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
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.