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Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer

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Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer overview by GAK

The Roland TR-8S Rhythm Performer is here...

Roland has created something truly special with the TR-8S, a drum machine, digital instrument and the highly anticipated update of the AIRA TR-8 released back in 2014. This powerful and intuitive drum machine can store 128 user drums kits and includes all major legendary Roland TR models including the 808, 909, 707, 727, 606 plus a number of variants and samples from Roland's gigantic library. Customize and save your kits by assigning sounds from across the Roland range or load your own custom stereo and mono samples into the TR-8S via the SD card. 

There are no sampled TR sounds found here on the TR-8S, each machine features a complex, component-level model, driven with Roland's ACB technology to replicate with an unparalleled exactness, the behaviour of the original TR hardware.

Built-in effects can be assigned to the master out or each individual channel for ultimate expression and kit customization. The effects on the TR-8S include high and low pass filters, isolator, crusher, phaser, flanger and many more; plus, the TR-8S includes six unique reverbs and three variations of echo. The TR-8S's Master FX knob is great for creating a sudden and effective shift in a live performance whilst each channels control knob above the fader allows you to fine-tune your kits individual elements with echo's, reverb and other effects to add character, space and depth to your beats. Dedicated controls for Accent, Reverb and Delay take control one step further. The inclusion of motion recording with the TR-8S means you can dial-in and automate tuning, decay, effects and a whole lot more to fully customize your sound.

All your knob and effect setting can be saved with each kit for super-fast recall for live performance, there are 128 patterns and each pattern can have up to 8 variations that are chain-able in any combination. The variations are all accessible via 8 A-H buttons found on the left-hand side of the machine.

The immensely popular 'Auto-fill' feature found on the TR-8 and 808 is back once again on the TR-8S. Create up to two customized drum fills per pattern with an additional scatter effect and the ability to swiftly select via the dedicated auto-fill knob at what measure the fills trigger. It's incredibly intuitive and fun to utilize whilst playing. 

The infamous 'TR-REC' step sequencer is back on the TR-8S and it's better than ever, take full control of your rhythms with the 16 back-lit buttons and a velocity-sensitive performance pad that allows you to strike in hits when recording and also incorporates accents, flams, adjustable sub-steps and more with detailed velocity capture.

The connectivity potential with the TR-8S is fantastic, the unit has a stereo mix output with an additional six assignable audio outputs that allow you to direct kit elements to external processing and mixing gear. The dedicated trigger outputs allow you to trigger other instruments such as synths and drum machines, whilst the MIDI I/O connection provides seamless integration with your DAW. The TR-8S also supports AIRA link for direct interfacing with other equipment in the AIRA range.

In terms of built-quality and looks, straight out of the box the Roland TR-8S is an impressive sight. Roland has focused the new design on maximizing playability and functionality with a new fresh body that looks and feels fantastic. The design has been clearly optimized for live-performance with a slimmer and flatter profile and the new 16 character LCD display that can be referred to quickly. Dressing the unit with an array of multi-coloured LED's, back-lit rubberized buttons and colour-coded assignable faders give the TR-8S a stylish look without being too garish. Furthermore, the lightning on-board the TR-8S is fully customizable, allowing you set the colour, dim and glow options to create a lighting system that works best for you and your playing.

The TR-8S is light and highly portable fitting right in your rucksack, it is the ideal device both for the studio and on the road, with a durability and build quality that can stand up to consistent gigging. 

Packing a powerful punch with its sounds, control and connection potential, the TR-8S is a serious drum machine and it's no surprise that Roland confidently states the TR-8S is the best TR drum machine they have ever created

  • - User Drum Kit 128
  • - User Patterns 128
  • - Step Sequencer
  • 11 instrument parts and 1 exclusive part for trigger out
  • 16 steps per 1 variation
  • 8 (A – H) variations per 1 pattern
  • 2 Fill-in patterns per 1 pattern
  • - INST tone
  • (Tone can be assigned to each 11 instrument parts freely.)
  • BASS DRUM: 11 ACB tones
  • SNARE DRUM: 8 ACB tones
  • TOM: 15 ACB tones
  • RIM SHOT: 3 ACB tones
  • HAND CLAP: 5 ACB tones
  • HI HAT: 8 ACB tones
  • CYMBAL: 8 ACB tones
  • PERCUSSION: 23 ACB tones
  • PRESET SAMPLE: 300 tones or greater
  • USER SAMPLE (imported form SD CARD for playback): Available format: WAV, AIFF
  • Total time for all samples: Approximately 600 sec (at 44.1 kHz, mono)
  • * The maximum length of a single audio file that can be imported is approximately 180 seconds (at 44.1 kHz).
  • - Effects
  • INST FX: THRU, HPF, LPF, LPF/HPF, H BOOST, L BOOST, L/H BOOST, ISOLATOR, TRANSIENT, COMPRESSOR, DRIVE, COMP+DRV, CRUSHER
  • REVERB: AMBI, ROOM, HALL1, HALL2, PLATE, MOD
  • DELAY: DLY, PAN, TAPE ECHO
  • MASTER FX: HPF, LPF, LPF/HPF, H BOOST, L BOOST, L/H BOOST, ISOLATOR, TRANSIENT, TRANSIENT2, COMPRESSOR, DRIVE, OVERDRIVE, DISTORTION, FUZZ, CRUSHER, PHASER, FLANGER, SBF, NOISE
  • Other: SIDE CHAIN (for EXT IN), SCATTER (as one of AUTO FILL IN function)
  • - Display
  • 16 characters, 2 line (backlit LCD)
  • 7 segments, 4 characters (LED)
  • - External Storage
  • SD Card (SDHC supported) for backup/restore function and import sample data
  • - Connectors
  • PHONES jack: Stereo 1/4-inch phone type
  • MIX OUT (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch TRS phone type
  • ASSIGNABLE OUT/TRIGGER OUT (1 – 6) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
  • EXT IN (L/MONO, R) jacks: 1/4-inch phone type
  • TRIGGER OUT jack: Miniature phone type
  • MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors
  • USB port: USB type B (Audio, MIDI)
  • DC IN jack
  • - Power Supply
  • AC adaptor
  • - Current Draw2,000 mA
  • - Accessories
  • AC adaptor
  • Owner's manual
  • Leaflet “USING THE UNIT SAFELY”
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