New(ish) Roland drum machine

Roland’s new TR-8S adds sample import to its flagship drum machine
factmag.com/2018/03/05/roland-tr-8s-drum-machine-announced/

Comments

  • 25 Comments sorted by Date Votes
  • It looks great fun- and I would love to have one- but the price is probably way out there. When I see things like this I have to ask myself- can I do this sort of thing on iOS? And how many apps could I buy for the price of this machine.
    Having said that- I will never let go of my Roland Aira TB-3 or my Korg Kaoss KP3. I’m glad I had them already- or I might not have acquired them either with the same principles applied.

  • doesn't sample, cause for $700 bucks why would you want your sampler to do that :(

  • No direct sampling is a bummer indeed - but managing files seems to be quick and easy ( sample transfer via USB possible ). And don't forget: they sell it as a drum machine, not as a groovebox. But it definitely seems to have groovebox qualities.
    I'm positively surprised by this one. Comes out of nowhere and after all this Aira and Boutique crap this thing really reactivates my long forgotten GAS ;)

  • yeah, if I had an Aira tr8 I'd definitely rather have this but after 2 years of roland customers begging them for a groove box, the rumors , and them refusing to tell people no we are not going to do that it just stings a bit.... I own 2 of their mx-1's and have been waiting forever for them to release a class compliant update, it this new tr-8s was class compliant and also able to sample I might have given it a shot, and it would have made a great combo with the iPad but those audio ins would have gotten on my nerves every time I looked at them. Not writing it off, just leaving it where it is, maybe they'll update it in the future.

  • This looks pretty delicious. I was in the market for a drumbrute but looks like I could get more utility out of this. Looks so much better too! I will wait for the reviews.

  • I think it's a solid looking box. A sort of return to form for Roland. No, it doesn't sample but it's a drum machine first and foremost. Volume, decay, pitch plus one other control for each sound always available. Independent track lengths. 8 variations per pattern (why doesn't every DM do this?) plus three 'fill' patterns that can be triggered manually or set to happen every N measures, pattern chaining, good sounding global effects, several per-channel effects, parameter locks, real DIN MIDI, eight audio outs, trig out with its own track (and you can convert other outs to additional trig outs), LFO, randomizer, variable accent level per step, a velocity sensitive pad for live pattern creation... No micro timing. :(

    I'm still saving for a Digitakt and this doesn't really change that (I want to sample and I want the 8 MIDI tracks) but I think Roland has made a worthy contender though I'm not sure they're really comparable. They both have several features the other doesn't and I think that's because they're really aiming to be different boxes.

    That you can use up to 6 of the audio outputs for additional TRIG outs sounds really really dreamy to me for clocking external sequencers or doubling up sounds without using MIDI. Also think having dedicated controls for level, decay and pitch for each instrument is a pretty big deal. To adjust the reverb or delay send, you just hold down the track button and turn the knob up top. Easy, straightforward stuff.

    https://static.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/TR-8S_Reference_eng01_W.pdf

  • Just reading through the manual, looks like the external input is more than a mere convenience. It can

    1. It can be set to stereo or dual mono
    2. It can be sent to the delay, reverb and/or master fx discreetly
    3. It has a dedicated compressor and any drum track can be used as a side chain source. cc/ @kobamoto :)
  • @syrupcore said:
    Just reading through the manual, looks like the external input is more than a mere convenience. It can

    1. It can be set to stereo or dual mono
    2. It can be sent to the delay, reverb and/or master fx discreetly
    3. It has a dedicated compressor and any drum track can be used as a side chain source. cc/ @kobamoto :)

    it's like they want to use those inputs for anything under the sun but sampling, forcing you to either keep your puter in tow or do your sampling ahead of time... I do a fair amount of that but personally find sampling in realtime a more enjoyable process.... but they've got all of the parts in place, they could just go ahead and make it happen

  • @syrupcore said:

    I'm still saving for a Digitakt and this doesn't really change that (I want to sample and I want the 8 MIDI tracks) but I think Roland has made a worthy contender though I'm not sure they're really comparable. They both have several features the other doesn't and I think that's because they're really aiming to be different boxes.

    my thoughts as well, it is a very nice box though the tr-8s, if it was $499 I'd give it a go right now but It's far from a digitakt

  • @kobamoto said:

    @syrupcore said:

    I'm still saving for a Digitakt and this doesn't really change that (I want to sample and I want the 8 MIDI tracks) but I think Roland has made a worthy contender though I'm not sure they're really comparable. They both have several features the other doesn't and I think that's because they're really aiming to be different boxes.

    my thoughts as well, it is a very nice box though the tr-8s, if it was $499 I'd give it a go right now but It's far from a digitakt

    Agreed. At $499 I reckon this would be the 'Quit your bitching and buy the TR-8S' answer to anyone looking for a pro-level dedicated drum machine. A little harder to be a universal answer at $700.

  • looks like Roland has been listening, they fixed all the complains the tr8 had.

  • edited March 7 Vote Up0

    @syrupcore said:

    @kobamoto said:

    @syrupcore said:

    I'm still saving for a Digitakt and this doesn't really change that (I want to sample and I want the 8 MIDI tracks) but I think Roland has made a worthy contender though I'm not sure they're really comparable. They both have several features the other doesn't and I think that's because they're really aiming to be different boxes.

    my thoughts as well, it is a very nice box though the tr-8s, if it was $499 I'd give it a go right now but It's far from a digitakt

    Agreed. At $499 I reckon this would be the 'Quit your bitching and buy the TR-8S' answer to anyone looking for a pro-level dedicated drum machine. A little harder to be a universal answer at $700.

    funny thing is I bet at that price a lot of people would buy two of them to perform with...
    _it wouldn't have killed them to spring for chromatic mode and micro timing _

  • I’d never pay that much for that thing...save a couple hundred more and get an mpclive...it’s much better

  • @MrSmileZ said:
    I’d never pay that much for that thing...save a couple hundred more and get an mpclive...it’s much better

    its a completely different thing
    the mpc doesn't do any circuit modeling it just plays samples
    and its not a chasing-light-sequencer, its bang on the pads stuff

  • as an mpc live user, I think most people after one of these are looking for something really different than an mpc live, but I agree on the Live, at $959 it was probably the best bang for buck purchase I've made in the last 10 years

  • @Max23 said:

    @MrSmileZ said:
    I’d never pay that much for that thing...save a couple hundred more and get an mpclive...it’s much better

    its a completely different thing
    the mpc doesn't do any circuit modeling it just plays samples
    and its not a chasing-light-sequencer, its bang on the pads stuff

    does chase lights though

  • edited March 7 Vote Up0

    @kobamoto said:

    @Max23 said:

    @MrSmileZ said:
    I’d never pay that much for that thing...save a couple hundred more and get an mpclive...it’s much better

    its a completely different thing
    the mpc doesn't do any circuit modeling it just plays samples
    and its not a chasing-light-sequencer, its bang on the pads stuff

    does chase lights though

    the Roland way with accent and flams? nah
    and it doesn't have so many knobs and faders ...
    and it doesn't do the play this pattern every x bars thing / auto fill in
    and it doesn't do the motion seq record thing like that
    Roland chasing light sequencers are fucking cool
    I haven't lusted for hardware for years, but this thing is really sexy, teases me to no end
    the circuit modeling does cool shit every step sounds a little different like you'd expect, some sounds have weird interactions ...
    this is very different from playing 126 velocity layers with round robbin or something
    just play some 808 claps with reverb, every clap is different ...

    I don't miss live sampling at all, I just want to play my samples that I edited before in some audio editor anyway ...

    see the little black man with the hard sound how to perform Roland's

  • I'm super interested in this one. I always liked the hands on aspect of the TR-8, but the last thing I really needed was more 909 or 808 drum sounds. Being able to load your own samples is great, and if anything it's even way more hands on and performance based now. This is the first thing Roland has done in a long time that has me excited :)

  • edited March 7 Vote Up0

    mpc isn't as live as this
    you can only twist 2 knobs with your hands
    with faders you can bring a lot of faders up and down while still twisting a knob with the other hand ...
    doing technoid things live as a one man show isn't easy, most of the times I thought aargh I can not do this because I don't have enough hands ... hello motion seq, hello lfo, hello samples and hello more fx, good bye boring sound :)
    as with all things Roland they have a very big sweet spot, its hard to do anything that sounds like total rubbish no matter what you do
    we will see a lot these around

  • @Max23 said:

    @kobamoto said:

    @Max23 said:

    @MrSmileZ said:
    I’d never pay that much for that thing...save a couple hundred more and get an mpclive...it’s much better

    its a completely different thing
    the mpc doesn't do any circuit modeling it just plays samples
    and its not a chasing-light-sequencer, its bang on the pads stuff

    does chase lights though

    the Roland way with accent and flams? nah
    and it doesn't have so many knobs and faders ...
    and it doesn't do the play this pattern every x bars thing / auto fill in
    and it doesn't do the motion seq record thing like that
    Roland chasing light sequencers are fucking cool
    I haven't lusted for hardware for years, but this thing is really sexy, teases me to no end
    the circuit modeling does cool shit every step sounds a little different like you'd expect, some sounds have weird interactions ...
    this is very different from playing 126 velocity layers with round robbin or something
    just play some 808 claps with reverb, every clap is different ...

    I don't miss live sampling at all, I just want to play my samples that I edited before in some audio editor anyway ...

    see the little black man with the hard sound how to perform Roland's

    nah, just the light chasing part.

  • the more I think about it the more I think they will implement micro timing in a firmware update, with this kind of interface I don't know how it won't be one of their top 3 request.

  • @kobamoto said:

    @syrupcore said:

    @kobamoto said:

    @syrupcore said:

    I'm still saving for a Digitakt and this doesn't really change that (I want to sample and I want the 8 MIDI tracks) but I think Roland has made a worthy contender though I'm not sure they're really comparable. They both have several features the other doesn't and I think that's because they're really aiming to be different boxes.

    my thoughts as well, it is a very nice box though the tr-8s, if it was $499 I'd give it a go right now but It's far from a digitakt

    Agreed. At $499 I reckon this would be the 'Quit your bitching and buy the TR-8S' answer to anyone looking for a pro-level dedicated drum machine. A little harder to be a universal answer at $700.

    funny thing is I bet at that price a lot of people would buy two of them to perform with...
    _it wouldn't have killed them to spring for chromatic mode and micro timing _

    I dunno if it would have killed them or not but they definitely feel like the two main omissions.

  • encenc
    edited March 8 Vote Up0

    I won't be buying but you guys saying 600 is expensive .. look at the new OP-z that's a real piss take

  • I think the price is the huge flaw of the tr8s...450.00 is about where I would put it ...it’s priced against too many things that it doesn’t obliterate. I understand it’s draw, but I’m not drawn by it myself. I hope it kicks butt for everybody who get it though.

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