Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer

Dropping into the Roland Aira series comes the Roland TR-8, a homage and praise in equal measures to two not one legendary drum machines.

The TR-8 is Roland’s love song to those two fabulous drum machines the Roland TR 808 and the Roland TR 909. Infact, to be exact, its 4 drum machines in one, now the TR 707 and TR 727 expansion is available.

Part of the magic about the 808 and 909 were its hand’s on tweakability which meant once you were familiar with one or the other, you would stop thinking about what you were doing and intuitively play the instrument, perform with it, DJ with it. Roland’s been working on, well, a rework of these classics for some time and now the TR-8 is here – what is it like ?

We love it. Encased in black plastic with a familiar TR layout, the first you notice is how lit up everything is. Every slider (11 in total), dials (40 in case you were wondering) or buttons (45) all light up with the exception of the CLEAR button – which is useful. Finally we have a tempo display and a new Scatter effects section which we’ll come to.