Adding Expressive Delay To A Roland TR-8 In Ableton

We’ve got a brand new video in Ean’s ongoing series about turing the Roland AIRA TR-8 into a super-charged performance and production tool by connecting it to Ableton Live. In part two, Ean shows off how a little bit of clever delay can dramatically change the sounds you’re playing. With some MIDI mapping magic, it becomes a wild and fun performance technique – watch the full video inside.

Adding Delay To A Roland TR-8 In Ableton

Want to see the first part of this series? Watch it here and see how a resonator can make the TR-8’s toms turn into an expressive synthesizer sound.

Basic Setup Instructions

As a reminder if you’re setting this up for yourself, here’s what Ean did in this video:

  • Connect the Roland TR-8 to Ableton Live via USB.
  • Send the TR-8’s audio output into Ableton Live – set up a new audio channel for each instrument on the TR-8.
  • Make sure the TR-8 is also set up as a MIDI input device in Ableton’s preferences – this allows you to MIDI map the controls on the device.
  • Add a Filter Delay audio effects to your Claps track.
  • Map all three Feedback, Left and Right Volume parameters to the Decay knob on your TR-8.
  • Turn Sync off for all time parameters and play with small values to get really interesting effects.
  • Map the Tune knob on the TR-8 to the time for Left and Right parameters (L: 1-20ms /R: 16-60ms are a nice starting point).
  • Add an EQ Eight audio effect and see which harsh frequencies are getting overpowered by looking at the spectrum.
  • Map the Frequency parameter to your Tune knob (don’t forget to tweak the frequency range you found before).
  • Map the Gain parameter to the Feedback knob and set it to 0 when it’s all the way down and -12db for max feedback (you can tweak this to your liking).

Gear Used In This Video

Stay tuned to DJTT in the coming weeks for more tutorials from Ean on making music production more interesting and playable.

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