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Roland TR-08 Rhythm Composer

Quick Overview

Boutique Series Drum Sound Module with 16-step/16-sub-step Sequencer, USB Output, LED Display, Built-in Speaker, and Compressor, Gain, Tune, and Pan for Selected Instruments

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TR-808 in a Boutique Series Module

Roland's TR-08 reimagines the world's most famous drum machine as a Boutique Series module. Fire it up, and you'll experience the same sizzling hi-hats, snappy snare, clicky rimshot, and unmistakable cowbell as the original. And yes — the legendary bass drum is in there in all its booming glory. But the TR-08 is more than a simple retread of a vintage 808. It also adds modern touches to the classic formula, like a sequencer with 16 sub-steps per step, a track-selectable trigger out, an unobtrusive LED display, and USB-MIDI. The TR-08 is the perfect blend of obsessive attention to detail, respect for legacy, and modern performance.

The TR-808 — legendary boom and sizzle

For the TR-08, Roland modeled their legendary TR-808 right down to the component level using their proprietary Analog Circuit Behavior technology. The TR-808 was originally introduced in 1980 as an easy-to-program drum machine. Unfortunately, its unrealistic drum sounds were a bit more than the establishment could handle, and the 808 was discontinued in 1983. But then hip-hop crawled out from the underground, and the TR-808's robotic rhythms and speaker-blowing bass drum were elevated to mythical status. After it hit the mainstream, the 808 was featured prominently in recordings made by artists such as Marvin Gaye ("Sexual Healing") and Afrika Bambaataa ("Planet Rock"). These days, the TR-808 is a staple in electronic, dance, and hip-hop genres.

A vintage drum machine for modern beat makers

The original TR-808 is a classic, but its limited feature set restricts its usefulness — especially for modern music production. The TR-08 expands on the original's performance with practical modern touches. Its 16-step sequencer has 16 sub-steps, allowing you to create detailed snare fills and intricate hi-hat rolls. A track-selectable trigger out makes integrating the TR-08 with your other electronic instruments easy. An unobtrusive LED display yields fine control over tempo and shuffle. You also have compression, gain, tune, and pan for selected instruments and can step-program or tap in your parts in real time without changing modes. At Sweetwater, we especially appreciate how the TR-08 sends and receives MIDI control messages for everything. There's even USB-MIDI!

The original TR-808 has been used by:

  • Marvin Gaye
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra
  • The Monitors
  • Plastics
  • Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force
  • Beastie Boys
  • Run-D.M.C.
  • LL Cool J
  • Public Enemy
  • The Bomb Squad
  • Strafe
  • Shannon
  • Whitney Houston
  • Rick Rubin
  • Phil Collins
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Kanye West
  • Damon Albam
  • Diplo
  • Fatboy Slim
  • Talking Heads
  • David Guetta
  • New Order
  • Lil Wayne


Roland TR-08 Features:

  • Re-creation of the classic TR-808 drum machine using proprietary Analog Circuit Behavior technology
  • Provides hands-on control over tone, level, tuning, and decay
  • Compression, gain, tune, and pan for selected instruments
  • Step-program or tap in parts in real time without changing modes
  • 16-step sequencer with 16 sub-steps for creating detailed patterns and rolls
  • LED display yields fine control over tempo and shuffle
  • 10 separate audio outputs over USB and USB-MIDI
  • Track-selectable trigger out for easy integration with your other electronic instruments
  • Includes a DK-01 Boutique Dock for multiple-angle viewing
  • Highly portable with durable metal front panel
  • Built-in powered mini-speaker for mobile listening
  • Compatible with Roland Boutique Series accessories (sold separately)



  • Type: Drum Composer/Sequencer
  • Sounds: Bass drum, Snare, Low conga/tom, Mid conga/tom, Hi conga/tom, Claves, Rim shot, Maracas, Hand clap, Cow bell, Cymbal, Hi-ht
  • Patterns: 16 banks (12 x 16 patterns, 4 x 16 intro/fills
  • Sequencer: 16-steps, 16 sub-steps
  • Effects Types: Compression
  • Pads: 16 x trigger buttons
  • Analog Inputs: 1 x 1/8" (mix in)
  • Analog Outputs: 1 x 1/8" (output)
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/8"
  • MIDI I/O: In/Out
  • Other I/O: 1 x 1/8" (trigger out)
  • USB: 1 x Type Micro-B
  • Power: 4 x AA bateries / USB bus power
  • Height: 2.06"
  • Width: 12.12"
  • Depth: 5.12"
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 14 oz.

Additional Information

Synth type Keyboard
Synth features Arpegiator, Digital In, Digtal out, Expandable memory, VSTi Host
Brands No

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