Pro­ducer’s Guide

Get to know Roland’s TR-8S in de­tail

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

First re­leased in 2014, Roland’s TR-8 Rhythm Per­former made waves. The Ja­panese brand’s hy­brid drum ma­chine used dig­i­tal ‘ACB’ tech to syn­the­sise sounds from their iconic hard­ware beat­boxes (the TR-808, 909, then the 606 and 707), pack­aged in an af­ford­able desk­top for­mat.

With 11 in­di­vid­ual drum chan­nels, DJ mixer-style up­faders, an er­gonomic lay­out and that clas­sic x0x-box 16-step se­quencer, the black and green groove­box was as at home in the booth as in the stu­dio. Its suc­cess in­spired Roland to pump out loads more hard­ware recre­ations of their fa­mous ’80s hard­ware, in­clud­ing the dinkier Bou­tique range.

Fast for­ward to 2018, and Roland have launched a ‘MkII’ ver­sion of the TR-8: the TR-8S. Far more than a sim­ple up­grade, the ’8S takes ev­ery­thing good about the first ver­sion and ramps it up to 11. Now no longer re­stricted purely to those ACB­mod­elled drum ma­chine sounds, the TR-8S can also play back built-in or user-im­ported sam­ples (hence the ‘S’), along­side a raft of new se­quenc­ing fea­tures, ef­fects, ad­di­tional out­puts, au­to­ma­tion and much more.

This souped-up per­for­mance ma­chine can do a lot – so let’s ex­plore it in depth…

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