Roland TR-707 vs AIRA 7X7-TR8

Roland recently introduced the 7X7-TR8 Drum Machine Expansion pack, a new add-on for the TR-8 that adds two new drum machine sound libraries – TR-707 and TR-727.

This video, via harvistful, is an A/B test between the TR8 + 7X&-TR8 Expansion Pack combo vs the original Roland TR-707. 

Check out the comparison and try to guess which is which, before it is is revealed in the video. Then let us know what you think of the comparison!

37 thoughts on “Roland TR-707 vs AIRA 7X7-TR8

  1. I picked ’em out at the hats instantly. The 707 is more sharp. Really like the 7×7 expansion though, adding the flam turned my TR-8 into the proper beast it promised to be..

    1. the difference in the hats is because the TR8 has a better DA convertor from 2014 compared to the 707 which is from the early 80s. that’s easily enough to make a difference. partically in the top end. Original will be “less smooth” with more distortion which is pretty much what has happened here

      1. I understand this, but that ‘raw edge’ (= distorted) is what is so nice about the original. However, compression on the bass drum and snare, tune and decay on all sounds, the noise versions of 808 sounds, there is a lot here to get excited about.

        1. This is not exactly the same as a guitar distortion, and it is not my point. But yes, I can add some noise in the mix to get a similar effect…

  2. well bugger me!!! I got it wrong! Lol.
    The TR8 isn’t sample based so the sounds are modelled and damn, they’ve got it right on this one :).

    1. The TR8 uses samples when the original had samples. That’s the case with a few 909 sounds and all the 7×7 sounds. These are digital sounds you’re hearing. Presumably, it’s modeling the support circuitry.

  3. if I buy a new TR8 do I get the new sounds already installed in it? no. I cant believe how Roland has failed on this positive marketing potential. I mean….already have a TR8 that you brought for its features? its maybe reasonable to suggest that old users buy the “upgrade” but seriously, for new sales as well to pay an extra $100? what a joke.

  4. At the end this does not have any sense, because people use cheap phones and listen mp3, and nobady cares is it sample, or live drum…

    1. So you’re just a music making jukebox, only making what the average idiot cares about. You should stop posting here too, because we don’t care about it.

  5. The TR-8 has sharper transients and a clearer top end. Sounds slightly better than the original to me. (I own a 727)… still not worth $100 tho.

  6. I preferred all of the sounds coming out of one side except for the ride cymbal. Well give me a massive spanking if I didn’t get the surprise of my life and find out I liked the TR-8 over the original. Even in the full mix the 727 sounded boomy and way too thick compared to the extra space and better mix coming out of the TR-8.


    1. Higher quality electronics in the audio path are probably why. But, as the comments here suggest, higher quality doesn’t necessarily mean ‘better’, when people are used to the sound of the original.

      All-in-all, though, these are going to be indistinguishable in a mix.

  7. Sound very very close. They should not be many in the world who can hear the difference in a mix (and this is not the most interesting public). The only real difference is this painful “hum”… Obviously it’s easier to copy a digital sound than an analog.

  8. I knew what one was the 707 right away, but I kept liking every sound from the TR-8 better. The DAC makes a huge difference in the sound quality. You can always bit crush and distort the TR-8 after the fact, but you can never make a 707 sound cleaner and more accurate.

  9. I also loved the TR-8 Sound more over the original and thought first this would be the original sound… it sounded warmer to me and in general better… its taste at the end… I own a TR-8 but 75 EUR for the kits ? hmmmm… not sure if I buy this… sounds good, but I already paid for the machine… why not give it for FREE to the users ?

  10. first time listening to these machines alone like this, i can affirm i have a good eletronic music background, that said, i chose the tr8 as my favorite sounds. rly liked them. good job roland. any comments on the swings?

  11. How can people simultaneously say that they like the analog boxes more and then ask for all the updates on the TR-8 to be free. They spent a long time carefully making these add-ons. Id rather keep paying for upgrades. Don’t you want them to CONTINUE making these add ons? As an owner, I want as many as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *