Roland TR-8 vs DSI Tempest Drum Machine Jam

Sunday Synth Jam: This video, via Solaires, captures a drum machine vs drum machine jam session – Roland Aira TR-8 vs DSI Tempest, mano a mano.

Here’s what Solaires has to say about it:

“I picked up the TR-8 this week, it makes a great companion to the Tempest, which I have going through a Korg Kaoss pad Quad and into the Roland’s external input.”

17 thoughts on “Roland TR-8 vs DSI Tempest Drum Machine Jam

  1. The TR-8 sounds nice….but not at all analogue (to me at least), like some have suggested. I know its subjective but that my impression in the first 3 seconds of hearing it.

  2. The TR-8 clearly wins as a drum machine – it sounds great, has a great UI and is $1500 less than the Tempest.

    The Tempest wipes the floor with the TR-8, though, as a synth. I love how Solaires uses the Tempest for lots of creative sounds and also straight ahead synth sounds.

    Their both great machines. The thing I struggle with, though, is whether it really makes sense to pay $1500 more for a Tempest for the added synthesis flexibility. You could get a TR-8 and a Prophet ’08 module for about the same prices as the tempest and you’d have a lot more power.

    1. I guess if you like the same old rehashed played out boring drum sounds…then yeah..the Roland wins. If you like forward thinking drum synthesis that brings something new and inspiring to the table, them you probably would like the Tempest.

    2. Where do you shop? Look around and shop a Tempest runs $1,550 new. Check out Pro Audi Star, Musicans friend, and JRR shop. Also, the Tempest beats the TR-8 by a long shot. I can’t belive you would compare a virtual analog drum machine to an analog groove machine, lol. Go back to fruity loops, please.

      Ask yourself this question: would Moby or other pro musicans use a Roland TR-8? Probally not. The TR-8 is a novelty. And it’s part of the Aria collection, lol. Act now and they’ll throw in a designer bag made in China. Where do you people come from?

    1. I always wonder about that. It seems like every DJ and controller player pull their hands away from pots and buttons very quickly. I would understand if they had to go to another control right away, but they usually just pull their hand back towards their body, so it looks like they burned their hand.

      Does anyone know why? (*NOTE* There is no cynicism or sarcasm intended. I am genuinely curious to know why.)

      I actually tend to do the opposite – move quickly to get my timing right for the press/turn, and then slowly move to the next control as I think about what needs to be adjusted next.

      1. It’s so true. I’ve noticed it too, and to me it’s clearly to look like they’re doing something difficult, or like they’re working harder than they are. yes, it’s fine to have some artistic flair, but alot of it seems to be no different than rock star pose. Same as some guitarists or drummer’s really. Either way, i find it rather annoying cos it looks so intentional…and if i ever get around to performing live, i promise not to do it. Instead, i’ll just fist pump with one hand….(haha, no fucking way!!!)

        1. It’s probably to do with just hit the eq’s with precision and timing while they’re grooving to the music. A DJ or live PA guy doing dance music might be bouncing up and down during their set and perhaps its easy to jump it and do a rapid twist at precise points to get the eq right and when they draw back their hand they are sort of locked in to that quick movement. Some DJ’s find it easier to not have to be so sudden if they make use of channel filters.

  3. I would rather by a Maschine. Because the TR-8 feels like a cheap novelty to me. The TR8 workmanship alone, makes me want to vomit. It looks cheesy. Roland says: We move foward. No roland, you’re moving backwards with the TR-8. Because you’re trying to emulate what you did best. And your VA stuff is hot garbage. Roland you have made a toy for the nation of Fruity loops, congrats.

  4. Props for a cool jam. got a bit repetetive even for a techno guy like me half way through. I guess the roland doesnt offer scenes like the tempest does.

    Anyone comparing the roland to the tempest has got straight rocks in their head though.

    One is a machine designed and built to emulate a relic of the past that has been thrashed to death across every genre, to be as cheap to manufacture for mass distribution, which is essentially not as powerful as some drum VST’s are which cost less that half the price.

    The other is a custom tooled machine designed to be a limitless way for an artist to express himself with drum or synth sounds, has pokyphony, a real filter (two actually) and a versatile sequencer etc.

    If you cant see where the other 1300$ goes, then you will be happy with an aria recreating boring 90’s classic techno.

    I can attest though, a prophet, while great on its own (i own one) is nowhere near the sonic palette of a tempest. Both are different.

    The tempest will be looked upon in years to come as a rare gem from an era where idiots where convincing themselves that digital toys like an aira were good.

    If you can afford it, get the tempest. If you cant, get an aira and get reaalllly creative within its realms.

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