New Roland TR-8S Brings Sound Design and Sampling to the Table


For those of us who work with drum sounds, Roland is a trusted name. After all, can you imagine hip hop without the 808 kick drum? We here at B&H certainly can't, nor can we ignore so many of Roland's excellent offerings over the years, which is why we're pleased to announce the Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer, a unit that combines the drum sounds of our era with new and exciting sound-designing possibilities.

First, know this: The TR-8S doesn't merely give you the sounds of an 808, a 909, a 606, a 707, or a 727; the very circuit paths of those seminal models have been painstakingly provided, giving you a sound that not only resembles the original machines, but behaves like them as well, reacting to your tweaking.

Speaking of tweaking, dramatic effects are on hand to help foster a sense of space and depth. Delays, overdrives, filters, reverbs, transient-shapers, and more can help your sounds stand out. With each channel's customizable control knob, you can tailor these effects to the sound in question on a specific and individual basis. Both your channel effects and master effects are saved with each kit, down to your specific predilection, ensuring instant recall.

Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer

The provided TR-REC step sequencer has been given a jolt when compared to the TR-8; that unit, which was no slouch in its own right, provided 16 patterns, whereas the TR-8S gives you a whopping 128. Each pattern is capable of eight variations and three kinds of fills, making the possibilities for live manipulation exciting in their open-ended possibility. Place a customized fill into a pattern ahead of time or utilize the adjustable Scatter fill to introduce controlled-chaos on a per-measure basis. You'll even find an Auto-Fill parameter that can be set up to operate every two, four, eight, 16, or 32 bars, so your hands are free to manipulate other facets of your unit.

Roland AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer

So, here's a question for you: Would you use the TR-8S on the stage or in the studio? And here's an answer: Both! With eight analog outputs, you can process your individual drum sounds through any external effect you own, sending the result to the house PA or to your recording interface. And yet, the TR-8S is a multichannel audio and MIDI interface, sending your drums to different tracks within your DAW. Conversely, you could assign trigger outputs to interface with your favorite compatible analog synths, route that synth's output into the audio input of the TR-8S, and pass that audio along to your computer over USB. The possibilities, again, are multitudinous and creative.

Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer

One of the most notable features of this unit, however, is its ability to import, tweak, mangle, and ultimately play your own custom samples. You can even blend samples of your own creation with classic Roland drum sounds, creating a sonic palette that is all your own.

These features, and more, make the TR-8S a boon to most producers and electronic performers looking for giant drum sounds. Luckily, we at B&H are carrying them, so come to our SuperStore or check out our website to pick one up!