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Roland Tr808



roland tr808
roland tr808
audio demo trend price : 2000€
manual demo video sample download comments

Roland Tr808 - Rhythm composer (1980)

Transistor Rhythm 808 maybe the most famous drum machine in the world along with the Tr909.

Created by the Japanese dream team: Makoto Murio, Matsuoka and Nakamura.

computer controlled drum machine

real time sequencer

info LAPTOP (weight: 5 kg) black case, design in orange and red color gradations.
The main panel features 2 buttons, 18 tactile buttons, 8 switches, 6 encoders and 27 knobs.
Back panel terminal connectors: master out with double impedance low/high, 11 individual outputs jacks, 3 trigger outs (generating +5V pulses) and a double pedal switch input:
- start
- fill.

info Power supply is internal.

info VOICE
main core based on a CPU UPD650C-085 special custom Roland (version 0.85) manages 11 analog channels with individual gain mix.

info SOUNDS the 808 generates 16 instruments which 8 of them are circuit-shared :

- BD Kick : TONE (pitch) and DECAY parameters.
- SN Snare: TONE (pitch) and SNAPPY (white noise filter).
- LC/LT Low Tom or Low Conga: tuning
- MC/MT MID Conga or Mid TOM: tuning
- HC/HT HIGH Conga or High Tom: tuning
- CL/RS Claves or Rimshot:no control
- MA/CP Maracas or Claps: no control
- CB Cowbell: no control
- CY Cymbal: tone and decay
- OH Open Hihat: decay
- CH Closed Hihat.
start stop

tr808 facts

info SEQUENCER there are 2 ways to enter notes:
1 - REALTIME: select an instruments, start the machine and hit TAP button.
2- STEP IN: start and push one of the 16 switches steps
Each part is split in A-B segment and the step number adjustable up to 16 * 2 parts then patterns are chained to make a whole SONG.

decay bassdrum

1. Stop the rhythm with the START/STOP button.
Set the MODE selector to PATTERN CLEAR.
2. Select either the A or B Mode (VARIATION) and create a pattern
with the STEP buttons and the VARIATION switches.
3. Press the CLEAR button
4. Set the MODE selector to PATTERN WRITE 1st PART.
5. Press the START/STOP button
6. Choose the PRE-SCALE
7. Press the CLEAR button (you have now memorized the scaling)
8. While pressing the CLEAR button, press the key for steps.
9. Choose the instrument with the INSTRUMENT/TRACK selector.
10. Press the steps that are to be programmed
11. Program the other instrument sounds and ACCENT by repeating
steps (9) and (10).
12. Press the START/STOP button when programming has been
quick programming chart

info SYNC internal frequency clock range from 33 to 300 BPM or external sync (5-DINS) at 24 PPQ compliant with other machines like Tr606, Mc202 or Tb303.

info MEMORY holds a maximum of 64 patterns and 768 measures.
Non-volatile if 1.5V batteries are present.

info MODIFICATION modded with these following new features:

tr808 midi kit

-Midi fitted Midi IN with Velocities and midi OUT for controlling other units.

- CLOCK Can be clocked also to traditional Sync 24 or synched to an external Midi clock.

(click to enlarge PIC)

inside tr808 repair

808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808 808


Roland Aira 08


Roland Aira 08: announcent in first of 2014 as the new tr808 successor, digital circuit with modern facilities.


Studio electronics "HARVEY"


Studio electronics "HARVEY" a smart rackmount operation by SE. They did a lot of similar job with other machine like P5 (prophet5) or OBIE rack.


info CLONES, SAMPLES and PLUGINS the 808 still sought-after and have many hardware clones around such as:

acid lab miami yocto drum station  
Acidlab Miami Yocto Novation D-Station  


audio demo

effet Soundcloud Tr808

demo1 demo2 demo2


A close up look at the Roland TR-808 Roland TR-808 DEMO Roland TR-808/Juno-60
A close up DEMO Roland TR-808 + Juno-60

wiseman says:

Download FREE tr808 samples set.

tr808 technical data


tr808 flyer


original scan




tr808 from ebay


tr808 clock

shirt from ebay

fun pic

tr808 fashion

picture 808

fun merchandising stuff: (these pics are from the web and unknown authors)



808 sequencer tr808 and tr909 edit tr808


- sound
- old school myth


- second hand high prices.

comment CULT!

"You HAVE to try a 808 once in your life! "


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roland tr808 4.5 out of 5 based on 40 ratings. price €2000