Roland celebrates 808 Day today with a series of new products that update and recreate some of the company’s most sought after machines: the TR-808, SH-101, and SP-404.
Roland TR-08 Rhythm Composer
The machine that everyone has been waiting for has arrived. Roland has announced a recreation of their infamous TR-808 rhythm composer as part of their boutique line of products. The TR-08 seems to be virtual analog (like the TR-09 and TR-8) but comes with many testimonials from legendary users to say it sounds identical.
The TR-08 brings the look, sound, and feel of the original 808 — with stunning accuracy — to the Roland Boutique format. From the instantly-recognizable red-orange-yellow-white markings, the shape of the sequencer buttons, switches and knobs are details that have been painstakingly reproduced to match the iconic recreation of sounds. Along with the aesthetic touches, the TR-08 contains new features like 16 sub-steps for fast rolls, independent trigger out track, compression/gain/tune for instruments and a selectable modified “long decay” bass drum for more boom and resonance. Roland
Roland SH-01 Polyphonic Synthesizer
In this video techno producer/performer, Mathew Jonson talks about the transition from original SH-101 and TR-808 to the new SH-01 and TR-08.
The SH-01A is a meticulous reproduction of the original — in both aesthetics and sound. Inspired design details include the same slider cap design, silver sequencer buttons, metal lever switches and limited-edition red and blue versions. The sounds of the SH-101 have been recreated with the acclaimed Analog Circuit Behavior technology —a solid, sonic foundation for a slew of new features including a four-voice POLYPHONIC and CHORD mode, 64 preset synth patches, 64 sequencer patterns and more. Roland
Roland SP-404A Sampler
As part of their 808 Day celebration, Roland has announced an update to one of their most popular products in recent years. The Roland SP-404A is an update to the SP-404sx (and SP-404, SP-202 before it). The update comes alongside a firmware update for the Aria TR-8 drum machine that will allow midi output support.
The Roland SP-404A Linear Wave Sampler can now expand the sounds of the Roland AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer (with latest TR-8 update v1.5) for a combination of sample and percussive synthesis. The SP-404A can be triggered from the TR-8 Rhythm Performer via MIDI for integrated beat and sample production. Users can incorporate samples from the SP-404A and use them in conjunction with drum patterns, and each of the TR-8’s 11 tracks can trigger a sample on the SP-404A, play a TR-8 sound, or both.
In addition, the TR-8 can be used as an audio sub-mixer and processor for the SP-404A. In this configuration, all samples played on the SP-404A can be effected using the TR-8’s Scatter feature to reverse, glitch, gate, truncate, stutter, and perform all types of rhythmic variations in perfect sync. Samples can also be controlled by the TR-8’s per-step Side Chain function for rhythmic ducking and gating effects. To get users started with sample looping, the SP-404A comes with an SD card loaded with a library of new sounds created by Loopmasters, a leading sample developer. The samples in the library have been designed specifically to complement the TR-8, but also work well in standalone applications. Roland
About 808 Day
On August 8th (8/08), the global music community will come together to honor the iconic Roland TR-808 drum machine, an instrument that’s inspired countless artists and changed the face of contemporary music. The events will take place on what’s been dubbed “808 Day,” and festivities can be tracked on social media with the hashtag #808day.