The rare and iconic TR-808 is now available to everyone as software
The TR-808 is undoubtedly an esteemed piece of analog synth and drum machine history, Roland makes it available to everyone.
The rarity and value of the TR-808 makes it almost impossible to acquire, whilst the sounds remain staples in genres across the board. There have been many sample packs and recreations attempting to do justice to the original, none however being truly honest to the original. Here is where Roland steps in with their revolutionary “Analog Circuit Behaviour” technology, which attempts to recreate all the components that made up the TR-808 on a circuit level.
The beauty is that Roland designed the original TR-808, so they’re aware of every last capacitor and resistor that went into building the legendary drum machine. That means this is probably the closest replication we are going to see, and probably the closest I’ll ever get to owning a TR-808 (unless I’m very lucky).
Despite the incredibly iconic sound, a few aspects make using an original TR-808 a bit of a pain, the main being its lack of MIDI input or output. Having it as software, synced to your DAW almost makes it more appealing than the hardware, except if you’re a collector of course.
There are some other iconic synths and drum machines in the Roland Cloud package
Roland’s new software emulations are available through their new Roland Cloud platform, which allows you to obtain the whole suite of plugins via a subscription-based service. The legendary Juno-106, Jupiter 8, my personal favourite – the SH-101 and a whole host more plugins are available through the platform. Remakes of literally hundreds of thousands of Rands worth of equipment for USD$20 (Around R250) per month.
Roland have added a bunch of helpful features to the software emulation, most notably being the expanded step sequencer, now you’re able to see your entire arrangement laid out rather than having to flip through pages, which you can imagine becomes a tedious task.
The TR-808 is responsible for a lot of the rhythm sounds that legendary producers such as Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, Eat Static, the Beastie Boys and Aphex Twin are renowned for. You can see why it has become so sought after over the past 40 years, and why it was such a welcomed decision from Roland to announce the first ever hardware-faithful emulation.
Visit Roland Cloud for more details.