Roland TR-8s micro-review

When Roland released the Aria series TR-8, I was very excited.   While I’m not usually one for clones, this one was different.   It represented an actual digital reproduction of the original by the original creators.  I had high hopes and, as usual, I was let down.



See, while the TR-8 had almost the perfect performance interface and an awesome sound, it emulated the original a little to closely where memory mangement was conscerned.   While it was a great live jamming device, it seemed to be almost intentionally frustrating in studio situations.  I was sad.  I sold it suspecting Roland, kings of repackaging their tech, would do a better version.

That better version, the TR-8s, is sitting on my desk, pounding a way at a beat as we speak, and it almost seems like Roland was spying on me when they spec’d it out!  SD memory, sampling, sample playback, better memory management…it’s all there (almost). I’ve been using it for a few weeks now (broken up with a several months long studio renovation in the middle) and, simply put, I love this damn thing.   It’s very easy to use, even without the manual.  Its got the sound I’m after, but its pallet is not limited to *just* 808/909/707.   You can actually back up the memory and organize projects.   The FX..well…yeah.  Skip those if it’s not just for live use.

Not much else to say about it.   It’s simple.  It’s reasonably priced.  Go get one.

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