Roland Celebrates ‘808 Day’ With Video, Limited-Edition V-MODA Release

Roland Corporation is showcasing their TR-808 Rhythm Composer for 808 Day today, with a closer look at the history, culture, and legacy of the iconic drum machine.

The TR-808’s predecessor: the CompuRhythm CR-78

The Roland TR-808 page today debuts a new look at the 808’s history, with insights from Roland and music makers whose work relied heavily on the drum machine.

Starting with a look at the origins of the TR-808 and the technology behind it, the feature profiles the early adopters of the instrument, and the musical culture and legacy it has inspired. An episode of the Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast with DJ Jazzy Jeff featured on the page also digs into the importance of the TR-808 in “the cultural lexicon.”

In conjunction with the 808 Day festivities, Roland has also released a short film, The ‘New York’ Roland TR-808:

Larry Smith Jr., Rashad Smith, and Iz Avila sit down with Roland at 1500 Sound Academy to discuss acclaimed Run DMC and Whodini producer Larry Smith, the lore of his personal TR-808, the music created with it, and its influence on generations of creators old and new.

This story follows this ‘New York’ TR-808 as it passed hands from the late Larry Smith to his son and producer, Larry Smith Jr (pictured), and Rashad Smith for this iconic 808 sound to continue on in modern productions. The TR-808 travels to Los Angeles and 1500 Sound Academy and introduced to the young producers and beatmakers who hear an original TR-808 for the first time.

Finally, Roland Corporation today also announced the V-MODA release of the M-100 Master 808 Limited Edition headphones.

V-MODA began its partnership with Roland Corp on “808 Day” in 2016, and marks the anniversary today with the latest in their line of headphones. They say the new version offers improved sound, comfort and durability. The over-the-ear headphones draw their style from the future-retro look of the Roland TR-808’s multicolored panel of switches, knobs and LED lights.

Pricing and Availability. The V-MODA M-100 Master 808 headphones are $300 US, available in limited edition, through September 9 (“909 Day”) or while stocks last. For additional information, or to purchase, check out the V-MODA website.

23 thoughts on “Roland Celebrates ‘808 Day’ With Video, Limited-Edition V-MODA Release

    1. “Waiting on that Behringer, maybe shipping update coming today.”

      Nope – all they had was a BS teaser. Again.

      Meanwhile, Roland is making modern takes on x0x-style drum machines, and SOMA and Elektron are making some of the most original new drum machine designs ever created.

      1. Torgood complaining about teasers

        Meanwhile, Behringer cloning pretty much all the legendary vintage synths and drum machines that many studios, musicians, and producers still want and use in their productions. Most of Behringers designs also have modern improvements to the original.

        Top Quotes about modern Roland x0x machines

        “It would be good for live” ” you will never know the difference in the mix”

        get on-board the Behringer train as they will be arriving to your studio at some point.

        1. “Meanwhile, Behringer cloning pretty much all the legendary vintage synths and drum machines that many studios, musicians, and producers still want and use in their productions. Most of Behringers designs also have modern improvements to the original.”

          Sounds like somebody drank the Kool-Aid.

          Behringer has released knockoffs of the D, the Odyssey, the VP330 and the SH-101.

          The Minimoog is still used by everybody. Not a lot of serious musicians are going to choose a rackmount knockoff over a full-size keyboard, though.

          This is pretty obvious to experienced musicians – you never want to put a synth with no patch memory in a rack, where you can’t just reach up and tweak the knobs. Knobby analog synths really only make sense as something that’s right in front of you. As a result, the Behringer D’s are getting bought, and dumped just as quickly, by hobbyists.

          The VP330 and 101 are of interest to niche audiences and collectors. But they’re not instruments that you see many people using much anymore. (Unless you’re Air). The VP330 and 101 clones are for collectors and people that want to pretend they’re Vangelis 40 years ago.

          The BARP Odyssey is the one clone that Behringer has done, so far, that makes sense for serious musicians.

          It’s a well-done, full-size clone, with some nice features added. I don’t know if they’re really available yet, but I’ve tried all of Behringer’s knockoffs, and the BARP is the only one that’s for musicians more than hobbyists and collectors.

          Everything else they’ve announced is still vaporware at this point, isn’t it? I don’t doubt that they’re release most of it, at some point, but it’s going to be another 3 years, and then it will only be of interest because its relatively cheap.

          The Roland TR-8S is actually a very cool drum machine, by the way, and way more capable than the teased Behringer RD-8. You can load your own samples and make complete tracks on the TR-8S, where all the RD-8 tries to be is a cheap 808. I’d expect the RD-8 to sell pretty well when it does finally come out, but there are WAY more interesting drum machines available already. Pretty much anything from Elektron is a more interesting drum machine than the RD-8 – even their synths.

          By the way, it seems like Behringer has stopped teasing their 909 clone. Did they figure out that you can’t do an accurate 909 clone without using Roland’s samples – which are copyrighted?

          1. @Torgood if you like all the extras on the TR-8s I recommend you try a roland MC-909 or MC-505. You get all the Roland classics in one machine. TB-303, Jupiter, 101, Juno, D50, 808, 909, cr78 606 the list goes on. Also has a D beam that you will find interesting than what is available on the roland tr-8s.

      1. Sadly, I think you’re right – only asking here out of desperation. I’ve come to rely on the CM30’s for small gatherings and mix checks.. they’ve really saved the day on more than one occasion. I kept thinking they were going to release a shielded update with more RMS power and easily serviceable fuses at some point.. I’ve really come to love the co-axial setup and durability of these speakers but 30 watts is not enough.

        Please Roland.. come on – these things are over a decade old by now!

  1. Roland’s fan base for the last ten years: “Re-release the 808 and we’ll buy it!”

    Roland: “Next best thing. Headphones with the same color scheme.”


    1. Incredible. Behringer posts pictures of cardboard boxes and this is what we believe?
      Let us take a moment to remember some of the words of PT Barnum, who knew a thing or two about marketing:

      “No man ever went broke overestimating the ignorance of the (American) public.”

      “You can fool most of the people most of the time.”

      “The common man, no matter how sharp and tough, actually enjoys having the wool pulled over his eyes, and makes it easier for the puller.”

      “Many people are gullible, and we can expect this to continue.”

      and finally:

      “Without publicity a terrible thing happens: nothing.”

      Uli knows these lessons well.

    2. CoS

      Even if that was true, so what?

      There are 808 variations in every format and form factor already.

      If you want to sound original, you need to avoid Behringer’s clones – and the 100’s of 808 sample libraries – and get something with modern capabilities.

      If you really think you need an 808 knockoff, though, wait 6 months. They’ll be available used for half the original price on Reverb, like the Deepminds are.

      1. “There are 808 variations in every format…”

        Except the format that actually fucking matters. The faithful, full size, fully analogue, with all individual outputs, MIDI, modern pattern storage and sequencing capabilities format that nobody, including Roland has been bothered to build.

        I played the Behringer 808 and 909 (and all their other new synths) at Superbooth this year. They’re awesome. I own boutique 808 and 909 too. They sound good and the form factor is definitely good for some applications. But the drawbacks far outweigh anything positive you can say about them. USB sucks. What the fuck were they thinking? A proper DC port and even just three or four assignable physical individual outs (even if they were still 1/8”) would have been killer

        Roland haven’t a fucking clue. The best synth gear they’ve made recently has been outsourced to companies like Malekko. Who totally nailed the System 500. Fair play to them

  2. That’s it? A pair of headphones? How about a new analogue (or even digital, f##k it!) synth or maybe a new Boutique line module? Like things that Roland fans would actually be interested in…

  3. Roland is so proud of the 808 analog drum machine and its relevance today they have proudly…not re-released it. And act like a selfish child “we dont want it, but we dont want you to have it either” with Behringer. #FAIL

  4. Compared to a Rytm all these (even original and) clones seem totally boring and redundant. Especially the new line of tiny Roland boxes, they even kept the stupid D-50 interface only for what I assume was the sake of nostalgia. Behringer isn’t adding enough innovations either to justify their business practice. Would be cool, and completely possible for them to maybe triple the amount of parameters, do something cool with the 80s interfaces or use modern cpu power to make amazing instruments, but this is of course expensive, requiring testing and actual musicians in the process. Almost all these prosumer sub 1000$ boxes seem invented in board rooms. I’ll save my money by pirating on my computer and buy cheap, used vintage stuff that at least has some character.

    1. Rytm is def the Ace drum machine. If I wasn’t invested into my Push 2 the Rytm would be my choice.

      The potential of profits is the only justification Behringer needs for their business practice. They listened to people, and saw a wide open market space that Roland and the other boutique 808 products left open. The ethics of the situation is a moot argument as we live in a capitalist society, but the real argument lies in the treatment of the labor that is producing the instrument. I was hoping for saving of knobs positions with the patterns if they were going to keep the same workflow.

  5. The Roland TR-8S is an absolutely brilliant drum machine that covers the sonic territory of the 808, 909 and far beyond.

    The only reason that Behringer is releasing cheap copies of the 808 and 909 is that they realize they can make a lot of money taking advantage of the good names of famous instruments made by other people.

    1. Love my TR-8S, doesn’t get enough love. It’s really a modern take on the x0x series. Not analog but who cares? These sounds have been used to death already, at least we can load our own samples in for variety as well to mix and match.

      It’s funny to talk about Behry but they are a bunch of hacks. Why don’t they make an original analog style drum machine that does the same/similar sounds that’s not a clone?

      I really don’t care about these clones but what puts me over the edge is the trade dress is way too close. Same colors, really? That’s just shameless plagiarism. They’re simply skating off others’ ideas. If Behry were a record label, they’d put out cover songs of existing artists and claim fair use because the original artist is dead or not recording anymore.

      It’s a shame because there’s a lot of smart people working at Behringer. The DeepMind is actually a decent take at an orginal synth. They obviously started with the Juno guts and went up but at least it’s not a blatant ripoff. Why not do the same with a drum machine—eg DeepDrum?

      Make selectable noise circuits to emulate the 808/909/more in one box, similar to a Tempest meets DrumBrute but way simpler. I think they’d go over pretty well. Answer: then they coldn’t sell the fanboys multiple times on some copy of a gear they lust over.

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