Roland 808 Eurorack Drum Machine Clone Coming This Fall

System 80 shared an update on their upcoming Eurorack Roland TR-808 clone.

The System 80 808 is a recreation of the TR-808 drum machine, reformatted into a 60 HP Eurorack module. It couples the original 16 analog drum voices of the TR-808 with an enhanced TR-style step sequencer.

According to the company, the drum circuits are exact clones of the original TR-808 schematics, using the same semiconductors, wherever possible. All operational amplifiers and bipolar transistors are the same as in the original. 

Features:

  • 16 analogue drum voices (6 single voices, 5 switchable dual voices) with global accent
  • Pattern sequencer with 1-32 steps
  • 12 banks of 16 patterns
  • 16 rhythm tracks
  • Shuffle and roll modes
  • External MIDI triggering of drum voices
  • 11 individual drum voice outputs + master output with volume control
  • 2 assignable trigger outputs
  • External sync via MIDI clock, DIN Sync or clock pulse.

Video Demo:

Pricing and Availability:

The System 80 808 is expected to be available by fall 2017. Pricing is TBA.

FAQ’s

System 80 shared these FAQ’s about the 808 module:

What next?

The teaser video features the second prototype. We are in the process of refining the design to make it production ready. The final production prototype should be ready by late spring.

When can I get one?

Optimistically, late summer. Pessimistically, early fall.

How can I get one?

Once available, stock will be available for direct purchase from our website. We’ve had inquiries from dealers so there is a chance you may be able to purchase through your favourite local synth retailer.

How much will it cost?

This is the question we get asked most often and we don’t yet have a firm answer. The 808 has more than one thousand parts and even after robotic assembly there are many parts that need to be hand assembled. There are a couple of significant manufacturing expenses that have yet to be finalized, which prevents confirmation of a final price. We should have an update on pricing later this spring.

Why Eurorack?

Eurorack is a compact modular synthesizer format that has been increasing in popularity for a number of years. Even a small system can provide extensive tools for making and shaping sounds. The 808 has always benefited from external processing of its drum sounds so it seemed like a good fit for the Eurorack format. It has individual outputs for each drum voice and extensive options for synchronization. Designing and manufacturing a desktop module provides a host of challenges but we’re definitely thinking about it.

What about external triggering?

An expander module that allows external triggering of the drum voices is in development.

When will there be audio demos?

We’re working on it.

26 thoughts on “Roland 808 Eurorack Drum Machine Clone Coming This Fall

    1. “Where are the critics of Uli this time?”

      It seems you have no understanding of the aspects of Behringer’s clone plans that people take issue with.

      Keep on trolling, though, maybe you’ll get it right sometime!

  1. If you don´t know what to do, clone some 808 stuff … there are still not enough replicas on the road …. as next we will see the tb 808 i think …

    1. That’s covered in the post:

      “What about external triggering?

      An expander module that allows external triggering of the drum voices is in development.”

  2. I think many of us are into Euro because of the patching/modulation possibilities. This fails in that department. Too bad.

    1. It’s addressed in the post.

      “What about external triggering?

      An expander module that allows external triggering of the drum voices is in development.”

  3. 808 and 909 are such an overused cliché sound by now, the only way to use them is ironically. My personal limit for ironic gear is 350 Euro, so this one is most likely out of the race.

    1. Any other ironic gear bits you own? Have had this problem recently that I’ve collected all the 57,919 synthesizers manufactured between 1934-2018, and wanted to add some pieces to the overused cliché sound making machines collection that my father (a prominent hairmetal funk composer) left me after being hit by inflatable pool thrown outta the hotel.

    2. I’m curious what sounds people use who make these type of comments on here. Your taste in music must be super experimental.

      Are you bored by traditional instruments like piano, guitar, and standard acoustic drum kits? What kind of instruments are not overused?

      Do you use percussive rhythms and or drums in your music? If so, what is the sound source ?

      The 909 and 808 are a classic traditional sound source for most forms of electronic/dance music. If you do not like the 808/909 in their simplest form they are still incredible sounding drum machines that can be processed in creative ways to do new incredible sounds.
      If you ever have used a real 909 and or 808 you would agree that these machines bring life, energy, and mojo into any mix. Then its up to the artist to get experimental with them if they choose with dynamics, effects, and recording techniques.

      I assume most people who come to synthtopia are interested in electronic music. If this was a rock music blog, I feel like this comment would be the equivalent of saying acoustic drums are so overused in rock music.

      Am I missing something?

      By the way this new euro 808 sounds closest to the real thing! great job!

  4. This isn’t a euro 808. That would require actually being able to modulate stuff. This is an 808 that can be racked in a euro case. Strymon realized the difference, and pulled their Generalissimo project to rethink as something other than just a pedal stuck on a panel. It doesn’t look like these guys got the memo.

  5. I’m just gonna wait for Behringer version that will for sure be cheaper and probably just as good… After all it’s just a 808 (just like 909 and 303, there’s nothing magical in those gear). I had the original 808, 909 and 303 in the studio until very lately, but I notice I was not even using them because we have so much alternative (including in software) that gets the job done just as well. I have plenty of 808 samples I did, so now I can quickly load them in Maschine or the MPC as I want… not even counting the additional banks and plugs I bought over the years.
    So in the end, my 808/909/303 were just collecting dust, so I put them on sale. The 808 is already gone. But if Behringer also come with a Rack-Mountable version and if it’s in the $250-400 price range, I will probably buy them back, just to have them in the rack. But I’m not gonna spend anything more for a 808/909/303.

  6. I agree i will wait for Behringer’s drum machine it will probably be more advanced and affordable none the less I hope they price this sensibly

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