Roland TR-8S: Sample Import and 8-channel Output

What happens when a company listens to customer feedback to build a new version of their product? The Roland AIRA TR-8S could be exactly that. In the a just-announced update to Roland’s flagship drum machine come a number of powerful features, including the ability to upload your own stereo samples from an SD card and output audio along 8 separate channels.

Roland AIRA TR-8S

Originally launched in 2014, the TR-8 was a massive hit. It was the first time that Roland took seriously the idea of revisiting their classic drum machine lineup with a modern take on the workflow.

Now four years later, the TR-8S has a number of features that are obvious additions to any power users of the original model. Here’s an overview:

  • SD import: The unit still has all the classic 808/909/707/etc samples built-in, but now users can put their own sounds on the sequencer (stereo and mono sounds), and then adjust them on the unit (reverse, delay, start/end points, and pitch adjustments)
  • 8 Audio Outputs: Eight different analog outputs on the back of the unit means that it’s easier to patch individual drum sounds through other effects, or pass them into a mixer individually.

  • More Hardware FX: Instead of an FX section that was mostly focused around the Scatter knob, the new TR-8S now has more built-in hardware FX, including sidechaining, LFO, compression, and a tape echo
  • A single performance pad: Instead of tapping out rhythms live on the TR-REC buttons, Roland has put a single velocity sensitive pad on the unit to play in beats. It’s a clever way to add responsive performance when you’re only ever really playing one instrument at a time. And yes, this means you can record velocity automation per each step.

  • Even more patterns: The TR-8S has far more built-in memory, allowing it to hold even more patterns (up to 128 total). There’s also now a full section of control for chaining, copying, and creating variations of patterns.
  • Auto-fill: Control on the unit for automatically adding fills at the end of a set of measures – making it easy to create variation in patterns without having to manually trigger fills each time
Get DJTT love in your inbox
Drop your email address here, we'll send you news, tutorials, and special offers once a week.
Unsubscribe at any time. we won't sell your data, ever.