Build Your Own Roland TR-808 Drum Machine Clone – The YOCTO


E-licktronic has introduced a DIY clone of the Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, the YOCTO.

According to E-licktronic, the YOCTO is an exact reproduction of the analog part of the TR – 808 (with the exception of the BA662 VCA Clap has been replaced by a BA6110). The classic analog drum synth sound engine is paired with a MIDI sequencer that lets you store up to 256 patterns, organized into 16 banks of 16 patterns in a Non-volatile EEPROM.

Looks interesting – but does it sound like an 808?

Here’s a set of audio demos. Check them out and let us know what you think:



  • The ergonomics of YOCTO follows that of the TR-808 with 16 edits buttons, two rotary switches for instruments and modes.
  • 11 drums 100% analog cloned the TR-808
  • A common Accent for all drums
  • 16 banks of 16 patterns from 1 to 32 steps
  • 16 songs of 256 patterns
  • 11 separates OUT, one for each drum
  • A Mono Master OUT
  • 2 Trigs Output that allow you to trig a external instrument (a third one is in option on the board)
  • Midi IN, OUT, THRU
  • Din sync24 IN/OUT to synchronize other machines with same standard

Here’s a video demo:

The kit includes everything you need to build YOCTO (Two PCBs, resistors, capacitors, connectors, transistors, ICs, buttons, LEDs, screws …) except the wall wart power transformer & case.

The YOCTO is a large project and is recommended for more advanced DIYers. It’s available via the e-licktronic site for 379 Euro.

via CDM, debug

18 thoughts on “Build Your Own Roland TR-808 Drum Machine Clone – The YOCTO

  1. I’d like to see an Acidlab Miami vs Yocto comparison. I own a Miami, and if the Yocto is just as good as the Miami, I might just sell the miami and pick up a diy kit just for the sake of doing it. (but i don’t want to end up with some cheap MFB like clone.. the Miami does a really decent job..) Any thoughts?

  2. I suspect by the time you’ve paid someone to build this (if youre not a DIY-er), and had a case built it’ll cost near enough to the Miami. Its sounds great for 375, but its probably closer to 800 all in.

  3. This is the golden age of synthesizers! Look at how many amazing new analog synths you can buy right now. And if you want a classic? you can clone anything! clone any classic modular easily, the arp 2600? clonable. The 909 and now the 808? clonable. Korg, oberheim, dave smith, and moog are all doing clones or reimaginings of their classics. Between DIY and new products anything that your heart desires is easily gotten and at a decent price.

  4. Why can’t Roland get back into the game???? All they would need to do is re-issue some of their classic drum machines and synths and they would be the best once again. They Should release an all analog Drum machine with all of their classic sounds. 808, 909 707 ect.. Make it 100% analog and make it look cool. No More Plastic junk ROLAND!!

    1. I’d love to see them do this, too. There would probably be a lot of demand for a new 808, if they could do it for around $1,000.

      What I’d really like to see them do is a modern analog drum machine, more like what Dave Smith is doing with the Tempest. The Tempest’s 2K price is a little rich for my budget, though!

  5. Could somebody PLEASE drive a tank through Yamaha’s front door to get their attention that their paying customers want a modern CS80-like synth. Roland collectively fell on their heads and are suffering from business brain damage, so i’ve given up hope of them making anything similar to their older stuff. Yamaha however has the ball in their court, it just takes the right person, or group of people to convince them that re-doing a CS80 is worth a shot.

  6. This CS-80 design is so unstable, I’m not sure anyone would consider a clone of it. It really needs to be reimangined, if you know what I mean. Take all the concepts, sound engineering wise, and somehow get them in a case that is somehow stable and less likely to overheat than the original. I don’t imagine it is easy at all, but it would also be very expensive to engineer the thing a second time. The beauty of a machine like the 2600 is, despite it’s complexity for sound creation, the engineering inside seems to be a little more straightforward and stable than the CS-80. Of course I’d love to see Yamaha or anyone else do a clone, but I’m not holding my breath.

  7. This doesn’t appear to be orderable – no add to cart. Saw this a month ago, same situation. Has ANYONE got any background info on when this might be available? Site looks great, looks legit.

    1. If you press Home on their website you’ll see a post from the 30th of October stating that they are still working on the final product. At least I think they’re talking about the Yocto.

  8. As above: a remake or close by Roland of the 808s 909s 303s etc would really be it. People think they’re specialist and wouldn’t sell enough, i think they could be wrong.

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