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RolandTR-8S Drum Machine


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Roland Aira TR-8S

The TR-8S from Roland offers a welcome step up from the already-formidable TR-8. It adds sampling, a much deeper effects section, and improved hardware and sequencing power to its predecessor’s tremendous sound quality and unparalleled playability for a perfect blend of retro sounds and modern features.

At the heart of the TR-8S is Roland’s powerful Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, which digitally recreates the circuitry behind the famous sounds found in the TR-909, TR-808, TR-707, TR-727, and TR-606 drum machines in order to more faithfully emulate the sound and feel of the originals. The added ability to layer samples from the TR-8S’s internal memory or SD card sets its sounds apart in a sea of Roland clones.

In addition to their sounds, Roland’s classic drum machines are famous for their ease of use in a performance setting. The TR-8S offers a huge upgrade to the classic x0x-style sequencer, allowing for rolls, sub-steps, and polyrhythms galore. A velocity-sensitive performance pad and motion record of all parameters lend a tremendous ability to program huge, dynamic drum tracks on the fly. What’s more, the TR-8S allows a user to program a pattern while another plays, making it the perfect improvisational tool for live house and techno.

The TR-8S’ usefulness extends into the studio as well, though. Like the more fully-featured Roland machines of yore, it has eight analog audio outputs for use with outboard effects, along with a dedicated “trigger” output for MIDI-less syncing and 24bit/96kHz conversion quality ensures these drums hit analog preamps with the same characteristic punch. The ability to store 128 patterns on the machine and entire machine snapshots on an SD card makes the TR-8S a superior machine for rhythm composition as well, and ensures a pulled plug or spilled drink won’t spell the end of the next club classic.

Aira TR-8S Features

  • Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) emulation of sounds from TR-606, TR-707, TR-727, TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines
  • Sample engine with adjustable decay, tune, start point, play speed, and direction per sample
  • 150 preset samples
  • User samples via SD card
  • 16-step x0x-style sequencer with substeps, ratcheting, Auto-Fill and adjustable pattern length per instrument
  • Velocity-sensitive performance pad for live pattern recording
  • L/R analog mix output and 6 assignable audio outputs
  • Dedicated analog trigger pattern and 1/8” output jack
  • External stereo audio input
  • 16-character, 2 line backlit LCD display
  • 7-segment, 4-character LED display
  • 128 user drum kits and patterns
  • 8 variations and 2 fills per pattern
  • 11 instrument tracks and 1 trigger track per pattern
  • Maximum total sample time: approx.600 sec @ 44.1 kHz, mono
  • Maximum sample length: approx. 180 sec @ 44.1 kHz, mono
  • Instrument effects: Thru, HPF, LPF, LPF/HPF, H Boost, L Boost, L/H Boost, Isolator, Transient, Compressor, Drive, Comp + Drive, Crusher
  • Reverb types: Ambient, Room, Hall1, Hall2, Plate, Mod
  • Delay types: Dly, Pan, Tape Echo
  • Master effects: HPF, LPF, HPF/LPF, H Boost, L Boost, L/H Boost, Isolator, Transient, Transient2, Compressor, Drive, Overdrive, Distortion, Fuzz, Crusher, Phaser, Flanger, SBF, Noise
  • Other effects: Sidechain, Scatter
  • Connectors: Phones jack, Mix Out (L/Mono, R), Assignable Out/Trigger Out 1-6, Ext In (L/Mono, R), Trigger Out, Midi In, Midi Out, USB (type B), DC in
  • Output sample rate: 24bit/96kHz
  • Dimensions: 16 1/8” x 10 3/8” x 2 5/16”
  • Weight: 4 lb. 11 oz (2.1 kg)
  • Current draw: 2,000 mA
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Product Demo Videos
Roland TR-8S Sounds
The Roland TR-8S is an updated version of the TR-8 drum machine that has the ACB (analog circuit behavior) models of the TR-606, TR-707, TR-727, TR-808 and TR-909 drum machines as well as the addition of sample playback from and SD card. The TR-8S version also has an updated sequencer and effects.
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Roland TR-8S Drum Machine Reviews