TR-8

Rhythm Performer

Authentic TR-808 and TR-909 experience in a modern, performance-ready instrument

  • USB

Authentic TR-808 and TR-909 experience in a modern, performance-ready instrument

The 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.

AIRA Update
The entire AIRA family has been updated with exciting and useful new features requested by users from around the globe. Easy to install and free for all users, this AIRA Update includes enhancements for the whole line, like backup and restore facilities and better overall MIDI management. It also provides a wealth of product specific enhancements like external MIDI pitch control for VT-3, tuning control for TB-3, and instrument gain control for TR-8.

Capturing the Originals

- Full reproduction of the classic TR-808 and TR-909 rhythm machines, based on original design spec sheets and detailed analog circuit analysis of many original TR machines, including Roland’s own pristine units

- Newly developed Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology allows part-by-part analyses and faithful recreation of tonality and behavior, including the smooth variations of tone that occur when you work the controls of each instrument

- 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

TR Evolved

- 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

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. Roll the drums…

The Sound

In developing the TR-8, we’ve 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, we’ve 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.

With the authentic tone and character of the original units and new sound-tweaking capabilities inspired by legions of users, the TR-8 breathes new life into the sounds we all know and love.

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

Try it…you’ll like it!

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.

TR-8 Version 1.1 Update

Backup and Restore
Manage your kit and pattern library with easy backup and restore over USB.

Improved Playability
- Instrument Levels
Customize kits by adjusting the gain of each instrument to suit your individual style.

- Better Rolls
Rolls are now easier to engage, offer more control, and sound better overall.

- Scatter Latch On/Off
Alternate unlatched trigger mode engages only while “On” button is held down.

- Scatter Cycle
Scatter will enable for one cycle and then automatically disengage.

- Sync Reset
Get back in the groove by instantly starting a pattern from the top.

Improved Editing
- Pattern Lock
Lock the contents of a pattern so you can experiment without losing your original groove.

- Nonstop A/B Pattern Editing
Now you can edit both A and B parts of a pattern without stopping the sequencer.

Improved MIDI
- Modes
Local On/Off and MIDI Controller modes determine how MIDI data is sent and received.

- Accent Velocity
MIDI velocity is variable by the accent setting.

- Kit Select
Select kits using MIDI control change messages.

- Scatter
Scatter On/Off, Type and Depth can be controlled via MIDI control change.

- External Record
Record patterns in real-time from external MIDI devices.

- MIDI Off
Disable sending of all MIDI messages.

- Ignore Play/Stop
Toggle whether or not TR-8 responds to PLAY/STOP messages.

- Effect Control
Control effects using MIDI control change messages.

User Drum Kits
16
User Patterns
16
Steps per 1 measure
1 – 16 steps x 2 (Variation A/B)
Tempo
40 – 300
Instruments & Controls
BASS DRUM: LEVEL, TUNE, ATTACK, COMP, DECAY, INST SELECT
SNARE DRUM: LEVEL, TUNE, SNAPPY, COMP, DECAY, INST SELECT
LOW TOM, MID TOM, HIGH TOM, RIM SHOT, HAND CLAP, CLOSED HIHAT, OPEN HIHAT, CRASH CYMBAL, RIDE CYMBAL: LEVEL, TUNE, DECAY, INST SELECT
Effects and Controls
ACCENT: LEVEL, STEP
REVERB: LEVEL, TIME, GATE, STEP
DELAY: LEVEL, TIME, FEEDBACK, STEP
EXTERNAL IN: LEVEL, SIDE CHAIN, STEP
Mode
TR-REC, PATTERN SELECT, INST PLAY, INST REC, DRUM KIT SEL, DRUM INST SEL
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
Nominal Input Level
-10 dBu
Input Impedance
100 k ohms
Nominal Output Level
-10/+4 dBu (Selectable)
Output Impedance
MIX OUT, ASSIGNABLE OUT: 1 k ohm
PHONES: 130 ohms
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
Current Draw
1,000 mA
Accessories
Owner's manual
Leaflet "USING THE UNIT SAFELY"
AC adaptor

Size and Weight

Width (W)
400 mm15-3/4 inches
Depth (D)
260 mm10-1/4 inches
Height (H)
65 mm2-9/16 inches
Weight
1.9 kg4 lbs. 4 oz.

* 0 dBu = 0.775 Vrms

All specifications and appearances are subject to change.

Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) is the technology behind the authentic sound and responsive behavior of the AIRA products. It faithfully captures the sound and feel of some our most revered classics, using original design specs, consultation with original engineers, and a detailed, part-by-part analysis of each analog circuit in our own pristine units.

Analog electronic musical instruments consist of various analog components including resistors, capacitors, and transistors. The unique sound of analog instruments is due to the distinctive characteristics of the individual analog components. So-called “vintage” instruments, in particular, show extremely distinctive sound and behavior due to the variable instability of the electronic components.

Rhythm machines and synthesizers such as the TR-808, TR-909, TB-303, and SH-101 enjoy entrenched popularity to this very day even though they first appeared over 30 years ago. This is because musicians across the globe have recognized their unique sound and used them to forge entirely new genres of electronic music.

To produce the new AIRA products, we aimed to pick up where these analog classics left off and to develop a completely new technology which models the traditional analog circuits, right down to their behavioral levels.

ACB is drastically different from conventional methods of modeling, and reproduces each analog component by thoroughly analyzing each detail of the original design drawings. By combining the analyzed components in exactly the same manner as the original analog components, detailed characteristics of the original musical instruments emerge and can be reproduced completely.

This analysis requires knowledge of the design and development processes of the original analog instruments. It is not possible to reproduce the original sounds just by logically analyzing the analog circuits. This is because the original engineers used a design approach which maximized the capabilities of the analog components. Throughout the development of ACB, we cooperated with the original engineers who designed and developed these iconic instruments. With their expertise, we could ensure that we fully reproduced the ideal state of their creations.

Utilizing the enormous calculation power of state-of-the-art DSP, ACB not only precisely emulates the analog-specific characteristics or our classic gear, but also delves into areas the original engineers tried to go but ultimately abandoned.

ACB empowers AIRA products to go beyond mere re-creation. It allows us to make instruments that inspire – that respond to your creativity - and make producing and performing electronic music fun again.

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