Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer

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4.8

(14 reviews)

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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
 
4.9

(based on 14 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Recording (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (11)

    Reviewed by 14 customers

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    5.0

    Old School cool

    By 

    from Miami, FL

    Staff Reviewer

    Pros

    • Great Sounds
    • Quality

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Music Making
      • Recording

      Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

      When you first look at this thing you know you're in for a treat! To be honest with you I purchase this thing just for the BOOM.. And it didn't disappoint, for a matter of fact the raw sonicness of the TR-8 was so massive it almost blew my practice sub. I use it in conjunction with my Juno (a studio in itself). A small bit of a learning curve to me but once ! got the grip I was producing beats in a matter of hours after my initial purchase . I love it and so will you.. Ole school in new school form. This is a real hands on product review from Richard@ Sam Ash Miami

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      roland hits a home run

      By 

      from huntington

      Pros

      • Ease of Use
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Production
        • Recording

        Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

        With the TR-8 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. This is a must have in any producer's collection. I am a sam ash gear reviewer.

         
        4.0

        TR-808 throwback

        By 

        from Southern California

        Staff Reviewer

        Pros

        • Build
        • Features
        • Sound

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Live
          • Studio

          Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

          The TR-8 takes you back to a time where the TR-808 and TR-909 was the drum sounds of the 80's. Re-live the 80's since this unit has all the sounds that made the TR famous. 16 kits and tons of dedicated knobs to adjust the reverb and delay. This is a real hands-on review from David @ Sam Ash Ontario.

           
          5.0

          drum beats galore

          By 

          from Cincinnati, OH

          Staff Reviewer

          Pros

          • Sounds
          • Versatility

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • DJ
            • Home Recording

            Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

            With so many versatile drum beats i was really impressed with another quality roland drum machine. There are so many options to create many drums beats. I use it for live dj events and home recordings in place of a acoustic drum kit

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            5.0

            Best Standalone Drum Machine

            By 

            from Canoga Park, CA

            Pros

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

                  Whether you're still usuing your classic drum machine, or just want to creat beats the same way some of your favorite producers did, this guy is much easier to understand and use than the classic pieces.

                  This is a real hands on product review from Josh @ Sam Ash Canoga Park.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No
                   
                  5.0

                  Past meets present!

                  By 

                  from Sam Ash Music Ontario, Ca.

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

                        Blending of greats from the past like the TR808 and TR909 with an updated edge. Tons of control over your effects in an easy to use set up, awesome for live performance or recording. A truly great piece of equipment. This is a real hands on review by EpR@ Sam Ash Ontario.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No
                         
                        5.0

                        Those Sounds are Back...

                        By 

                        from New York

                        Pros

                        • Good Decent Sounds

                        Cons

                        • Not So Easy To Manipulate

                        Best Uses

                        • Musical Prduction And Edm

                        Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

                        This is a rhythm machine that combines the legendary sound of the TR-808 and TR-909. it is easier to navigate around therefore producing in a more friendly mood...

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No
                         
                        5.0

                        The 808 is back!

                        By 

                        from King of Prussia

                        Staff Reviewer

                        Pros

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

                              The classic Roland TR808 Drum Machine is finally back and better than ever! Roland made the TR8 in response to the high demand for hardware drum machines. The TR8 sounds as great as it looks! It includes sounds from the TR808 and even the classic TR909 drum machine! And it has MIDI capability-something the original TR808 did not have! This is a real hands on product review from Ryan@ Sam Ash King of Prussia!

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No
                               
                              5.0

                              Awesome rhythm machine!

                              By 

                              from Queens, NY

                              Staff Reviewer

                              Pros

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

                                    I think the Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer is the best new toy in the AIRA series. I remember a friend of mine had the TR-808 when I was growing up and I used to play with it all the time. I'm pretty sure it turned me into a drummer because I always wanted to emulate the beats I made. This is so easy to use and even more fun to play. The drum sounds on it are awesome.

                                    "This is a real hands on product review from Scott @ Sam Ash Queens"

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No
                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Believe the hype.

                                    By 

                                    from San Antonio, TX

                                    Staff Reviewer

                                    Pros

                                    • Accurate To Originals
                                    • Easy To Use Sequencer
                                    • Real-time Tone Control
                                    • Sounds awesome

                                    Cons

                                    • Incomplete Manual

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Music Production

                                    Comments about Roland AIRA Series TR-8 Rhythm Performer:

                                    Stop using pre-made 808 & 909 samples! The TR8 is all you need to sculpt your own drum kits in the exact same way that those samples in your drum library were created. It's extremely simple to get your drums sounding just how you want, and the step sequencer is a snap. My only small complaint is the manual. There are hidden functions that are not included in the documentation that I had to learn from internet searches. That small complaint aside, weather you're looking for a drum synthesizer or just an easy way to program your drum patterns, this is the easiest & best sounding way to go.

                                    "This is a real hands-on product review from Eduard @ Sam Ash San Antonio"

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