Roland R-8 Human Rhythm Composer

roland_r8

This week I bought a Roland R-8 (mk1) drumcomputer. I came with several Rom cards and several Ram cards. There’s nothing technically wrong with it but it wasn’t too expensive and I’ve read a lot of great stuff about this thing so I want to try one 🙂

I’ve had a TR-505 a little while back and I really didn’t like it. It sounded very cheesy and they are very very cheap so I’m probably not the only one that don’t likes those things.

I was surprised when I unpacked the R-8: this thing is HUGE and heavy! From the pictures I though it would be the size of piece of A4 (letter) paper but is twice that. The battery powered 505 is very tiny compared to this 🙂

It has a similar (step) sequencer like the 505 which makes it very easy to program patterns. The R-8 has 16 pressure sensitive pads and you can assign different drum sounds to each pad. It has 8 individual outputs so you can apply whatever noise / distortion / compressor / effect on each separate output. It sounds great too 🙂

With the additional Rom cards you can load extra drumsounds in the R-8. There are even Rom cards which allow you to add TR-808 and TR-909 sounds to the R-8. They are insanely expensive though. The R-8 mkII has those 808 and 909 sounds built in.

I’m going to play with this thing for a while to find out if I like it.

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