Roland Intros TR-6S Rhythm Performer, TR-06 Drumatix Drum Machines, TR-606 Drum Synth

Roland has introduced two new hardware drum machines and a software version of the classic TR-606.

Roland today has introduced three new instruments in its TR drum machine family.

  • The TR-6S Rhythm Performer is based on their flagship TR-8S, but in a compact and more affordable form factor.
  • The TR-06 Drumatix is the latest addition to the Roland Boutique series, combining the sounds and workflow of the ‘80s-era TR-606 hardware with modern enhancements.
  • Finally, the TR-606 Software Rhythm Composer expands Roland Cloud’s ‘Legendary’ series with another classic TR instrument.

Here’s the details on each:

TR-6S Rhythm Performer 

The TR-6S delivers the same sound of its bigger sibling, along with a six-track sequencer, in a portable, battery-powered box.

Recreations of Roland drum machines like the 808, 909, 707, 606 and more are included, and users can mix and match them with preset and custom samples and FM tones to create hybrid kits.

The TR-6S is a high-quality USB audio/MIDI interface, too.

TR-06 Drumatix 

The TR-06 is a modern take on the Roland TR-606 Drumatix from the 1980s, in Roland’s ‘Boutique’ format.

Here’s what Roland has to say about the new TR-06 drum machine:

This new Roland Boutique version captures the distinctive tone and iconic look of the original while reimagining it with bold new sound-crafting potential. Users can control tuning, decay, and pan for each instrument, or crank up the internal gain for each circuit model and push it into warm overdrive or aggressive distortion. An onboard compressor adds fullness and punch, while the tempo delay creates depth and space.

Like the original, the TR-06 has a familiar and straightforward step sequencer. But now it’s been updated with advanced features like sub-steps for ratcheted parts, step-loop for instant pattern slicing, and more. With five trigger outputs and a trigger input, the TR-06 integrates nicely with modular setups.

The Rolanbd TR-06 is also a high-quality USB audio interface, and features battery operation and a built-in speaker, so it can be used for beatmaking anywhere.

TR-606 Software Rhythm Composer 

For musicians that prefer to work ‘in the box’, the sound of the classic TR-606 Software Rhythm Composer is also now available as a plug-in for DAW music production.

The software version has the same sound and behavior of the original, plus new features that virtually modify the circuitry for more sound choices and faster programming.

Like the TR-06 hardware, the TR-606 plug-in offers tuning, decay, and pan on each instrument and the ability to overdrive the internal circuitry. The step sequencer has been expanded with lanes for each sound, and each pattern has eight variations plus adjustable flams, sub-steps, and soft hits.

Users can also pair the TR-8S or TR-06 with the TR-606 for hardware and software integration. Patterns can be shared between the TR-8S and TR-606, and the TR-06’s knobs are pre-mapped to the plug-in for intuitive, hands-on workflow.

The TR-606 Software Rhythm Composer, along with all instruments in the Legendary series, is included with the Ultimate membership level of Roland Cloud.

Availability & Pricing

The TR-6S will be available for $399.99 in November 2020 and the TR-06 will be available for $399.99 in late October 2020.

The TR-606 Software Rhythm Composer is available now via Roland Cloud.

See the Roland site for more information.

31 thoughts on “Roland Intros TR-6S Rhythm Performer, TR-06 Drumatix Drum Machines, TR-606 Drum Synth

  1. So, a Behringer real fully analogue 606 for $200 (already available) or the Roland ‘Digital’ toy like model of a 606 for $400 about to launch. Why Roland, why?

    1. If you call these toys we really have to question what it is you do? Do you even make music? Are you one of these analog purists who have never really owned or used analog drum machines and don’t understand the pros and cons of them but insist on talking about them?

      The Behringer machines are fine but they are arguably the toys based on their limitations. No matter how you look at it, the Behringer is not the TR-909 or TR-808, etc. Digital modelling is at a stage now where the differences are no really relevant so Roland and other companies give you the original sounds with modern editing and workflow options.

      I’ll leave by saying that I wish you a lot of luck when your Behringer is out of warranty and you want it repaired.

      1. If you think digital emulations of analogue are as good as real analogue then by all means pay twice as much for this digital version.

        You can have the analogue drum machine for half as much with 6 individual outs for mixing. I am not disparaging Roland generally (I have a TD27 kit in my studio, I play drums) but this range seems utterly pointless to me, the form factor and editing is fiddley (as was the original) and the only reason to program drums in this very limited way is because you are a purist that loves analogue. So what’s the point of copying digitally ‘warts and all’ and making it more expensive than the analogue product Behringer built?

        1. This isn’t a ‘digital emulation of analogue’, this is a much more sophisticated piece of gear than the original, capable of sounding like basically any vintage Roland drum machine, loading any arbitrary samples you want to play, plus FM synthesis.

          Plus it’s got a modern drum sequencer and it’s an audio interface so it hooks right into your DAW.

          This is way more powerful than a 30-year old piece of gear.

          If you just want want a cheap 606, I can see where the Behringer clone might make sense. But you’re limiting yourself tremendously in what you can do vs what you can do with a modern drum machine.

            1. Both of them are disappointing products. The Roland sounds more accurate to the original but for what you’re getting $399.99 is extortionate. Why include a mini speaker on a product like this and not include DIN sync? The Behringer is better bang for buck but to be honest I would be happy to pay more for a higher quality analogue reproduction because it sounds fairly flat and the distortions pretty nasty imho. My favourite aspect of the 606 was the lovely air to the hat sounds but this just isn’t captured in the Behringer

      2. Everything but the sound of the boutiques is toyish. Mini jack outputs, micro USB etc…
        And given the resurgence of cheap analogue gear in the last 10 years, why make a digital copy ?

        and even bigger why the fuck 400?
        You can’t deny they are taking the piss with this one

    2. The big news here is the TR-6S. It includes FM, digital effects, USB audio connectivity and user samples and comes with a wide range of classic Roland drum machine sounds. Why would you limit yourself to a hard-to-program Behringer recreation of the TR-606 instead?? The only valid reason seems to be “It’s cheap.”

      1. It’s an analog drum machine with analog distortion fx, that matters to a lot of people (analog sounds different live, less so when recorded) it also has individual outputs for each drum. If you like/want digital just use the VST version, it is exactly the same sound.

        1. This hasn’t been an issue since the 90s when bad samples and mediocre converters couldn’t compete. Do you think that vinyl sounds better than a CD?

        2. i ‘m really against Roland company un general but i can’t let you say vst are same sound… the Tr serie sound really good, much better than the TR8 vst from roland cloud or any vst…

    3. Because some people want a cheap 606, and Roland are catering for people who want a good one not a cheap one, there is room for both, cheap for people who like basic analog version, Boutique for people who don’t care about analog just how good it sounds and what functions it has.

  2. I’m glad to see Roland is not done with the Boutique series yet. That TR-06 looks nice but I’m eager to see a follow-up on the SE-02 (their so-called “designer’s series” or something like that) which I adore! Also use the original JU-06 and JP-08 a lot. This is in my opinion the best Roland has come up with in terms of hardware over the last 4-5 years.

  3. A TR-06 is long overdue but all these new parameters and tonal controls but they can only be accessed one at a time, via menu diving and a single tiny shitty knob. Wtf is wrong with Roland?

  4. finally it makes sense why they pulled the ability for us Aria TR-08 guys from being able to upgrade our sounds to add the 707 / 606 sounds ( I was planning to do this later in the year)… was already miffed that roland would pull a documented upgrade , but even more so now I see it is purely to try and get exsisting users to sell up and move on

  5. Well might as well say it.. A little too late and behringer is away to drop the clone.

    First off Behringer … CLASS COMPLIANT USB MIDI.. yes that’s right Roland you heard it right. in the future when all your software staff have left, that non Roland badged 606 clone will be still able to work on phones etc.

    Second. Din Sync compatibility. Roland, if you wish to make this weird mash of history and introduce these hardware boxes that host the plugin with a controller, make them speak to past.

    Third, Roland Cloud is vile! I have never had to validate a subscription so many times, or re-install the client every other week or see a time out every 2nd attempt to connect to download something. If you really want to make Cloud work make it work as an enabler rather than a CPU / HTTP bottle neck of password typing frustration.

    In regards to the sound.. analog vs digital. It’s not a big deal. The best 808 sounds are an 808 processed via a 12 bit sampler, compressed via all manner of stuff etc.. the Digital ones sound the same as the analog ones unless you listen to a single hit for hours and Joe Bloggs that hopefully will consume your music, probably will never notice. I’ve never heard someone complining about the difference between Daft punk’s earlier albums on tape vs the later stuff recorded on digital formats ( yes .. album 2 ) it’s better ot have a good drum line or hook.

    Anyway my 2 cents .. just sorely disappointed that they waited so so long again and better things have come along.

  6. Oh, good. For a moment, I got worried that Roland would end up “chasing ghosts” by insisting on digitally simulating old analogue successes instead of inventing new synths and sounds…

  7. I just bought a Cyclone Analogic Drum Drone for $349 this morning from a major seller. Six still left. I would have spent $50 more for a legit analog SMT clone from Roland. Dumb on their part. They really need to find a better engineering director. I can buy samples. I don’t need bad ones in a box.

  8. Just installed the plugin. Sounds great. The notion that “Bad Samples” are used is patently false. This is the same old VA (ACB) tech they’ve used elsewhere. I loaded up along side D16’s Nithonat. While there’s not a big difference in sound over Nithonat. The editor and UI are easier to use on the Roland plugin.

    Disparaging Roland is the new beard and fedora. I bet my money on their hardware outlasting the knock off brand by 3 to 1, based on experience with the knock off brand. Additionally, Boutiques are a fantastically useful form-factor.

    1. ACB technology runs off a Roland “ESC2” FPGA chip. If that chip is available as a spare part (either through Roland or a third-party) one doesn’t need to worry much for the next 20-30 years.

      If on the other hand the Behringer unit breaks, you’ll have to source the equivalent analog components. You’d likely end up with Cool Audio chips, which is one of Behringer’s own companies.

  9. the sequencer tweaks of the Roland box are cool and probably the soundshaping is better as well… but behringers has single outs. and is half the price. why Roland? 2 trigger outs and at least 4 single audio outs would have been the shit.

  10. Had the 606. It was awful, Roland’s worst at the time. Was glad to get rid of it. The new one sounds exactly like I remember it. Reproducing it is crazy and the price is nuts, but you know what, there’s tons of people that are gonna buy this for their own reasons. If anyone is looking to get a drum machine, this is not it. Or just listen to the demos. That’s what you’re getting. Like it? Then this is for you. Sigh.

  11. Sad. When people were on their knees begging Roland for these old machines 19 years ago, the answer was no. People on forums made excuses for Roland like it’s too expensive or it can’t be done today. The truth is that Roland could remake the Jupiter 8 and one single drum machine with 909, 808 and 606 inside. If I like Behringer for one reason, it is that it is finally evident that Roland simply hates the customer.

  12. Oh boy, another useless digital 808/909 clone that every amateur producer will buy to make even more generic songs with!

    There’s a reason why real 808s and 909s sell for $5000.

  13. The TR-6S looks very, very intriguing! I couldn’t care less about the boutiques.

    And no matter how much software they add to their own software cloud, I won’t ever support that business model. Period.

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