30 thoughts on “Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer Demo & Review

  1. For this price range I wish Roland had spent more resources to make more save banks instead of using them to create such an elaborate light show on the TR-8. But still it sure does looks fun to play with.

    1. I’ve got a feeling there will be an update to go beyond 32. Personally I kind of dig the limitation as it forces me to write and actually finish tracks instead of saving endless patterns.

  2. A guy did a shoutout with one of these and a vintage 808 at Switched On in Austin yesterday. The guy behind the counter went 3 for 3 in a blind test choosing which was the TR-8 and which was the original 808. Also, the TR-8 doesn’t have the clave found on the original 808. TR-8 wasn’t bad, especially at the price point, but I wasn’t blown away.

    1. Do you know if there’s a vid anywhere? I’d like to hear the comparison. I think there’s any number of reasons why someone could pick out the original over the TR-8 or visa versa but not just because the 808 is warmer or bigger or whatever the claim is. Now if someone can pick it out in a mix or on a large sounds system that might mean a bit more to me. And did that dude own an 808? To me the real test is someone who doesn’t own either hearing a big difference between them at first listen. Ultimately, I think subtle differences mean very little when comparing the $3000-$4000 price tag of an 808 to the $500 price tag of the TR-8. From what I’ve heard the TR-8 at least beats out static samples and even the D16 plug ins and comes very close to sounding like the real deal.

      1. Subtle differences could add up to something that gets under your skin and makes you tap your feet, bob your head, or get down and boogie.. Or keep you from being irritated, grated on, or fatigued after a minute or two of thump thump thump.

        Not saying that the TR-8 isn’t a great thing (maybe it is), just saying that “subtle differences” can make all the difference in the world.

        1. Oh, I agree. I’ve had equipment, expensive equipment, get under my skin for various reasons. To me, based on everything I’ve heard, the TR-8 seems like a safe bet if you’re looking for that sound. Also, I’m much more forgiving at that price.

        2. So you’re saying that sometimes you have to give $4000 to price gougers on eBay to overcome mythical psychoacoustic distractions and perturbations in overly loud and already inscrutable club music?

        3. Seems like the sort of problem that I’ve been overcoming forever with any number of modulation and mix solutions that don’t cost thousands of dollars.

          1. Uh, Jenk (dataline), who works for Elektron, has been bashing the TR-8 on forums since it was announced. He was actually told by multiple people on the Elektronauts forum that it struck them as unprofessional.

          2. Uh, Jenk (dataline), who works for Elektron, has been bashing the TR-8 on forums since it was announced. He was actually told by multiple people on the Elektronauts forum that it struck them as unprofessional but thanks for your uninformed input.

            1. i did not know that so thank you for informing me.
              but still a guy affiliated with the company expressing his opinions on an elektron forum, and implying that they actively pay people to post on forii against the competition, don´t you think that is somewhat a leap in logic?

              1. It’s a leap to think they’d pay someone but apparently not a leap that 303sucks could be someone affiliated with Elektron. I don’t actually think that’s the case but I was disappointed to see Elektron go there. They should take the high road. Why not demo the TR-8 with an Octatrack or A4? They’ve incorporated all sorts of other equipment besides their own in demos. Maybe someone’s got $1800 and wants a TR8 and an A4, not everyone’s got $3k to throw down on 2 Elektron Machines. All the analog vs digital and brand vs brand starts to feel a bit elitist at some point. If you can write a good track, you can write good track. I was more proficient when I was limited and using whatever I could get my hands on. I’ve got Elektron gear and it hasn’t made me a better producer or writer. Sometimes it sounds great for a certain task, sometimes it doesn’t. Also, at the TR-8 price it’s safe to assume many of Elektron’s own customers may purchase a TR-8, it looks fun and instant and sounds decent, why not.

    1. That looks excellent! And at that price I think it’s a problem for any drum machine maker. Obviously RYTM and Tempest are way more feature packed but plenty of people just want solid drum sounds without all the modulation routings, parameter locks etc. At least TR-8 has 14 tracks of audio over USB, a pretty cool feature at that price point so that and it launching earlier will probably save them. Now if only Akai would bring back the hardware MPC.

  3. aaaahhhh, boring boring boring, horrible distorted 303 sound, horrible boring products yuck yuck yuck, rubbish horrible. keywords. don’t care. vote me down.

  4. TR 8 is dope !
    The 909 emulation is so close to identical with extended features, and better performance controls. The 808 emulation is not as close , but who cares. It is fun and fast to use, and cheap and replaceable, unlike the originals.
    The swing is pure filth !
    Fuck digital vs analog.
    Just make some tracks.
    Good work Roland !

Leave a Reply