Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer

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4.6

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The rebirth of a legend with every circuit and tonal nuance painstakingly modeled from the original TR-808 and TR-909 using ACB (Active Circuit Behavior)

The TR-8 is a performance rhythm machine that combines the legendary sound and vibe of classic 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.

What's all the noise about?
Unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in the 1980’s, the TR-808 and TR-909 produce arguably the most influential drum sounds in modern music. Not only have they appeared on thousands of dance tracks over the course of three decades, but they have helped define the sound of entire musical genres. From Rap and House to Techno and Trance – these two drum machines have left an indelible mark on the art and culture of music.

It's all about the Sound
The TR-8 brings to life the best of past and present technologies in every sound. Careful modeling of the original circuits results in the tonal characteristic and nuance of the reknown TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines. 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. This machine is truly a "tweakers" dream.

Just like the original:
  • Full reproduction of the original TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines based on original design spec sheets and detailed analog circuit analysis of various specimens including Roland’s own pristine units
  • Newly developed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology allows part-by-part analyses and faithful recreation of tonality and behavior 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

TR Evolved:
  • Build your ultimate kits from the TR-808 and TR-909
  • 16 stunning kits made up of 11 instrument types
  • Dedicated knob for Accent intensity control
  • Per-step Gate Reverb and Delay effects with dedicated knobs
  • Mix sources connected to the External Inputs
  • Per instrument direct outputs via USB
  • Built-in Side Chain function creates rhythmic ducking and gating effects on External Inputs with per-step control
  • Two assignable analog outs for additional mix flexibility

How does it feel?
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 real-time 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 programing. Based on detailed analysis of the original TR-808, the TR-REC behavior has been faithfully modeled 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 behavior 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

New to the TR-8:
  • Scatter lets you tweak and mix up your beats in perfect sync
  • 16 per-step pads with bright, colored LEDs
  • Create patterns in real-time with up to 32 steps
  • Change step count in real-time
  • Switch seamlessly from real-time to step performance
  • Play 4 different roll types in real-time
  • Dedicated real-time knob for original TR-909 shuffle function
  • Random pattern creation for spontaneous live performance
  • Pattern copy to quickly create variations
  • 7 segment LED shows tempo and has Tap function
  • USB provides bus power and Audio/MIDI
  • Designed to look and work seemlessly with other AIRA products   

What is Scatter?
Scatter is a unique performance function that gives you detailed real-time 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.


Things You Will Get:

    Owners Manual
    AC Adaptor
Sound Engine Type ACB Modeling
Number of Presets 16 Kits and User Patterns
16 Sequence Steps with Variation
Effect Types Reverb, Delay, Side Chain
Controller Types Knobs: Volume, Scatter, Tempo
Fine, Shuffle
Pads: 16
Buttons: (6) Mode, Clear, Variation A & B
Scale, Last Step, Start/Stop
Scatter, Scatter Depth, Tap
MIDI Sequencer Yes
Audio Inputs 2
Audio Input Types (2) 1/4"
Audio Outputs 4
Audio Output Types (2) 1/4" Mix, (2) Assignable 1/4"
MIDI I/O Yes
USB Yes
Other Features Instrument and Effect Controls:
Level, Tune, Attack
Comp, Decay, Inst Select
Side Chain, Feedback, Gate, Time
Weight 4.4 lbs.
Dimensions 15.75 x 2.56 x 10.24 inches (WxHxD)
Series AIRA
Model TR-8

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
RolandAIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer
 
4.7

(based on 3 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

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          • No (3)

        Reviewed by 3 customers

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        5.0

        Oh Man!

        By 

        from Indianapolis, IN

        Pros

        • 808 Wow
        • Excellent For Any Musicia

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • All Genres

          Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

          WOW! Great as a stand alone or mixer with other controllers. Best Drum sounds from 808 and 909's. Great step sequencer, all the controls for EQ, Decay, and Compression built in for each drum.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Looks great, Well-built, classic feel,

          By 

          from New York

          Staff Reviewer

          Pros

          • Authentic Sound And Feel
          • Easy to use
          • Sidechain Input
          • Well-built

          Cons

          • No Audio Metronome

          Best Uses

          • Edm
          • Hip Hop
          • House
          • Rap

          Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

          The Roland TR-8 does a great job of doing what it's meant to do, bring back the functionality and sound of the electronic music powerhouses...TR-808 and TR-909's. My first impression was that it looked great. The lights are awesome and will be especially nice in DJ and live performance gigs. Even if you've never used the originals, the TR-8 is pretty simple to figure out. The 16 step buttons feel great and are even touch sensitive. These 16 steps are also used for placing your accent, effects, and side chain "pump" effect. The side-chain input control is probably my favorite feature. Simply route an external audio signal to the input (like their new TB-3 synth) and you'll produce rhythmic gating effects that you can control by selectively placing them along the 16 step grid. The instant changes to the feel of your beat are intoxicating. Just think about sub-mixing several different audio sources at one time and selecting which ones you want to send through the TR-8 side-chain. Great for a live performance. There are variations of each sound from the 808 and 909 for you to choose from. All the boom and slamming thud you'll want or need. Effects can be applied to each sound individually. The "Scatter" function can be cool, but it's effectiveness seems to determined by the type of pattern and feel you're going for. The only thing I missed was an audio metronome. I know most people are going to step record anyway, but to have the option to record in real-time without an audio click seems silly, maybe they'll add it in a future update. Grabbing knobs, faders, changing pitch, the swing and over all vibe of a groove has never been more fun for me. It is what it is. Don't expect hundreds of sounds and preset patterns. BYOB. Build Your Own Beats, and have a blast doing it.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          The last drum machine you need

          By 

          from Cleveland, OH

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Easy to use
          • Lightweight
          • Portable
          • Quality of sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur recording
            • Composition
            • Live Performances
            • Practice
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

            Thousands of people spoke and Roland listened. The TR-8 brings back all of their classic sounds from their best drum machines and adds so much more. You can create patterns using combinations of sounds that were previously unavailable. You can also edit the sounds to create an entirely new set unique to your music. Using fills and alternate patterns is very simple, giving you the feel of a real drummer. I have already kept what I thought would be "scratch tracks" as finished drum tracks because they sounded so good. This is a must have in any producer's collection.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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