Here's what Roland has planned for its 40th anniversary 808 day celebrations

808 day
(Image credit: Roland)

With 808 day - 8 August - now almost upon us, Roland has announced plans to celebrate it in style. 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the classic TR-808 drum machine, and we’re set for interviews with famous users and the man who created it, plus the opportunity to test drive a plugin version of it for free.

Building The Beat is a new Roland mini documentary that features the likes of Arthur Baker, Cozmo D, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Carl Craig, A Guy Called Gerald, and Jermaine Dupri. Each of these artists has picked the song from their discography that the 808 had the most impact on.

There’s also an interview with the 808’s Chief Engineer, Tadao Kikumoto, who looks back at the history of the 808 and discusses his latest projects - one of which is “a return to the 808” concept.

More 808 goodness is available on Roland Cloud; the plugin version of the TR-808 can be tried for free from 8 August through to the end of the month, and there are a couple of patch collections, too. All you need is a Roland account.

If you’re looking for inspiration, you can also check out the 40 Years of 808 playlist on Spotify, which is stuffed with golden 808 moments, and there are also new 808 sound packs for Roland’s Zenbeats app. A new apparel collection is on the way, too.

For more on the 808, check out the Roland website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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