Synth Site: Roland: TR-505 Drum machine: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.8 out of 5
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aphexbeau a hobbyist user from mad bomber/the woods writes:
Boy, this box sure is one of those tough love/hate things... Mine came from my skool's music dept. (I "liberated" it) and i use it more than i thought I would. Yet, i still regard it with some sort of disdain, perhaps because it feels to me like the 707, -minus about 202 or so :) And I hate the bitch, i want to kill it by beating it with a blunt object over the LCD and then burn its remains and bury them in a shallow grave in a ditch somewhere---sometimes.

The 505 is cheap, for sure. It had better be for what you get out of it. Short, harsh samples. It's not hard to program by any means, but it isn't exactly fun either. The sounds are flat, tinny, cheezy, whatever you consider. The MIDI capability is basic. Basically limiting. It's not pretty (unless you paint it...) The manuals seem to be quite hard to find. It only has one LED. It doesn't make you sound like Norm Cook the minute you turn it on. But you can become RDJ if you use your mind with it...

Because the TR-505 is a TR, and there is that TR magic to it. Something about it brings back great feelings of Run DMC or even further back to Kraftwerk, in it's odd, quirky, rhythms. And i think it is yet another case of not what you can do with a piece of kit (or shit, if that's what you think), but how far an accomplished musician can creatively push it's sonic boundaries. You can do so much with something so simple: try vocoding it with itself or a simple pad. Heavy distortion, delays, all sorts of effects can really make it into a cool (and more creative than the shake-and-bake-and-groove boxes) sort of box. Why did drum machines gain popularity years after they were first released? Because they were cheap. I swear, the nights i spent late, sitting in bed programming this bitch while other, more sophisticated (and $$$$$$!!!) machines lay dormant are amazing to me. Sometimes i feel like I'm wasting my time, others, i praise it for that one break that fits in the middle. Somedays, it's a budget 909, others, a glorified metronome. Yet whenever I think about getting rid of it, something stops me.

Because, I love it too.

I don't think I would trade a 707 for it, though. I will trade it for a 707, however, and those of you who are willing to give one (or a 909) for it can get in touch asap...

I guess this is one that to really love, you have to get cheap, because otherwise you expect too much from it. If you don't expect to hear anything wonderfull out of it, then it might suprise you. Give it a listen first, and make sure you get a manual!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Nov-10-1999 at 01:16
Cleatus from sILLINOISe writes:
Hey I haven't tried it yet, but I've tried its cousin, the TR626, which is really the same thing w/ indie outs if I'm not mistaken.

I'll let you in on a little secret folks. This and ANYTHING else can kill with effects. Nevermind your top-o-the-line 909-type gear obsession. You can get this, a Yamaha PSR, and a couple of multi FX boxes and you could take over the world. My fave right now is the Zoom 506 for the awesome Reso-Wah and distortion effects. OK I made my point.

posted Monday-Apr-19-1999 at 23:02
Brad Boegler a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Decent little drum machine, sounds are ok, nothing outstanding. Excellent midi control. Although, feed it through a good effects processor and you have some very impressive sounds!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-19-1999 at 22:50
Bart Kloosterboer a hobbyist user from Netherlands writes:
It was my first drumcomputer and I still love it to bits. Because it makes a great stepsequencer, I own now 4 TR-505's. 1 triggers my Novation Drumstation, 1 triggers my MC303, 1 triggers my TX81Z and 1 triggers my S1000 sampler. 1 is the master, the other 3 are slave

Pro's: dirt cheap, great MIDI, large buutons, small/lightweight, reliable/stable. Con's: terrible drum samples (except cowbells, clap) ugly looking, plastic casing, limited user memory.

runs on batteries, but thanks to separate battery user memory is not lost when AA-batteries run out.

Look at my dedicated TR050 site for an online manual and additional information

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-19-1999 at 05:13
Joe Clark a professional user from USA writes:
Grand Midi Implementation. Beutiful sounds. Great for that RUN-DMC break. Also good for Techno/Electro-Funk style stuff. All around great box if you can get one for cheap. I give it two years before it becomes "the next big thing" in dance music creation. Sell your 909s, the 505 is in town boyz....

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-18-1999 at 22:35
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