Using The Roland TR-8 With Custom Samples & Ableton Live

Reader Thomas Nylund shared this demo of using a Roland TR-8 with custom samples and Ableton Live.

“Ever wanted to use custom samples on your Roland Aira TR-8?” asks Nylund. “All you need is your machine at hand, a usb cable, and Ableton Live.”

Nyland’s solution is basically a custom MIDI mapping for Ableton. He set up a drum rack and mapped all the sliders and knobs accordingly. Make sure to drop your samples inside the Simpler presets on the waveform in the drum rack and NOT DIRECTLY TO A DRUM PAD, or you will erase the custom MIDI mapping.

“Even more fun will ensue if you’ve got an audio interface with multiple outputs handy,” he adds. “Scatter your brains out with your custom samples, using the built-in scatter effects. Simply assign a pair of stereo-outs to your external inputs, then route all the internal drum sounds to one of the assignable outputs instead of the regular L/R outputs. Then you just route the audio out through the Aira and back in, and voila, amygdala-tickling sound effects that would put even the death stars lasers to shame!”

Nylund has shared his work as a free download via Tinyupload.

If you give it a try, let us know how it works for you!

via Synthesis Minimalis

21 thoughts on “Using The Roland TR-8 With Custom Samples & Ableton Live

  1. Looks more like “using the TR-8 as a controller for Ableton Live”.

    Doesn’t seem (to me) that samples are being loaded onto the hardware, as the title would imply. *shrug

  2. Hi, there is absolutely no way that you can load your custom samples onto your TR8 and bring it on the road. Basically this tips and tricks is meant to control your ableton from an external hardware. Just like basically 99% of anything knobby having a midi interface these days.

    TR8 is a great sounding machine per se. No need to claim it can be upgraded to have millions of fantastic new functions, because it can actually do few of things, but it does them well.

    (and this is the end of my rant)

    1. ???

      The title reflects exactly what the post is about.

      A clickbait version would be something like “One Trick That Will Make Your Drum Machine Sound New Again!”

      Also – it’s a pretty cool approach, though I’d like to see Roland offer a TR-8 VST.

      1. it specifically DOES NOT reflect “exactly” what the post is about

        what the post is “exactly” about is: using Ableton with a TR8 as MIDI controller

        thats it

        the title is specifically misleading because it implies that the custom samples are implicit in the TR8, as it specifically says “using the TR8 with custom samples”

        its deceptive. pure and simple. you cannot argue against that unless you are part of the problem. and if thats the case, then… well, we will just have to take care of that for you

        1. Abdul

          Yes – if you completely ignore the part of the headline where it clearly mentions Ableton Live, then you might think the post is about something other than using the Roland TR-8 with custom samples & Ableton Live.

          Now that you explain it like that, it makes sense why you were confused.

          1. I knew exactly what this meant the moment I read the title.

            Thinking one can load samples into a device that does not support such a feature says more about the reader than the title of the post…

  3. What a bunch of frickin’ whiners! Who gives a rats ass what the title says. This guy made a cool thing to share with you and you’re too busy crapping on the post title to thank him for it. Sheesh! Grow up already.

  4. mate, its a guy using a midi controller to play some rather dull EDM crud any 4 year old could make, this is neither cool or interesting.

    Slow day at synthopia I guess.

    1. I’m not saying that this is the greatest piece of music I have ever heard or that he is the greatest talent the world has ever seen, in fact I would love it if the comments were about the quality of the music he was creating or the samples he chose, etc… but they’re not. They’re about the post title. Really?

  5. Seems clear to me and exactly what I was looking for – a midi map for Live I can use to trigger samples from the tr-8. The audio routing is a bonus! Shame the tiny link isn’t working, would have saved me the ballache – anyone else got the mapping?

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