Design Kits with Authentic TR Drums, FM Sounds, Samples, and Effects
The TR-8S comes loaded with the largest, most authentic collection of TR drum machines available. The powerful processor gives our next-generation ACB models a whole new level of detail and nuance with that classic Roland boom, snap, and sizzle. Enrich the core TR drums with a spectrum of futuristic FM sounds, plus preset and custom samples for unique hybrid and layered kits. Then enhance them all with specialized effects to inject professional sound design into the TR formula.
The TR-8S has every sound from the most sought-after TR drum machines, with recreations of the 808, 606, 909, 707, and 727, and several modified versions too. These are not sound-alike sample-packs or mere recordings of TR drum sounds—each machine is a detailed, down-to-the-circuit model that sounds and behaves exactly like the original hardware. All these sounds are yours, at your fingertips, and ready to use in your own productions and performances.
Stellar FM Sounds
The FM sounds in the TR-8S are unlike anything this side of Mars, conjuring silvery drum hits and twisting tails to augment your tracks. The Morph parameter is an ultra-expressive macro control that lets you sweep through an array of sonic variations, wildly manipulating FM depth, ratio, and feedback with simple knob movements.
ACB Meets Samples
Today’s rhythm tracks need a diverse set of sounds and production techniques, and it’s harder than ever to sound unique. While authentic TR sounds are vital, layering your own mono or stereo samples, or pulling from the extensive onboard collection, opens a world of modern styles and the potential to craft your own signature sound. Like the TR and FM sounds, you can deeply manipulate samples with hands-on control of tuning, decay, start points, speed, and direction. Create a kit entirely from samples, or mix and match with FM and classic TR sounds for genre-defying drum tracks that demand attention.
The right effects make a drum part stand out by creating depth and space. Whether it’s delay on a rimshot, overdrive on a kick, filters on toms and cymbals, or just the right amount of reverb on select instruments, the TR-8S has an array of percussion-tuned effects that sound great. In addition to the Master FX knob, each channel has a customizable CTRL knob, placing all this sound-shaping power within easy reach. The attack of the kick, snap of the snare, phaser depth, distortion amount—whatever parameter you need direct access to—can be assigned to the knobs and saved with the kit. Both Instrument and Master Effects, along with their precise settings, are also saved with each kit, so your productions are always performance-ready.
Create Evolving Patterns with Variations, Fills, and Motion
Pattern creation on the TR-8S feels natural and intuitive, thanks to the Roland ”TR-REC” step sequencer that’s been the beating heart of electronic music production for decades. And now, it’s been enhanced and modernized to be better than ever.
Fast, Fluid, and Fun
You can program on the 16 TR-REC buttons or use the velocity-sensitive performance pad to play live or record into the sequencer. And you can move seamlessly between either—playing, editing, and reshaping your drum parts without ever interrupting your flow. Create intricate grooves and detailed fills using velocity, accents, flams, and adjustable sub-steps for modern rolls and ratcheting. Get experimental with unusual polyrhythms and complex meters by adjusting the length or "last step" of each drum part.
Variations on a Theme
Keep things fresh and exciting, even during extended live sets. The TR-8S can store 128 patterns, each with eight variations and three kinds of fills. Patterns or variations can be triggered individually or chained together for evolving sequences. Copy patterns on the fly during performances, and even stay ahead of the beat and work on patterns that aren’t currently playing. Each pattern can include the tempo and the kit, along with its knob positions and effect settings. This gives you instant recall and enough flexibility to play an entire set without ever repeating a measure in the same way.
Well-placed fills create thrilling moments in a track or a live set. Each pattern in the TR-8S can contain two fills that you can customize or create from scratch. There’s also an adjustable "Scatter" fill to slice and dice a measure into short bursts of cool and controlled chaos. But at times, your hands may be too busy to trigger every fill manually. AUTO FILL IN automates fills every 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 measures, keeping your hands free and adding interesting dynamics to your performances.
Professional-sounding drum tracks require detailed production techniques. The TR-8S not only makes crafting this detail possible, it makes it fast and fun. Locking parameters to steps or recording motion into patterns gives you everything from subtle movement to dramatic tonal shifts. Automate bass drum tuning, snare pitch, panning, effects…whatever you want. Create melodies and bass lines, or change the sound of a kit for different song sections. Motion recording is immediate and effortless, and motion playback can be instantly enabled or disabled.
Eight Analog Outputs
Like some of its famous siblings, the TR-8S has eight separate analog outputs, so you can process individual drum sounds through external effects or send them into separate channels of your mixer or DAW. Take control of your sound and decide which instruments or groups are sent to which outputs. And whatever you choose, know that the TR-8S sounds big, punchy, and spacious thanks to its high-resolution 24-bit/96 kHz digital-to-analog converters.
Trigger Out, External In
The TR-8S has a dedicated trigger output as well as stereo audio inputs for external sources. And its assignable outputs can even be used as additional triggers. This lets you control external instruments and mix them with internal TR-8S sounds, greatly expanding your creative possibilities in the studio and performance possibilities on stage. Each pattern has a dedicated trigger track for access to all kinds of variations with no need to use up an instrument. Rimshots and triggered analog bass patterns? Yes, you can.
Audio and MIDI Interface
Aside from being the most powerful drum machine ever made, the TR-8S is a complete multi-channel audio and MIDI interface. When you connect the TR-8S to a computer or AIRA Link host, you can transfer MIDI and high-resolution audio over a single USB cable. Record each drum instrument to a different channel for individual processing and recording, automate parameter movements from your DAW by CC messages, or sync the TR-8S to your computer or Roland MX-1 Mix Performer for live sets or late-night jam sessions.
Refined Design with a Modern Touch
Aesthetic and ergonomic improvements can be found throughout the TR-8S, giving it a timeless design that fits any creative space. The shape, colors, and overall feel have been refined to be more substantial, elegant, and inviting. RGB color faders and TR-REC buttons let you customize the brightness, glow, and color of each element. Not only does it look amazing, but it gives crucial visual feedback about what’s playing, what’s muted, which instruments are grouped, and so on. And then there’s that lava lamp mode…
The life of a musician can be pretty unpredictable, whether it’s touring mishaps or studio calamities. Take comfort in the fact that every kit, every pattern, and every setting for literally everything can be backed up on an SD card. Just pop it into a fresh TR-8S and you’re back up and running.
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