Roland TR-08

Drum machine

  • Compact replica of the legendary TR-808 drum machine
  • Sound character, behaviour and user interface as the original
  • Controls of the corresponding instruments: Tone, Level, Tuning, Decay, Compressor, Gain, Tune, Pan
  • 16-step sequencer / 16-sub-steps / 16 memory banks (12 x 16 pattern / 4 x 16 intro / fill-in)
  • Programmable by classic "Step & Tap"
  • Uninterrupted playing even when switching modes
  • LED display
  • 10 separate outputs via USB audio
  • Assignable trigger output for controlling external instruments
  • Solid metal construction
  • Contains Roland DK-01 Boutique Dock for adjusting various angles
  • Powered by 4 AA batteries or USB power
  • Built-in mini speaker
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 308 x 130 x 51 mm
  • Weight (including batteries and boutique dock): 1.3 kg
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Sound samples

 
0:00
  • Pattern_1
  • Pattern_2
  • Pattern_3
  • Pattern_4
  • Pattern_5

Further information

Sound Synthesis Modeling
Pads 0
Effects No
Bass No
Display Yes
Number of analog outputs 1
Headphone Connector Yes
Mains Operation Yes
Battery Operation Yes

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4.8 / 5.0
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9 written ratings Read all reviews
Total
handling
features
sound
quality

Not Bad

AdamM, 16.08.2018
This unit, although it appears to be faithful to the original, didn't quite live up to my expectations.
In my view, it's a specialist (boutique) unit which seeks to recreate the original 808 unit and does have its (albeit limited) uses; unless you're Kanye West of course, then you can base a million-selling album on it.
It is a fun unit and has an air of nostalgia about it but if you want a simple drum machine to create beats, this isn't the one. It is more of a complementary unit to have around when you want a different intro or middle 8.
Also, I do find that you have to invest a fair amount of time getting to know the unit. This may be a deliberate nod to the original but I think the settings could have been made a bit more user-friendly as, after all, it's about the sound as opposed to the functionality of the unit that brings the appeal.
In summary, this unit is slightly complicated to navigate and is a bit of a One Trick Pony, but that makes sense as it is marketed as such. Don't expect to exercise complete control over it straight out of the box but if you invest some time getting to know it, you could be on to a winner.
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Total
handling
features
sound
quality

The original in affordable

Till aus T., 23.10.2017
Always wanted to have a TR-808, but the used market prices are just too high. That's where the Roland Boutique TR-08 came in handy.
The operation has been taken over for all on the original functions 1: 1. So you can program the rhythms completely without menu and display.

The sound is very close to the original and that is the most important thing. With the additional functions hidden in the menu settings you can adjust the sounds in addition to the knobs. For example, the hi-hat can also be pitch-adjusted (it may be more like the TR-606). With these settings you can adjust your personal TR (8) 08 sound. And with the compressor you can give the bass drum a little more assertiveness. This is a very welcome extra.

The miniaturization of the device and the controls is due to the price and the fashion. But it works better with the drum machine to my taste than with a synthesizer.

Unfortunately, the case, the buttons and the knobs are not as stable as the original from the early eighties. Does this clone get that old?

There are some additional options that one will look in vain for the original: You can use the USB port to export the stored patterns and songs for backup and read back. You can also output individual sounds or all via USB audio. I do not use the latter one here. Likewise with me the MIDI entrance and the external MIDI clock is not in use. The DIN-Sync input of the original is not available. Thus, you can not connect the TR-08 as in the original isochronous to an analog sequencer.

Single outputs would have been nice, but let's be honest: who has so many mixer channels available?
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MusicRadar.com Roland Boutique TR-08
Roland Boutique TR-08
MusicRadar.com (1/2018)
Future Music Roland Boutique TR-08
Roland Boutique TR-08
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