuitive performance controls.
It’s the TR...
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, realtime knobs
- Mix sources connected to the External Inputs
- Built-in Side Chain function creates rhythmic ducking and gating 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 realtime 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 programming. Based on detailed analysis of the original TR-808, the TR-REC behaviour has been faithfully modelled 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 realtime control and perfect sync
- 16 per-step pads with bold, full-color LEDs clearly show the current status
- Realtime 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 realtime to create patterns
- Realtime play of 4 different types of rolls (8th, 16th, VARI 1, VARI 2)
- Quickly Mute/Unmute individual instruments during performance or production
- Shuffle function from original TR-909 now has a knob for continuous realtime control
- Pattern randomizing 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
What is Scatter?
Scatter is a unique performance function that gives you detailed realtime 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.
What's new in the TR-8 Version 1.1 Update
Backup and Restore
Manage your kit and pattern library with easy backup and restore over USB.
- Instrument Levels Customize kits by adjusting the gain of each instrument to suit your individual style.
- Better Rolls
Rolls are now easier to engage, offer more control, and sound better overall.
- Scatter Latch On/Off Alternate unlatched trigger mode engages only while “On” button is held down.
- Scatter Cycle Scatter will enable for one cycle and then automatically disengage.
- Sync Reset Get back in the groove by instantly starting a pattern from the top.
Improved Editing - Pattern Lock Lock the contents of a pattern so you can experiment without losing your original groove.
- Nonstop A/B Pattern Editing Now you can edit both A and B parts of a pattern without stopping the sequencer.
Improved MIDI - Modes Local On/Off and MIDI Controller modes determine how MIDI data is sent and received.
- Accent Velocity MIDI velocity is variable by the accent setting.
- Kit Select Select kits using MIDI control change messages.
- Scatter Scatter On/Off, Type and Depth can be controlled via MIDI control change.
- External Record Record patterns in real-time from external MIDI devices.
- MIDI Off Disable sending of all MIDI messages.
- Ignore Play/Stop Toggle whether or not TR-8 responds to PLAY/STOP messages.
- Effect Control Control effects using MIDI control change messages.
Audio & Video
Afrika Bambaataa on Aira
The godfather of hip hop, master of records, the greatest DJ on Earth. No one deserves these titles more than Afrika Bambaataa. While on a visit from his native New York, Afrika popped over to Roland towers where we interviewed him about his life. Be sure to look out for his TR-8 and VT-3 on future gigs and recordings, as well as his appearance in the new 808 movie.
A short tutorial on the TR-8 Rhythm Performer.
AIRA TR-8: First Look
Point Blank explores the new performance drum machine the AIRA TR-8. Point Blank is based in London, the home of electronic music, and has been voted 'Best Music Production and DJ School' by DJ Mag. You can learn from pro producers either online or in their state-of-the-art studios in Hoxton. (www.pointblanklondon.com)
AIRA TR-8: Multiple Outputs
Point Blank demonstrate how to use multiple outputs on the Roland TR-8 using the USB port. Point Blank is based in London, the home of electronic music, and has been voted 'Best Music Production and DJ School' by DJ Mag. You can learn from pro producers either online or in their state-of-the-art studios in Hoxton. (www.pointblanklondon.com)
AIRA in Miami
The Roland crew hit Miami Music Week with AIRA, and we thought we’d show you some of what happened. We shared AIRA with a lot of big artists, and, as you can see, it caused quite a stir and blew a lot of minds.
With roots in the very origins of electronic music, AIRA is the new series of products designed to meet the evolving needs of today's electronic musicians.
Movement Detroit 2014
The Roland AIRA crew headed to Movement in Detroit—a city integral to the history of electronic music and to our history as a company. AIRA gear was in lots of the performance rigs, keeping the music thumping and the crowds jumping.
On Stage with Example
Roland caught up with Kai Smith and Andy Sheldrake of Example during Ultra Festival in Croatia.
Artists First Contact
Groundbreaking artists talk about their experiences with Roland instruments and make first contact with the AIRA gear.
Artists First Contact - Todd Terry and Kenny Dope
Dance music legends Todd Terry and Kenny Dope check out the AIRA TR-8, TB-3, and VT-3.
Artists First Contact - Oscar G
Pioneering DJ and dance music producer Oscar G checks out the AIRA TR-8, TB-3, and VT-3.
Analog Circuit Behavior
Go behind the scenes and learn how Roland's newly developed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) faithfully captures the sound and feel of some our most revered classics.
Artists Arthur Baker, Ricardo Villalobos, Hardfloor, Netsky, Dr Meaker, A Guy Called Gerald and Boys Noize talk about their experiences with Roland instruments and discuss the joys and challenges of performing electronic music live.
Artists First Contact - MATOM
Groundbreaking electronic duo MATOM (RADIO SLAVE & CAGEDBABY) check out the AIRA TR-8, TB-3, VT-3, and SYSTEM-1.
Artists First Contact - Germano Studios
The staff at the famous Germano Studios in NYC tell us how they feel about their new AIRA gear.
TR-909 Rhythm Composer
Roland engineers discuss the technologies involved in getting the right sounds for the successor to the TR-808. The TR-909 Rhythm Composer evolved from the TR-808, adding digital samples and MIDI. House and Techno were born. Now the next step begins.
TR-808 Rhythm Machine
Roland Engineers discuss the initial concept of the TR-808 which was conceived and built in 1980. Although it was designed to create “backing tracks,” creative musicians started to use the Rhythm Machine as an instrument and music changed forever. Now the evolution begins again.
- User Drum Kits
- User Patterns
- Steps per 1 measure
- 1 – 16 steps x 2 (Variation A/B)
- 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 and 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
MODE buttons: 6
VARIATION buttons: A, B
LAST STEP button
SCATTER ON button
SCATTER DEPTH button
Power Switch (Rear)
- 7 segments, 4 characters (LED)
- 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
- Audio, MIDI
- Power Supply
- AC adaptor
- Current Draw
- 1,000 mA
- Owner's manual
Leaflet "USING THE UNIT SAFELY"
- Size and Weight
- 400 mm
- 260 mm
- 65 mm
- 1.9 kg
4 lbs. 4 oz.
- * 0 dBu = 0.775 Vrms
Updates & Drivers
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