Transistor Rhythm 808: maybe the most famous drum machine in the world (along with the Tr-909) created by Japanese dream team: Makoto
Murio, Matsuoka and Nakamura.
We all need a tr808... but can we afford it? do you really need it or a fashioned crush? let's find this out!
DRUMMACHINE The black case is mainly made out of steel with plastic sides, the 808 is sturdy, about 5 Kg of analog circuits with a superb design in orange & red color gradations.
The main panel is very clear with sorted instruments channels on upper part and note entry on the lower; there is a a total of 2 buttons, 18 tactile switches (model ALPSSKHCAB - pic ) 8 switches, 6 encoders pots and 27 knobs.
The back panel has these connections: Master out with two impedance Low / High, 11 individual outputs jacks, 3 trigger outs (generating +5V square), 2 pedal switch inputs and a 5-dins Sync I/O (can be set to Slave or Master clock with the adjacent switch).
Power supply is internal, exists in both 220V and 110V versions.
VOICE Main Core based on UPD650C custom Roland version ".85" that manages 11 pure transistors analog channels, each with own volume for mixing and separated outputs.
There are a total of 16 generated instruments, where of 8 of them are circtuits shared :
1- BD Bass drum with TONE (pitch) and DECAY parameters. 2- SN Snare with TONE (pitch) and SNAPPY (filter balancing for white noise). 3- LC/LT Low Tom or Low Conga with TUNING. 4- MC/MT MID Conga or Mid TOM with TUNING. 5- HC/HT HIGH Conga or High Tom with TUNING. 6- CL/RS Claves or Rim Shot have NO CONTROL. 7- MA/CP Marcas or Claps have NO CONTROL. 8- CB Cowbell has NO CONTROL. 9- CY Cymbal with TONE and DECAY. 10-OH Open Hihat with DECAY. 11-CH Closed Hihat.
These sounds are well-known and maybe "too famous" used in a lot of hits from dance, pop, rap, rhythm and blues to electro or ambient: The 808 kit is still sampled in a lot of synths/drum machines presets and became part of the official general Midi GM international protocol. >IHMO< Still after many years the mighty subkick bass is able to blow your speakers! It's hard to explain with words how many inspiration you might get in a live jam session with such a machine. Second hand prices are high but it could be worth it.
SEQUENCER the 808 sequencer is top rated to be quite intuitive and very easy to use; It features a maximum of 64 patterns and 768 measures.
There are two entry note modes:
- Real time Select an instruments, start the machine and hit the TAP button. - Step Start and push one of the 16 switches steps (it gets illuminated).
Each part is split in A / B segment and the number is steps is adjustable up to 16 x 2 parts - then patterns are chained to make a whole SONG.
QUICK Tr-808 PROGRAMMING GUIDE
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 (little red one under mode selector,
variation LEDs will flicker.)
4- Set the MODE selector to PATTERN WRITE 1st PART.
5- Press the START/STOP button. (Machine will start)
6- Choose the PRE-SCALE. (4-way position switch situated above
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
SYNC internal frequency clock range from 33 to 300 BPM or external synch Roland Sync-24 system with others compliant machines like Roland TR-606, tr-909, MC-202 or Tb-303.
MEMORY The internal RAM is non volatile but it needs three 1.5V batteries.
The patterns / Songs cannot be saved in anyway.
808 CLONES the black box is still sought-after and have many many hardware "clones" such as Novation Drumstation, Acidlab Miami, Analog Solution Concussor and many more.
Also hundreds of sample kits recorded with various preamplifier, valves, tapes and of course large amount of Virtual instruments.
My custom tr-808 has trasformed to rack version and heavy modded with
these following features:
-Midi fitted Midi IN with Velocities and midi OUT for controlling other units.
- Can be clocked also to traditional sync 24 or synched to an external Midi clock.
Download Free 808 sample pack
- immortal sound!!
- old school myth
- today's second hand high prices.
you HAVE to try it once in your life: love or hate!
second hand prices are still raising around 1500 euro with no midi.
all tr808 snapshots, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci
manuals (free of charge), trademarks are just for info purpose.Nothing should
be considered as advertising, and I stricly express my point of view on review.Names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark
holders.Ask to have material: don't rip.All sounds and snapshots by Eric
Pochesci- except marked *Snapshot watermarked to avoid Ebay scamms and fraud.WARNING Some mp3 contains
very high frequencies and COULD damage your speakers, pay attention to volume!