Roland’s famous TR-808 drum machine is back in Boutique

When you think of drum machines there is one that always stands out – the TR-808. Roland are bringing it back from the dead.

Roland have announced that their infamous TR-808 machine will be resurrected as part of its Boutique line in the tweaked TR-08. Roland say the TR-08 is a “detailed and faithful replica” that will put the machine that defined numerous genres in your hands.

The new TR-08 model will come in a slightly smaller package to save on cost and materials. It also has some tweaks that improve upon the original like 16 sub-steps per step on the sequencer for creating intricate snare fills and rolling hi-hats. A track selection trigger has been added for working with other instruments or gear.

An unobtrusive LED display provides finer control of tempo and shuffle. You can step-program or tap in your parts in real-time without stopping to change modes. Everything sends and receives MIDI control messages and it even supports audio and MIDI over USB.

Original TR-808s are big and heavy, and their rarity makes them extremely expensive and sought-after on the used market. Because of this, many have resorted to 808 sample packs or hardware knockoffs. But there’s something about the colors and controls and, of course, the sound of a genuine TR-808 that brings home the sound of so many classic tracks.

The TR-08 accurately recreates the ingredients that make an 808 so special. The interface, while miniaturized, is 100% authentic. The sound is vibrant and alive thanks to our proprietary Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology. Roland use ACB to carefully recreate all the details and quirks of the original hardware by modeling each analog circuit, right down to the component level.

Not only does the TR-08 look and sound the part, but it also has some modern features and conveniences. With all this beat-making power, it would be a shame to keep it shackled to the studio. After all, inspiration can strike anywhere, and drum machines are fun to play live. The TR-08 is literally small enough to take just about anywhere. It’s ruggedly built with sturdy knobs, buttons, and switches.

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It has several tilt options for easy viewing in various live and studio scenarios. It can be a low-latency, portable audio interface. It has a built-in speaker, and even runs on batteries for when the beat absolutely must go on. With all this power and flexibility, you may be most surprised by the TR-08’s affordable price, which puts the legendary 808 vibe within reach of just about anyone who’s ever dreamed of owning the iconic original.

Roland TR-08 feautures:

  • Ultra-compact recreation of the legendary TR-808 drum machine
  • Retains the sound, character, and user interface of the original TR-808
  • Hands-on control including tone, level, tuning, and decay
  • Added Compressor, Gain, Tune, and Pan for selected instruments
  • Programmable via classic Step and Tap write modes
  • Sequencer has 16 steps with 16 sub-steps for detailed patterns and rolls
  • Continue playing beats even while switching between write modes
  • LED display for easier navigation and fine control of tempo and shuffle
  • Ten separate outputs via USB audio
  • Dedicated, track-selectable trigger output for controlling external instruments
  • High-quality construction with metal front panel
  • Highly portable for mobile music making
  • Includes DK-01 Boutique Dock for multiple-angle viewing
  • Battery-operated (4 x AA) or USB powered
  • Built-in powered mini-speaker for instant enjoyment
  • Compatible with optional Roland Boutique accessories

The Roland TR-08 is expected to be released in September for roughly $440 (£339).

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