The TR-8S is Roland’s brand-new flagship drum machine which builds upon the success of the popular TR-8 and adds a whole host of new features. Here are 5 reasons why you need to the Roland TR-8S in your setup!

Ever since the Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer was released, musicians have enjoyed having the most influential and iconic drum machines of all time combined in one sleek and extremely useful unit.

This evolution of the original AIRA TR-8, not only makes it easier to navigate, sequence and customise sounds, but provides a more space friendly option packed with every sound from the most sought-after Roland Drum Machines ever crafted.

However, there’s more to this unit than the authentic recreations of the 808, 909, and more. So here’s 5 reasons why you need the Roland TR-8S in your live and studio set up.

Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer

1. Extensive range of classic Roland TR drum sounds

The TR-8S has a huge sound set built in, and it starts with five classic Roland TR drum machines modelled in incredible detail. Out of the box you get the Roland TR-808, TR-909, TR-707, TR-727 and TR-606 Drum machines which are some of the most sought after and revered drum sounds in the history of electronic music. These include popular variants of certain sounds like 808 kicks with long boom-style decays or 909 hits with more punch, which have been made popular by users of the original machines over the years through modification.

What’s more, as these sounds are modelled with Roland’s next generation Analog Circuit Behaviour (ACB) technology as opposed to being sampled, they offer a truly organic and detailed sound that sounds incredible both stand alone and within larger productions.

2. Stereo Sample Playback

The TR-8S supports playback or mono/stereo WAV samples, which means you can load in your own sounds! Got an amazing clap sound that you’ve processed with loads of effects on your computer that you want to use? Or you’ve recorded the sound of a dinner plate smashing that you want to use as a snare? No problem! Just load it in on an SD card and use it in a kit on the TR-8S. You can freely assign sounds on the TR-8S too, meaning you can mix and match between the built in TR sounds or any sounds you’ve loaded in yourself. You can apply pitch changes, filters, envelopes and effects to your samples to sculpt their sound further. But don’t worry, to help you get started the TR-8S comes with over 300 samples built in too.

3. Up to 128-step patterns

Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer

The TR-8S has 128 pattern locations for you to create your beats. Each of these patterns offer 8 variants of 16 steps (labelled A-H). This means that within your pattern you can easily move between 8 different 16 step sections of a song, or you could choose to chain together any combination of these sections to make a pattern up to 128 steps long. More than enough for live loops and song creation.

4. Motion Record

One of the things people loved about the TR-8 was the easy control of parameters like Tune and Decay of drum sounds with their dedicated control knobs. The TR-8S takes this a step further by allowing you to record those parameter adjustments as automation within patterns. This means that you can adjust drum tuning, decay, panning and effects sends and record those changes within the pattern so they are performed automatically which is great for live performance. As you can record this automation per step, you can also use this to create melody lines by coarse pitching your samples in time with the beat.

5. Six assignable outputs / trigger outs

As well as a standard stereo output, the TR-8S features 6 assignable output jack sockets that allow you to route sounds out of the machine for separate processing. These outputs can also be used as trigger outputs to sequence other equipment with a trigger input. So, for instance you could use one output to send your snare sound into a distortion pedal for added grit before going into a mixer, whilst using another as a trigger track connected to your TB-03 bassline machine to trigger its sequenced steps in time with the music.

There’s so many great features of the TR-8S we had a hard time limiting this to 5! We didn’t even get around to mentioning the easy sub-steps, built in LFO, grouped faders, extensive effects or multi-channel audio interface either!

Shop a full range of Roland equipment over at PMT Online today or why not visit your local PMT store to get hands on with the Roland TR-8S and check out the amazing creative possibilities it has on offer. We have dedicated Roland Planet members who can help you make the most out of your equipment. Speak to us today!