The Roland TR-808

Hardware

We’ve reached 808 pages of Rubenerd posts. Be still, your beating heart!

The most common search result for the term is the Roland TR-808, an “rhythm composer” with a seemingly cult like following:

The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer was one of the first programmable drum machines [..]

Introduced by the Roland Corporation in early 1980, it was originally manufactured for use as a tool for studio musicians to create demos. Like earlier Roland drum machines, it does not sound very much like a real drum kit. Indeed, because the TR-808 came out a few months after the Linn LM-1 (the first drum machine to use digital samples), professionals generally considered its sound inferior to sampling drum machines; a 1982 Keyboard Magazine review of the Linn Drum indirectly referred to the TR-808 as sounding like marching anteaters. However, the TR-808 cost US$1,000 upon its release, which was considerably more affordable than the US$5,000 LM-1.

You had me at marching anteaters. That and this rather lovely pillow.

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