Synth Site: Roland: TR-808: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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Joe a professional user from usa writes:
I have one bad ass sampler with 128 mb of RAM, and sample cd's with every single parameter of this machine on it.<snappy,tune,etc> Plus the factory loops, and the ones I make using a sequencer, and sampling it. I agree, to reproduce it really well you need a good sampler, and whatever Loops I need I can make, but I just sequence the sounds for new loops. I have a tr707, if I need to XoX program, then trigger the sounds via my sampler. to me this is the "next best thing" soundwise, as I am not going to pay the stupid price for this machine, just to say I have one. I give it a 5 because the sound is timeless. It still grooves. Don't let RAP give this machine a "bad name". That's just one of the many ways it can be used! THIS IS THE ONLY DRUM MACHINE, THAT OFFERS MORE VERSATALITY THAN ANY OTHER!! Especially if you process it. It can sound like the 909.< I'm sick of hearing the 909> :-0 (yawn) So I say find a "real" one, then get the best samples you can, or the novation drumstation, I hear is a good substitute. Get this sound anyway you can, as it's the next "big" thing. Check out the 808 STATE band. They play electronica, and uses this machine exclusively. Plastik man too uses it. Hall and Oates use to use it on their hits. (one on one, Kiss on my list, I can't go for that, etc) The petshop boys uses it too. Man I could go on, and on. I think Sade does too. Oh, and Lord knows every hip hop, acid jazz, and RAP band utilizes this machine, or samples. THIS IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Mar-05-2000 at 13:21
Mr. Krypto a professional user writes:
Interesting comments on sampling. Whoever believes that you loose bottom end by sampling the instrument should think again. Most every piece of music you hear today is sampled in it's entirety, it's recorded digitally. Even new vinyl is for the most part recorded digitally these days. If you really want to preserve the character of the 808 but don't want to own it, buy one and spend a few months making a library of sampled loops complete with a variety of real-time timbre changes. Record them all to hard disk and store them away on CD's. Once you're satisfied with the library of loops, re-sell the machine for what you paid for it to someone else so they can do the same. Part of the reason that sampled 808 sounds don't sound quite "right" is the polyphony squashing and distortion that is somewhat inevitable. That's pretty hard to reproduce without a lot of effort.

Oh yeah, if you make a library of loops, remember to have plenty of different tempos so as to fit them into different kinds of music. Is it overpriced? Maybe, but only if the price falls through the floor. 808/909/303 prices seem to have peaked and are now settling at lower levels than they were. Now's a good time to use one for a while.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jan-05-2000 at 18:29
Bazz a professional user from the Netherlands writes:
I have had this machine about 8 years back before the prices went sky-high...It sounded very good and solid but of course it had no MIDI.Back then, I needed a sequencer for my synth so I traded the 808 for an Alesis MMT 8!(yes I know it was stupid but I didn't realise what I did till after a few years...)Well...now I have amongst others a Roland JV1080 with a Techno expansion board and I must say that the 808 samples are very good and solid too...I can even apply filters to the drumsounds for more punch or bass,as well as pitch them. So I wouldn't pay $1000 anymore for an 808 OR 909 as such...Now it is simply too expensive, as is the 909 and 303....

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Dec-29-1999 at 09:52
ART a professional user from US writes:
Best machine ever! Can be used in just about any type of musice. JAZZ, POP, ROCK, TRANCD, TECHNO, HIPHOP, RAP, D&B. However this has no MIDI, so I sample it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Dec-03-1999 at 16:36
brian nicholson a hobbyist user from usa writes:
Whoever designed this should be declared king for that kick sound alone. The first truly great e-instrument.

The price for a used one however renders it only a curiosity. My advice: bum one off a friend, and sample the living hell out of it.

By the way, has anybody tried combining completely different sounds on their drum machine? I created a drum set on my computer sequencer with 808 kicks and a high pitch bongo drum used as a snare....You would be surprised how well they go toghether.

If everyone had an 808, we might have world peace.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-27-1999 at 13:10
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