Roland Boutique TR-08 (808)


Cool! It’s been ages since I had my Drumstation (16 years I think), but would be interesting comparing sounds, especially the kicks. The Drumstation was pretty great for the time, but I haven’t kept up on it enough to know how well it has aged compared to so much great gear coming out the past 10 years.


Drumstation versus TR-08. Video didn’t turn out quite as I wanted, but anyways.


I just got this tr-08. I think the volume of the master output is really low.
If I set each drum voice to a medium volume, then trigger drums without accent on the sequencer, I need to crank up the main volume knob of the tr-08 to the maximum to get a decent (but still a bit weak) level on my mixer!

Anybody also having this issue?


What kind of cable are you using for connecting to your mixer?


It s a mini jack to RCA cable (I have a dj mixer, A&H Xone92).


Ok, so that should be safe then. Have you checked the individual instrument gain values? You need to menudive a bit to get to these IIUC


Oh sh@# didn’t saw there was a gain value hidden!!!
I’ll try as soon as I get close to the unit and I will let you know.

Thanks a lot!!!


A little tip (for those without :heat:), turn all the gains to 200, add full accent to all steps and slowly turn up each drum to taste.
Actually, it would be interesting to compare this with using Heat.



You mean that even with the gain @ 200, you still have a low volume at the output, or you are trying to achieve a distorsion on the TR-08? cauz i would prefer to keep the ability to use accents on my sequences…

Another question : i also have a Heat, but my first attemp to :heat: the TR-08 gave a lot of harshness with the SD, HH, OH, CY… guess i have to filter harshness after the distorsion or try to put an envelope on the distorsion amount but my first attemps were not satisfactory…
Did you manage to :heat: the thing ?


they both seem fine , tr08 has a better hands on interface i guess.
i mostly use samples on my digitakt , havent used my tr8 for a while


The gain was stuck at 100 with a maximum value of 200!
Much better now…:thup:
Also spent more time with tr-08 with the analog heat. That snare drum through the “rough crunch”…it’s bangin!
Definitely good results when controling the distortion with the envelopes


I just did an old 2 Live Crew song on my tr-08 using the extra gain to get some nice drive. Sounds awesome !




I fully expected to see the meters clipping and a little disappointed they weren’t! :joy::laughing:

Good job and sounds good.


Thanx. But thats what I’m saying, you get tons of drive out of the box.
So I wonder if its ACB distortion or just the analog output stage ?


This is indeed very interesting and probably an overlooked feature! I will try similar settings on the TR8 later and see what happens. Though I will never get used to the cowbell with distortion. VERY unharmonic to my ears.


This in an overlooked feature. Will also try on the TR-09.


Regarding my first try, I think it is the hidden gain setting that induces distorsion. Still have do do more tests though


I know I have been vocal about my dislike for the ACB boutiques in the past. However, having bought both TR-09 and TR-08 today, and after messing with them personally, I am finding the TR-08 is actually pretty decent. As in, retrospectly I admit needlessly hatin on it.

What made the box for me was the hidden parameters, configuring pitches/decays and gainstage settings that I personally like changed the timbre considerably for the better IMO. The hihats are what they are (a tad less lively than what I’d like) and the snare gets sibilant easily, but this box does seem to capture the essence of working with the OG as many have already stated.

Not sure if the TR-09 is going back though, I’ve yet to reach similar niceness of hidden menu config with that one.

I still think that ACB doesn’t really nail the sound a 100%, but when taken at face value (small, cheap and cheerful) the TR-08 is a fun box for sure.

BTW: Both the TR-08 and the TR-09 have NEGATIVE SHUFFLE! How cool is that, and they don’t even seem to make any noise about it? That alone makes these boutiques unique wrt the og’s (TR-808 didn’t have any form of shuffle?)


I love the TR-08