The TR-8 is a digital drum machine that utilises Roland's ACB modelling engine (Analogue Circuit Behaviour), which aims to faithfully recreate analogue circuits and the way they behave. It's currently limited to models of TR-808 and TR-909 sounds (there are no samples onboard), but there's a possibility that Roland may add more of its classic drum machine sounds/models in the future.
There are step and real-time recording modes, and you can create kits that mix 808 and 909 sounds together. There are 16 user-writeable patterns, each of which has two parts (A and B) of 16 steps each. These can be chained together to create 32-step patterns.
Sonically, the ACB technology has captured the essence of the original TR-808/909 amazingly well. In fact, these are the most authentic emulations we've heard in the digital domain. The sounds aren't static and subtly change on each step.
Great for live performance, the TR-8 also integrates well with your DAW, with an audio output-per-sound being provided over USB. And, crucially, it feels like it has the potential to be a new classic in the making.45 Stars
Read Roland Aira TR-8 review
BUY: Roland Aira TR-8 currently available from:
UK: Andertons Music | Gear4Music | Reidys