Roland says that its new TR-808 plugin puts others in the shade

Unveiled at the NAMM Show, Roland’s TR-808 drum machine plugin has now arrived on the Roland Cloud subscription service. The release follows the launch of the TR-8S hardware drum machine yesterday.

Operating as a VST and AU plugin on PC and Mac, this uses Roland’s ACB technology to model the original machine’s analogue circuits, while also adding new features for today’s users. Each pattern you create can have eight variations, for example, and you can expand the sequencer to give you a lane for each instrument for faster programming.

The sequencer also offers adjustable flams and sub-steps for tasty fill creation, and each instrument has its own “last step” and shuffle settings.

Of course, this isn’t the first software 808 to come to market, but Roland is dismissive of previous efforts, referring to them as “sound-alike sample-packs, less-than-faithful apps, and knock-offs”. It remains to be seen if its own plugin will be good enough to convince more users to shell out the £18.95/$19.95 a month that it costs to be a Roland Cloud subscriber (this fee also gives you access to all the other Roland Cloud software).

Find out more on the Roland Cloud website. As previously reported, a TR-909 plugin is also in the works.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

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.