Classic Roland TR-707 Sounds Coming To Aira TR-8

This video features David Arlund at the Dancefair Utrecht, demoing the features of the new Roland Aira TR-8 Rhythm Performer drum machine.

The TR-8 is a hardware model of two of the most coveted drum machines of all time, the TR-808 and TR-909.

But what’s really interesting about this video is what Arlund says, starting at about 1:15 in: Roland is modeling their other classic drum machine circuits, and plans to bring the Roland TR-707 sounds to the Aira TR-8.

via DV247 TV, S&TG

67 thoughts on “Classic Roland TR-707 Sounds Coming To Aira TR-8

  1. I personally love the sounds of 707, but is there anything that needs “modeling”? It is a sample-based drum machine with practically no options for sound editing. Just a fixed set of what, 13 samples?

    1. True but being able to change the pitch, attack, and decay of those sounds will be nice. I hope they also do a 606 and CR78.

      1. Even CR-8000 sounds would be great. Heck, why not do most of their old analogue drum machine line. If Roland keeps up with their new line, it could become a real powerhouse.

  2. If they’re updating the firmware with new models and already being able to sequence the effects, surely full support for parameter lock isn’t that far away as well I reckon. That’d make it worth buying for me, without that it’s still too much of a one-trick pony.

  3. I have a 707 and 727 and no matter what happens there never leaving, but great for people looking for a machine with 727 sounds.

  4. I think this machine became more interesting when it was put in more capable hands. If Roland is smart and I know they are, they put this out a little early and waited for people to ask for features and they’re baking them in. I have to admit, that sidechain input for the compressor is brilliant.
    I used to have a Compu-Rhythm 8000 when I was a kid. If I were under a rock for however long and I came out after years and saw this: I would know what it’s for. 🙂 There’s a big resurgence of people wanting to have boxes to do stuff again. I can understand because you can have all the features in the world in a computer but if you only have a second to make a switch from one setting to another nothing beats a dedicated knob. In the assignable controller realm I feel a bit cheated because I still have to have the computer or the hardware is worthless. That’s where the plug-out concept intrigues me very much. Maybe down the road we’ll be able to zap this thing with an update and add even more sounds and or features.
    I love what Roland is doing and I hope they keep it up.

    1. Same here. CR-78 is my weakness. Hope Roland continues to allow you to mix and match all the sounds when they and new machines.

  5. picked one up on fri. very impressed by the sound and playability. Much more serious than I was thinking it would be. Lots of ‘hidden’ features that I cant seem to find in manual such as changing colour scheme or the way accents can be programmed (at least thats what I think is happening!) Time and users will reveal more of these I hope
    feels solid also… well worth it IMO

  6. picked on up on Friday and am very happy with it. Used to use Maschine exclusively, but this works great with it. Couple of niggles with the patch storage and when connected via USB and midi-clock is sent, if I have another channel in logic connected, the patterns play that channels sound, so some kind of local off would be good. Also changing the I/O of usb to 44.1 or 48khz would help my set up as I use another sound card Most of all though, it is fun to play.

      1. Would love to know this – specifically, can the scatter be MIDI controlled? It looks like you can link it between the tr8 and the 303 so I would think yes, but I’d love to hear more about how this is done.

    1. It sounds as if your Tr-8 is sending midi note messages from it’s sequencer to the midi input of your selected instrument track. try changing the tracks midi input to no input or maybe not all ins. The Tr-8 would still send midi note messages even if local was off, It would just need a midi message back on an input before you could trigger sounds on the unit. Midi clock only handles the timing sync of the receiving devices. Hope that helps

  7. The idea of quality samples from there impressive vac library is make the whole series a much more interesting product. Hopefully we’ll see a continued support for the products. They should try get some mc-202 emulation on the tb3

  8. I asked about adding 707 and 727 sounds to the tr8 when roland did a q&a. They said it was a possibility, but didnt confirm it.
    I doubt this will be a free update whenever/if it happens, unless sales flop…which i dont think they are/will.

  9. Roland will never be able to reproduce the warmth and fidelity of the TR-707 using digital modeling!

    Wait. I just heard myself and what I said sounds stupid to me too.

    1. No, he’s the brother of Miles Copeland instead.

      Incidentally, would that be the LATE Ian Copeland you’re referring to?

  10. The Tr8 is an excellent machine.
    Really impressed with the sound and playability.
    I imagine it will receive many sound updates – cr78 707 727 606 possibly more – let’s hope so !

    Hats off to Roland.

  11. Roland still need to sort out a few features on this thing to make it the best it can be. It feels a little un-finished, so perhaps they plan to take user feedback and develop from there.

    An example of ‘unfinished’ is that you can’t actually save drum kits. There is no ‘save’ option, editing takes immediate effect on a kit. But if you load a kit, the knob settings for the sounds take immediate effect, so whatever pitch was saved is irrelevant, it changes to whatever you have it at now. That needs to be fixed.

    Certainly for me, parameter locks are number two, (after being able to recall kits reliably).
    I love the 707, but it’s easily recreated with a good sample set. Give us CR78!
    Only having memory for 16 patterns is just plain cheap for this day and age.

    I’m surprised they didn’t include a “shift” button to allow for future “button+shift” options if they choose to add more features, patterns, or other stuff.

    1. I agree with you 110%. Not being able to save drum kits pretty much makes it useless for live performance in my opinion. Unless you wanna use the same kit the entire time.

  12. How about a Roland TR-9?
    Physical Individual outputs?
    No green lights everywhere?
    A filter section and distortion?
    Trigger out for all sounds?
    Nevermind.. Just dreaming.

  13. Looks nice. And for $500 bucks it’s a steal, because it captures 80% of the vintage pieces. All you need is a daw for restoration purposes. Yet, the analog purists can’t see this. Because, even analog goes digital, when it hits your daw. Hahaha.

  14. I work for a large studio in California. I mention this because most people would be shocked at our workflows. Most of us use a mixture of everything. And we’re 100% not biased. If you’re ever going to make it pro, you need to use whatever sounds good. My friends, nothing is subjective, and everything has a use or purpose in music production. Take away these perceptions about analog vs digital and stay away from the biased fourms, like KVR and Gearslutz. They’re all biased and destroy your creative creative capability. Stick with sound on sound and music radar. Don’t listen to Carl and Andrew who mix in their moms basemsnt, lol.

      1. Please rember to capitalize your letters, kiddo. Before you jump someone. It makes you look like a hypocrite, just sayin.

    1. All sounds are useful and nothing is subjective, not even Casio sounds. I can’t belive I just said that, but it’s 100% true. Outboard gear can change a weak Casio tune into a singing Tiger in heat. All it takes is time and know how.

      This is why I use outboard gear in 100% of my productions. However, I arrange everything with VST effects before I print everything on outboard. I can do this at home or anywhere on my labtop, like a blue print.

      If I had no access to outboard, I would use: Soundtoys and Fabfilter only with an Ozone Master cherry on top.

    2. Anyways, the TR-8 does a good job. But the signal is weaker when it finally gets to your daw. This is why most people prefer analog because analog to digital creates a better signal. VA is, like, taking a copy of a VHS tape and using it as a recording. Whereas, the true blue analog recording will sound 10x better going into your daw.

      But, a Fatso could bring back all of the goodness of the TR-8. Or if you’re strapped for cash, record a nice quality sample of it through a zoom recorder and transfer the zoom recording back into your daw. Make sure to find the sweet spot in your speaker placement when you’re recording your TR-8 sample. You can also get a nice reverb effect from this as well. Now put some delay into your TR-8 drum recording.

  15. I’m glad that Roland didn’t go the same route has the NI Maschine drum system, integrating the unit as an instrument and a MIDI controller instead of just a bundled MIDI controller with a specific “DAW” like software (a.ka. Maschine software). However, I do not object to the concept of the philosophy the NI Maschine, I just would like to limit my need to have to bring a computer to gig with as little as possible.

  16. Seems to be marketed towards people that want to get away from their computer. Sounds very good to me and certainly close enough to the real thing. I just wish it had some memory. 2×16 patterns is enough for one song but no song storage?

  17. though the tb-3 and tr-8 are great, there are still a couple of flaws in the emulation that need fixing. on the tb-3 there’s no accumulation of ‘voltage’ on multiple accents and on the tr-8 the accent on the 808 kick also needs some work, it also doesn’t go up in pitch like the original.

  18. I just got the TR8 and I must say I am thoroughly enjoying it. It’s honestly the most fun I’ve had playing music in awhile. I’m mostly in the box these days, Live, Maschine, etc but I’ve been slowly acquiring hardware. I’ve been using the TR8 with a Bass Station 2 and an Uktranova hooked up to the Audio in. So much fun!!!!!!!!
    Think I’ll grab an old old sampler to round out the set up. Shall b awesome.

  19. please update the firmware with improved emulation of the 909 clap/snare phasing and the 808 bass drum. it really sounds off. then more fx and kits.

  20. Hi there! I am having a problem with the TR-8 and Ableton Live 8. I am recording the input signal n an ableton channel and that works, the kick on channel 3,snare on 4 and so on. But the TR-8 has for instance no panning so you have to add this in Ableton. I am at this point where i can do that after the recording. But i want to do it before the recording with the input signal. So i could mix all together nice and the record it. But when i am turning on the monitor in to hear the live input i get a double signal like a short delay. So i am hearing the input signal and i think a direct out signal. Anybody have this flaw?

    1. Each instrument can be panned on the TR-8. Go into “Instrument Select” mode, then hold down the selection button for a sound and turn the tempo knob left or right to pan .

  21. Why is there no one questioning the need for a dedicated knob with ton of leds around it for a horrible sounding scatter or whatever effect. It’d be easy sale (too bad it sound like it was easy sale even with that) if they had forgo that one and put in assignable effect/timeshift(ms) knob for each channel + variety of distortion effects. Now I’m probably getting a Surface Pro 3 and just use a midi controller with some software. If you don’t know why a timeshift in milliseconds knob is really a must have then I don’t know what to say – perhaps you aren’t yet a pro? Professional products like those from Spectrasonics and Yamaha have had that stuff for long time, even with dedicated controls for it as that’s how the insane grooves are made. Instead what Roland gave us was a lame shuffle knob that makes the groove horrible in 98% of the possible knob positions, so you have to be super careful to get it to groove and as it’s so inprecise, it doesn’t groove very well as the “butter zone” is so small that you’d need some robotic arm to tweak the knob properly. I tested this TR-8 for 3 hours in a shop to make these conclusions. Oh yeah I completely forgot. No one is making insane grooves these days. That’s why only listen to old records.

  22. Guys, half of the issues mentioned in the historical comments above have been fixed by the 1.10 update. To check your TR-8 hold the 14 and 16 pads when powering up, then press start/stop and watch the display. Switch it off and on again after being in this test mode.

    Lots of new features and Latch settings for scatter is a live show life saver! This box is so good, I have stopped using Maschine for the past few months! Peace.

  23. I just got this and love it. Had an original 808. This does more for me than that one and makes me smile every time I play around with it. There are some very cool grooves available if ya know how to do it. Fast, easy, live!

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