Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer Sound Sample The Roland TR-808 (popularly known as the ‘808’) is, perhaps, the most popular analogue electronic drum machine of all time. Since its debut in 1982, it has been the drum machine used the most by dance, pop, rap, and rhythm and blues artists to produce the drum rhythm tracks for their songs.
In recent years, many electronic musical instrument companies (Roland and many others…) and studio engineer types have attempted to capture its timeless sound through the use of sampling. This has however, proven to be an often disappointing endeavour, due the the analogue nature of the ‘808’. Because the ‘808’ is a truly ‘analogue’ drum machine, with very many (22 to be exact) knobs for the settings for its drum sounds, sampling the unit often yields sample sets which are too discrete (i.e. too ‘static’ and too ‘limited’ in variation) and simply do not do justice to the wide sound range the ‘808’ can produce. As a result, people still, to this day, are in hot pursuit of real ‘808’s, and its U.S. dollar resale value today ($250 – $1,000) is often not too far off from its U.S. dollar retail price at its introduction more than a decade ago ($1,000). I sincerely believe This is the best sounding out of all the 808’s out there.