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Roland Aira TR-8 Rhythm Performer

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Product Description

The Roland TR-8 is a performance rhythm machine that melds the legendary sound and vibe of the TR-808 and TR-909 with features and functions for the modern age. Genre-defining sounds, classic effects, unprecedented live pattern manipulation, and solid, intuitive performance controls. It’s the TR...evolved.

Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer Features

  • 16 stunning kits made up of 11 instrument types, including custom dream kits that use both TR-808 and TR-909 sounds
  • Large Tempo knob with Tap Tempo button and continuous Fine and Shuffle adjustment knobs
  • Control the intensity of the Accent function with a dedicated knob
  • Per-step reverb and delay effects with dedicated knobs
  • Mix sources connected to the External In jacks with built-in per-step Side Chain function for rhythmic ducking and gating effects
  • Scatter lets you freak and tweak your grooves with real-time control and perfect sync
  • 7 segment, 4 character LED display and 16 per-step pads with bold, full-color LEDs
  • Real-time pattern creation up to 32 steps with on-the-fly step count adjustment
  • Rec/Play modes have been eliminated, enabling seamless switching between step input and real-time pattern making and performance
  • Real-time play of 4 different types of rolls (8th, 16th, VARI 1, VARI 2) and per-instrument mutes
  • Pattern copy and pattern randomization for rapid, spontaneous creativity
  • Two assignable analog outputs and full parallel outputs via USB for total mixing flexibility
  • Full reproduction of the classic TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines
  • Newly developed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology allows part-by-part analyses and faithful recreation of tonality and behavior
  • Obsessive attention to detail, such as reproducing the original TR’s unique variations in tone that occur when multiple instruments are entered in accented steps
  • Authentic 16-step sequencer with faithful TR-REC behavior, including A and B pattern variations and the ability to play instruments and record to steps in real time
The Lineage
Unleashed upon an unsuspecting world in the 1980s, 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, they’ve helped define the sound of entire musical genres. From rap and house to techno and trance, the TR-808 and TR-909 have left an indelible mark on the art and culture of music.

The Sound
In developing the TR-8, Roland obsessively analyzed and faithfully recreated every detail and nuance of the analog circuitry of these legendary rhythm machines—the boom and snap of the 808; the thud of the 909; the robotic click of an 808 rim shot or a classic 909 snare roll. It’s all here. But not content with mere recreations, Roland enhanced these classic instruments with capabilities that go far beyond the original units.

Tune and Decay knobs are now present on every instrument, and the Bass Drum and Snare Drum have additional controls such as Attack, Snappy, and Comp. This allows for a wide 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.

The Feel
Make no mistake—the TR-8 has been carefully designed from the ground up as an instrument to be played. Every control has a solid, predictable feel, with each drum instrument having robust, “playable” faders. Numerous lighted knobs and RGB buttons give both 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 programming. 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.

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 toggle Scatter on/off for cool variations when and where you want them
A Few More Things
The TR-8 looks great and is designed to work seamlessly with other products in the AIRA series. In addition, you can connect the TR-8 to your computer via USB to send and receive both audio and MIDI data, including MIDI clock information for syncing with external devices and other AIRA units.

Product Specifications
Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer Specifications
  • User Drum Kits: 16
  • User Patterns: 16
  • Steps per 1 measure: 1 – 16 steps x 2 (Variation A/B)
  • Tempo: 40 – 300
  • Controllers:
    • VOLUME knob
    • SCATTER knob
    • TEMPO knob
    • FINE knob
    • SHUFFLE knob
    • PADS: 16
    • MODE buttons: 6
    • CLEAR button
    • VARIATION buttons: A, B
    • SCALE button
    • LAST STEP button
    • START/STOP button
    • SCATTER ON button
    • SCATTER DEPTH button
    • TAP button
    • Power Switch (Rear)
  • Display: 7 segments, 4 characters (LED)
  • Effects: REVERB, DELAY, SIDE CHAIN
  • Scatter: Types: 10
  • Connectors:
  • PHONES jack: 1/4-inch stereo phone type
    • MIX OUT (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
    • ASSIGNABLE OUT (A, B) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
    • EXTERNAL IN (L, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
    • USB port: USB type B (Audio, MIDI)
    • DC IN jack
  • USB: Audio, MIDI
  • Power Supply: AC adaptor
  • Accessories:
    • Owner's manual
    • Leaflet ‘USING THE UNIT SAFELY’
    • AC adaptor
  • Dimensions (WxDxH): 15-3/4 x 10-1/4 x 2-9/16 inches
  • Weight: 4 lbs. 4 oz.
Helpful Info about the Manufacturer
Phone:  (323) 890-3700 Warranty:  M.I. Products: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
Instrument Amps: 3 years (1 year on speakers) parts, 2 years labor
Rackmount Power Amps & EQs: 3 years parts & labor
BOSS Compact Pedals: 5 years parts, 90 days labor
BOSS (other): 1 year parts, 90 days. labor
ep, MT, TL, E-Series: 1 year parts, 90 days labor
CPM-300 Powered Mixer: 3 years parts, 3 years labor
AC Adapters, Mech, Footswitches, Headsets: 90 days parts, 90 days labor
Fosil Man from Massachusetts
Overall Rating
General
Quality
Features
Sound
Appearance
Value
Subject
Missed the Boat
General
Your general opinion of this product.
Great concept, poor execution.
Quality
Would you consider this product to be made well? How dependable?
Build quality is good, but design is so lacking, that it really doesn't matter.
Features
What do you consider to be the best features of this product? What features would you add to this product if you could?
This is where it really falls down: Where are the separate outputs for individual drums, like the originals? This was one of the most important features, so you could process each drum as needed. And where is a Trigger Output? That was essential for interfacing with other analog synths. Without these features, this thing is really no better than the software emulations, which are super cheep and more useful in today's DAW workflow. It's a real mystery how Roland could leave these out.
Sound
How is the tone?
Sounds great, but so do the software versions.
Appearance
Appearance
Looks cool. But that doesn't make up for shortfalls.
Value
Was this item an overall good value?
Not much value here, as you can get software versions for 1/4 the price.
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