Roland TR-8S - (New TR-8 with user samples and individual outs)


Having a read of the Tr8s manual. Its not that clear about using pattern chains.

Is there a limit to how many patterns you can have in a chain?


I saw one for £108 UK yesterday in the last hour or so of its bidding.


That seems like a BIG pain in the ass to me. Honestly if they are going to allow note tuning of samples they NEED to introduce a chromatic note input mode.


I have digtone and really like it a lot. I have been thinking that the TR8s is a really fun fit with it for simple to make bread and butter drums.


That’s what I decided to do, and my TR-8S arrives today. But I thinking I’m kind of getting cold feet about it, and might not open the TR-8S right away. It’s kind of a lame reason, but the main reason is its size. I just really don’t like how big it is lol. Also, the thought of getting another Digitone instead is still quite compelling in my mind.


Great combo!
Two fun great sounding machines
I simply can’t say enough about them, they take over in a good way
The TR8s is a true evolution for the TR series, Anyone who’s ever used a Roland drum machine will feel right at home


You’ll be fine. It’s not as gaudy big like the DJS


Yeah. it’s become obviously apparent to me that when I get home, the odds of me not opening that box right away are very weak.


Weak. Positively weak


So I played with this a bit last night, and my first impressions are great. It has a better build than I was anticipating; thank goodness for the matte black (glossy black plastic is the worse). The knobs are very firm, and everything feels quite solid. I think it looks slick.

The effects sounded good to me. I particularly like the compressor, and the transient effect. The compressor is very useful; I was able to make things sound nice and punchy with it, and the wide selection of knees is really nice. The reverb is good, but I need more time messing with it to get a better impression. All in all, the effects are very usable imo.

Something that I think would’ve been really nice for the sample-side of this machine is the ability to assign the sample starting point to the CTRL knob. It’s nice you can fine-tune the starting point though. I think I can actually still have a decent workflow of chopping samples in the box by assigning the same sample to multiple instruments. With 11 instruments to work with, I don’t think I’d have issues with feeling too limited.

I’m liking the idea of using this unit by itself to make some sample-based beats (with ACB drums) I can practice scratching over. I’m planning on loading up a bunch of samples from my cassette collection (in stereo), chopping them up with a few of the available instrument tracks, assigning all their outputs to the same pair of assignable outs, and routing those assignable outs back to the TR-8S’s audio inputs so I can side-chain that audio :sunglasses:

EDIT: I just realized edits to samples are global. So in order to chop samples the way I described, you’d need to make multiple copies of the same sample with different names (i.e. Sample1, Sample2, Sample3… ). Too bad there isn’t the ability to copy samples in the box; I guess I’ll just have to preemptively make multiple copies of samples I know that I’m going to want to chop before saving them to the SD card.

EDIT2: Maybe, when you try importing a sample with the same name twice, it gives you the option of renaming the sample. That would be REALLY nice, and would cut out the step of having to preemptively make multiple copies of the same sample with different names for samples you’d like to edit in multiple ways on multiple instrument tracks in the same kit. I’ll have to check this later.


whats the filtering like on the TR8S
Can you automate bandpass sweeps over 8 bars ( interested in that effect that was popular around 1999-2000)


It sounds to me that it is very limited as a sampler it would have been nice if it had chopping, slicing, resampling, etc… Roland decided to call it TR-8S but it is still more or less a drum machine. I’ve owned a lot of Roland products and they always seem to use there own sounds. My drums are a good example all their modules are processed sounds that they created and don’t allow the use of vst’s even my spd-sx has limited sampling features. I know Roland could make a good sampler but they just refuse to.


It’s still very much a drum machine. A very good one at that.


I agree, but less about the Roland ‘refusing’ to make one part. I like my good ol’ SP-303 quite a lot, to the point of strongly considering an SP-404SX. Both instruments are a far cry from a modern ‘Ableton in a box’, but I think that’s what makes them so good.


Browsing through the manual, I see it is possible to motion sequence the cutoff of the filter if a filter FX is selected for an instrument, but there is no bandpass filter available. Also, you can chain the 8 variation of a pattern to get 8 bars, but I’m not sure if you can motion sequence over the chained variations; I’m pretty positive you can though.


It’s limited, but its ability to fine-tune the sample starting point, and import samples via SD card puts its abilities way ahead of the RYTM MKI imo. I can definitely work with what’s there for chopping up samples a bit unlike the RYTM MKI.


The isolator FX on the master allows the low, mid, and high to be assigned to the CTRL knob (unlike the version available as an instrument FX) so you might be able to get a bandpass like effect automating that, but it would have to be applied to all sounds at once. I’m pretty sure you can automate the master FX; I’ll have to double-check that when I get home.


Thanks heaps for testing this out --will use DJS-1000 for the SD card sampling ability via adapter (USD$999 street price) and supplement that with TR-8S for playback
Cheers David


Just a PSA for those who may have just bought it - you have to update the firmware in order to use the Storage Mode.

Just to reiterate what’s above - this thing sounds very, VERY good.


The TR-8S is fun, but making music isn’t easy. Coming up with interesting and thoughtful stuff is difficult. But…